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Please read the information below. By accessing this web site of Thornburg Investment Management, Inc. ("Thornburg" or "we"), you acknowledge that you understand and accept the following terms and conditions of use.


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Fund Operations

Build Your Business

Transform Customers into Life-Long, Referral-Generating Clients

Jan Blakeley Holman, CFP, CIMA, ChFC, CDFA, CFS, GFS
Director of Advisor Education
13 Feb 2023
3 min read

Your client experience is the centerpiece of your practice.

Transform Customers into Life-Long, Referral-Generating Clients

Last fall when I worked with a medical service provider, I immediately became aware that I was the beneficiary of the company’s well thought-out, meticulously designed client experience. This company’s approach successfully converted me from a run of the mill customer to a client who will be the source of many referrals. Many financial advisors strive for this type of client experience.

A client experience will happen regardless of planning.  For a great client experience, an ever-evolving framework needs to be put in place. To put together a generic framework, the business identifies the processes, activities and client touchpoints that differentiates it from its competitors. A company’s client experience should evolve in response to changes in the company’s business model, the introduction of new technology and new industry regulations. Here are the five most important aspects of a world-class client experience that financial advisors cannot overlook.

  • Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate
    Purposeful and organized communication is the most important characteristic of a world-class client experience. The quality of your communication should be immediately apparent in every touchpoint with both prospects and current clients. Determine the type of communication required before each interaction, the goal, and the communication required to follow-up your message. One of the most important aspects of “knowing your client” is knowing how each client wants to receive communications from your team. Assuming you can meet their communication needs, your practices’ client experience will include detailed examples of the communications clients will receive in person, by email, telephone/voicemail, and text (if allowed by your firm). New employees are introduced to your client experience during the onboarding process. Soon afterward, they are taught the intricacies of the client experience, the role they play in the process and the responsibilities they have in ensuring the consistency and quality of service each client experiences.
  • Pre-Meeting Communications
    To have a successful initial meeting with a prospective client, advisors need some of the client’s financial information. To ensure the prospect brings along their financial information, the pre-meeting communications must specify the type of information the client should bring or email to the meeting. Examples include investment account statements, retirement account statements, tax returns, etc. From time-to-time, advisors also need information from existing clients. Having up-to-date client information ensures preparation for meetings will be seamless.
  • Personalize All Interactions
    One of the days I met with this group was my birthday. I’ll admit that I was surprised to be greeted at the door with birthday wishes and received a “Happy Birthday” from every employee I met with that day. During each of the interactions I had with employees that day, it was obvious that they knew who I was, why I was there, where I was in the process and what they needed from me. The birthday wishes didn’t end on my birthday. I had an appointment with the company two weeks later and I was greeted with, “It looks like you just celebrated your birthday. I hope it was a happy day”.
  • Follow-Up After Each Appointment
    After each appointment, your clients should receive a summary of the appointment, including the advisor’s next steps, the date and time of the next appointment or call, and a reminder of what the client needs to do to prepare of the next.
  • Ask for Feedback and Reviews
    Requesting feedback and reviews should be constant, but not obnoxious. It’s probably safe to say younger clients (Gen-X and younger) are more likely to give social media reviews than older clients (Baby Boomers and older). To avoid this possibility, make sure you give all clients a way to tell the world how wonderful you are. Make one card available that displays a QR code that makes it easy for technologically proficient clients to give you a social media reviews and another version for clients who prefer to write their comments.

The new year is a perfect time for you to create a client experience if you don’t have one or fine-tune the one you have. A world-class client experience is just one more thing that shows prospects and clients you’re a step ahead of the competition.

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