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Is Enhancing Customer Experience the New Frontier for Wealth Advisors?

July 14, 2020

“Take the time to walk a mile in his moccasins.”
Mary T. Lathrap, 1895

By Jim Palumbo

The industry has changed. Have you been left behind? Advisors who simply open investment accounts and manage assets may find that they are under-delivering in comparison to their clients’ expectations.  At a minimum, wealth advisors should be meeting client expectations, but if you want to thrive you need to be exceeding their expectations and delivering not just stocks, bonds, funds and performance benchmarking, but a rich and satisfying experience.

The Customer Experience (CX) has to be good and the shocking statistics from various sources reveal that we may not be doing as good as we think we are.

Meet or Beat

Are you falling short meeting or exceeding your clients’ expectations of their overall experience with you and your firm?

Acquia’s second annual global survey[i] of 6,000 customers and 600 marketers revealed that 82% of firms, like you and me, that market to customers, believe they are meeting customer expectations, but surprisingly only 10% of customers think their firm meets their expectations for a good experience.

Does the customer’s journey leave them with a pleasant feeling? Do they have that “buzz” that follows searching for something they want, finding it, and then sitting back and enjoying what they bought? Is the experience of onboarding and interacting easy and hassle-free?

Refining your customer’s journey is about finding ways to nurture the customer experience, not just “getting it done.” Your client’s journey is the treasure map that summarizes all of their experiences from how they became aware of you, engaging with you, becoming a client, their ongoing interactions, and ends with a solid gold CX.

Capgemini’s Digital Transformation Institute says, “Increasing emotional engagement by implementing, for example, a Client Delight program can drive a 5% increase in annual revenue. Fully 89% of companies believe that customer experience drives customer loyalty and retention,” according to their report, Loyalty Deciphered.[ii]

Map the Customer Journey

Maybe we need to walk a mile in our customer’s moccasins? Mary Lathrap’s timeless poem gives us a clue to the empathy we need in order to see our customer’s journey clearly. Business executives and customers have very different perspectives on how well companies do with CX. Step out of your business shoes and, “just walk a mile in (your customer’s) moccasins…in just one hour, you could find a way to see through his eyes, instead of your own muse…Just for a moment, slip into his mind…and see the world through his…eyes.”

Take the time to write down and map your customer’s journey and then solicit feedback from them by using questions or surveys to measure your success or shortcomings through each phase of the customer’s experience. Was onboarding easy and convenient? Are collateral materials understandable? Are outreaches frequent enough for the customer?

Every business process can be observed, measured and improved. If you’re going to excel in the 21st Century, I believe that perfecting the customer experience on top of the deliverables that clients already expect is key to success in a world where people are getting more and expecting more. They assume you can open an account and suggest an allocation. They expect you to provide a clear and understandable financial plan, so how do you exceed their expectations? Make the journey fun, easy, satisfying and hassle free.

Have you thought about your firm’s CX improvements?


[i] Acquia, Drupal a registered trademark of Dries Buytaert, Deliver the CX they Expect: Customer Trends Report 2020