If you find yourself waiting for the memo that lets you know the current situation is 'all clear' and your life and business can get back to normal, you may be in for a long wait.
We’ve all changed.
Our needs and expectations have changed. The way we work and connect has changed. It’s true for us, and it’s true for your clients.
It turns out that some of those changes aren’t all together bad. I’m not the first to point out that the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward a different (and dare I say better) client experience.
As a result, I believe you’re standing at a fork in the road.
- You can refine your client experience to reflect the evolving needs of your clients, or
- You can revert back to the way things have always been done.
I don’t think it should be a question as to which path you take. I believe your client experience will need to evolve to reflect what your clients need, want and expect right now.
When it comes to how you deliver your client experience, some of your choices are limited by current circumstance.
For example, most of us don’t have a choice other than to meet virtually with clients at the moment. But that won’t last forever.
It’s at the point when there is a choice that we’ll likely see two groups of advisers emerge.
The first group will embrace change and take an intentional approach to enhancing the client experience. They may well take the lead while the second group plays catch up.
So the question for you is simple. How will your client experience evolve?
What clients want
You may want to start by asking yourself some important questions:
1. Do our clients want to meet more or less often? You may have increased the level of contact over the last several months, and that shift may have a real impact on client expectations for the foreseeable future.
2. How do clients want to meet? Do your clients appreciate web meetings now they're experienced in using the technology?
3. Are clients using social media more to connect with friends and family? Does that open up an opportunity or expectation for how you show up socially?
4. Do my clients expect more self-service options as they become used to being more self-sufficient online?
5. How, if at all, have the concerns and challenges of our clients changed? And what does that mean in terms of the content and communications you share?
6. Are my clients having different conversations about their future? How are you helping guide clients in thinking through those issues?
7. Are new fears or worries emerging that I need to address through additional services?
8. Are my clients’ values shifting in a way that would be supported by different conversations, such as charitable giving or legacy planning?
Let’s look at one example, drawing on some recent North American research, of how needs and expectations have changed and the opportunity that creates to support clients in a meaningful way.
My team and I carried out a study among nearly 1,200 investors between 10 March and 24 March 24 - a powerful time in history to be gathering input from clients.
One of the questions we asked clients was this: Which topics would you be interested in learning more about from your adviser?
The most important finding came from looking at how those answers changed over the course of the two weeks the survey was in the field. Below, you’ll see those topics that changed the most during that time period.
I think the significance is obvious.
The topics that are on clients' minds relate more to their lives than to their money.
These are the areas where clients need support, providing you with a clear opportunity to add value, whether through articles, videos or other forms of content.
The reality is that all of our needs and expectations have been shaped by the pandemic.
That means your client experience (what you offer and how it’s delivered) will need to evolve to reflect what's most important to your clients.
As a result, we decided to create a free self-assessment tool to help you do three things:
- Measure where you are today on the path towards evolving your client experience
- Identify areas that may need your attention
- Provide you with some next steps based on both the above
You’re welcome to take the Comeback Plan and Assessment here. It will take no more than about five minutes and we’ll send you a personalised report that includes a ‘readiness score’ and insights on how to take action.
Change always creates opportunity, even when that change is uninvited.
I believe we’re staring in the face of an opportunity to support clients, and to stand out in the process.