Is your support team working remotely? My guess is that most, if not all, of you are working from home. With the assumption of working remotely, how would you rate the productivity of your team members, including yourself?
All of us, and I’m including my own team, kid ourselves when we think we’re as productive as we were pre-COVID. I’ve written about studies documenting that productivity decreases close to 20% when working remotely. And these were pre-COVID studies.
With that dark backdrop, we need to be realistic about the productivity of every team member and do everything possible to help raise the productivity bar.
Whenever a crisis impacts the financial world, clients start having doubts about their financial advisors. This is why we’ve been stressing to the advisors we’re coaching—the stars are aligned for prospecting!!
Getting every team member dedicated to doing everything possible to help strengthen client loyalty is the yin to the yang of affluent prospecting; it’s all about going over and beyond client expectations. The nature of client loyalty is recognizing that it’s never static, which is why continuous attention and a total effort—teamwork—is required. Every connection with a client and every behind-the-scenes effort on behalf of a client must transcend that action and build value into that client relationship. Everyone plays a key role.
To help you and your support team to work toward that end, here’s a list of self-evaluation questions for every team member to answer, first individually and then as a team. This activity should lead to agreeing on a handful of action steps directed at strengthening client loyalty. And productivity will increase as a result.
If you answer YES to a question, ask: How are we doing it? How does it provide value and strengthen client loyalty?
If you answer NO to a question, ask: What can we do to improve the value we provide in this area?
1. Do we communicate with all clients that they are important to us?
2. Do we tailor our service to each client’s particular needs?
3. Do our clients usually call on us when they have a tough problem to solve? If not, who do they call?
4. Do we provide unique or special services for clients that they would find difficult to duplicate?
5. Are our clients (all of them) genuinely convinced that we have their best interests and welfare at heart?
6. Do we go out of our way to learn as much about each client as practical and possible?
7. Do we follow up to make certain a client’s decisions and requests are fulfilled accurately and in a timely fashion?
8. If a client registers a complaint, do we handle it promptly?
9. Do we always follow up on problems and complaints to make certain their resolution is satisfactory to the client?
Make certain you go beyond the YES or NO answer and use the other questions to probe further. When you’ve completed the exercise with the nine questions above, then ask:
10. Do we ever take a client for granted?
Done properly, this exercise should generate a lot of open dialogue. By “done properly,” I mean this needs to be a team exercise with no mention of current levels of productivity and no insinuation that your support team or an individual team member isn’t servicing clients well.
A loyal client who is emotionally connected to you and your team is an ideal client. As the list below from Harvard Business Review illustrates, loyal clients:
- Are 52% more valuable than highly satisfied clients;
- Are six times more likely to consolidate assets;
- Buy more products and services;
- Exhibit less price sensitivity;
- Pay more attention to your communications;
- Follow your advice; and
- Recommend you more.
I firmly believe that we can all improve our productivity. Making a team commitment to strengthen client loyalty is a great way to start.
Matt Oechsli is author of How to Build a 21st Century Financial Practice: Attracting, Servicing, and Retaining Affluent Clients. www.oechsli.com