Your success as a financial planner hangs on the satisfaction of your customers – all business success does. The faster you discover what customers like or dislike, the quicker you’ll earn a reputation that gets you word-of-mouth referrals.
According to a Small Business Trends survey, 85% of small businesses get new customers through referrals. The best way to drive referrals is to ensure your current clients are so pleased with you that they pass your name around in their circles.
Benefits of a Satisfied Customer
Your customer’s satisfaction turns into your gain. When your client is pleased with you, they pass along your name to anyone needing a financial advisor.
Congratulations, you just saved on advertising expenses because your client just marketed for you. Plus, you retained the pleased and paying client. You’ve earned the opportunity to suggest add-on services of yours. Not to mention, the referral will likely gain you a new customer. It all adds up to increased profits for your business.
Boosting customer satisfaction is a worthy goal that pays dividends. Read on for actionable steps to supercharge your business.
Boosting Customer Satisfaction
How can you improve or maintain your clients’ opinion of you? A financial planner coach can take a big question or goal like that and break it down into easily digestible steps like the ones below. Increase customer satisfaction by:
- Putting the customer first.
- Understanding your customers through feedback.
- Improving your offering or service based on client feedback.
- Personalizing your interactions with consumers to engage them and increase their pleasure and loyalty.
#1 – A Customer-first Strategy
Keep your focus on the customer experience. Don’t let daily concerns or issues cloud out what’s most important. As a business owner, you have a lot of irons in the fire. The client’s best interest should remain front and center even on your most hectic days.
#2 – Understanding Your Clients
It would help if you had insight into your customers to understand and unlock the secret of satisfying them. When you measure customer satisfaction, you’re getting a sneak peek at their reactions and emotions.
Collect feedback from your customers. Surveys are the way to go – they get right to the point without being burdensome to you or your client.
A host of marketing services and software provide ways to help you gather information on your clients preferences. Examining your Google Analytics, sending out a survey through Survey Monkey, or adding pop-up surveys on your website can provide you with valuable insights.
Begin with one goal in mind and determine what type of information will be most useful to you.
Choose among Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) type questions.
An NPS survey determines how likely your customer is to refer you to others. “How likely are you to refer us to a friend or colleague?” – a quick question with a 1-10 rating.
Customers are typically more loyal to a service that is easy to use. A CES measures your customer’s opinion about how easy it is to work with you. The question looks like, “On a scale of ‘very easy’ to ‘very difficult,’ how easy was it to interact with us?” Get specific by asking how easy it was to resolve a problem or contact their advisor. Alternatively, keep the question broad and inquire about their overall experience.
“How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the service you received?” CSAT surveys can be as simple as this one question. On the other hand, you can gather more information using several questions.
- Timing is key. Surveys work best soon after your client has interacted with you. Consider an immediate survey when your customer has come to you or your website for help. For new clients, consider employing a survey three to four days after signing them on.
#3 – Improving
Turn information into action. Once you have insight into your customers’ likes and dislikes, find ways to enhance the good and improve the bad.
Examine survey answers. Look for trends and make changes, keeping what works well and changing what doesn’t. Engage with staff to pass along information and bounce ideas off one another. Thoroughly train employees and partners on what you learn from customer feedback.
The Golden Rule works as well in business as it does outside of it – treat others the way you want to be treated. In business, do that, plus some. Reducing customer wait times to hear back from you and showing gratitude and respect are small acts with big impacts.
Consumers love supporting businesses that do good. Get involved in community events that promote positive changes in your environment and bolster social engagement.
#4 – Personalizing Interactions
Personally respond to and thank customers for their responses. For example, comment to a client on Facebook who left you a compliment (or hire someone to manage your social media for you).
Should a client complain on social media, promptly and publicly respond. Reassure your clients that you are looking into their complaints and making the necessary changes.
Create an online community for your clients. The social media outlet you choose should reflect what most of your customers use. Of course, you may use various channels, called omnichannel communications, to better reach, serve, and educate your clientele.
Business Coaching for Financial Advisors
If you want help smoothing out the kinks in your financial planning business, consider adding a coach for wealth advisors to your team. Just as you coach your clients to financial success smoothly and quickly, a coach can help you quickly and efficiently find answers to hurdles in your business, like improving customer satisfaction.