Avoiding Client Experience Platitudes

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Avoiding Client Experience Platitudes

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How do you describe your client experience to clients and prospects?

I hear many advisors using words like  ‘responsive’ or ‘accessible’.  

  • The good news is that these descriptors are very tangible.  
  • The bad news is that they are entirely expected.

Others are finding more creative ways to describe the experience of working together. The experience is 'extraordinary', 'compelling', 'exceptional' or 'unparalleled'.

  • The good news is that these descriptors are more powerful.
  • The bad news is that they are hard to define, to quantify and to measure.

Without definition and measurement, the ‘promise’ you hold out to clients and prospects can feel like a platitude – a bit cliché - a little too motherhood and apple pie.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.  

In fact, I'd argue that if you choose a compelling descriptor, clearly define it and have a process to measure it you go from a platitude to someting with meaning and significance.

Case Study: Bringing Value to Life

Today I'm putting the spotlight on Summitry, a successful firm (and client) that has a unique spin on defining and communicating their value. Summitry is a Bay-area RIA that manages just over $2 billion on behalf of 1,000 clients, supported by a team of 40.  

Recently I talked to Joe Martin, Summitry’s Chief Client Experience Officer about their Client Delight Index as part of a broader conversation on client experience. The Index allows them to measure and track their effectiveness in delivering on what is most important to their clients. As a result, they can define and communicate their value to clients in very tangible terms and track their own progress in taking action.

It’s tangible, it's co-created with clients and it's unique to the firm.

In this interview, Joe shares how they think about what it really means to 'delight' clients and the specific things they've done to bring that concept to life.

It's Time for Action

So let’s get back to where we started and the five questions to ask yourself to make the intangible more tangible.

  • How do you want clients to describe how they feel as a result of working with you?
  • Does that definition resonate with your clients?  Is it a goal worth achieving?
  • What are the specific activities that support achieving that outcome?
  • Exactly what do you need to do to take action consistently?
  • How will you measure success?

And finally, how will you take that and shout it from the rooftops, to let everyone know what sets you apart?


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