I learned a valuable lesson from a friend who would be considered a model prospect for any financial advisor. He recently changed advisors and made his decision on this factor: client experience. His previous advisors, while reportedly proficient in their financial roles, failed to appreciate the significance of service and their customers’ experience. Lack of attention to customer experience can lead to communication gaps that, regardless of how smart an advisor is, can create costly mistakes when managing their client’s finances.
An unfortunate incident highlighted this oversight. When my friend visited his advisor’s website, he encountered adult inappropriate advertisements and brought them to the advisor’s attention. Any advisor viewing the customer journey from the client’s perspective would have immediately noticed and rectified such an issue. However, this advisor wasn’t taking the client’s perspective seriously. Remember, your website is your digital storefront; it represents who you are. Negligence in this aspect of running a business can have major consequences. Every time your clients want to interact with you, they go to your website or email you. It goes without saying that no advisor with a physical office would allow random advertisements to be posted in the window of their storefront. The client knows if the advisor cared enough about their business and clients, they would tear down that ad. The same logic should apply to your website. So, check your digital storefront for issues before you open each day!
Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire!
Customers may begin questioning other aspects of your service. If the front end of your website is unprofessionally maintained, how can they be sure that their life savings are protected on the back end? For many advisors, the front of their website may be an afterthought, but for customers, it’s the most crucial and representative aspect they interact with.
Draw inspiration from the CEO of Tinder; he downloads and recreates his Tinder account daily to view the user experience. Advisors must think like their clients and to think like them they must know what they are experiencing.
Customers don’t care about backend metrics or revenue streams; they care about what they can see and read.
So, What Do Prospects and Clients Care About?
They want assurance that their life savings are in safe, professional hands and that any issues will be promptly and professionally addressed. They desire vigilance, not only regarding the market but across all aspects of an advisory business. Also, they want to trust their advisor’s judgment since they are not experts themselves. If they were experts, they wouldn’t be looking for an advisor.
Marcus Roth is Lone Beacon’s senior director of data, automation and content.