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6 Tips To WOW Your Clients Through Client Surveys

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Client surveys are a critical component of your overall business plan and should be incorporated into your marketing plan as well. Your surveys measure satisfaction or dissatisfaction in alignment with services you offer to your clients. Client surveys should be designed to determine vital needs of your clients and build and deepen personal relationships. The results of your survey will aide your firm in building invaluable loyalty and prompt existing clients to provide qualified referrals.

Firms that incorporate client surveys within their overall business and marketing plan, will  position themselves ahead of their competitors. However, it doesn’t stop there – you must be prepared to process the information you receive from your surveys and take action in order to have an impact on your overall strategy and incorporate excitement among your clients.

Benefits Of Client Surveys

Client Retention: A well planned client survey allows your firm to gather client feedback which can greatly improve client retention rates.

Performance Opinions:  Clients are your best judge of your products, services and performance.  Utilize your client survey to determine where areas of improvement are needed.

New Trends/Innovative Ideas: Gain knowledge through your client survey by taking advantage of suggestions to improve products or introduce a new one.

6 Must Do’s With A Client Survey

Increase Your Bottom Line: The sale doesn’t stop when your client signs the paperwork. Unfortunately, many firms don’t have a solid client communication process in place. Part of your system should include a survey once a prospect becomes a client. Demonstrate the importance of your survey to your clients by communicating how the survey enables you to better serve them. Incorporate surveys into your new client process to aide in your client retention strategy.

Don’t Focus On Numbers: Create the stage and allow your clients to tell a story. A survey with number rankings will not produce the information you need to toot your horn or make changes. When clients can illustrate what you and your team did well, you will want to replicate the process to be certain it becomes routine.

Develop Meaningful Questions: Craft your survey to encourage open-ended feedback by incorporating open-ended questions. Yes and no answers will not provide you with the comprehensive information you need. Dig diligently to find the questions you want answered and integrate ways for clients to refer to specific examples.

Be Ready For Change: Avoid taking the time and effort of creating and distributing client surveys without the intention of making changes or improvements. Assimilate surveys into your marketing plan to leverage opportunities to stand ahead of your competition. If clients are asking for more information regarding certain topics or say they never read your newsletter, be certain to take the suggestions to heart. Assign someone in your office or a team of people dedicated to collaborate and brainstorm for ways to implement survey responses. Announce changes through email blasts, social media and newsletters. This will create excitement amongst your clients, especially the ones that made the suggestion.

Test Different Survey Methods: Most clients will complete a survey as long as they know it is confidential; they don’t want you to know who is making comments. Avoid putting your clients in an awkward position by offering different survey methods that are also easily accessible. Some options include using a third party, email surveys, website feedback, or a free survey site such as SurveyMonkey. Many firms have reported significantly better results through a simple phone conversation with clients. Test the water to find what fits best for your clients and provides you with valuable information.

WOW Your Client: If you use a survey method where you can identify the client, create added value by sending a handwritten thank you note or calling them to say thanks. How many times have you been thanked for completing a survey? Thanking your clients will show you genuinely care about their input and build stronger relationships. This will earn you a WOW factor!

In Conclusion

Consider client surveys an empowering and enlightening tool essential to your business and marketing plan and incorporate comments into your strategic SWOT analysis. Keep surveys brief, if they are too long, no one will return them. In addition to offering your survey at the beginning of your relationship with a new client, implement a recurring survey strategy to capitalize on new market trends and opportunities. You may want to take a leap and survey prospects as well. A well managed survey process will reveal a client focused culture.

Join the conversation! Let us know how your firm uses client survey’s!

Ironstone is available to help your firm develop productive client surveys.

Contact us for more information!

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What Have They Done To Me?!! They Earned My Loyalty!

I am always surprised and humbled when I walk into a business and am greeted by my name, and particularly impressed when one of the team associates asks me about an event we spoke about during my last visit. WOW! That’s impressive! It’s refreshing, invigorating and makes me feel connected and engaged to the team of professionals I am working with.

What have they done to me!!?  They have earned my loyalty by:

  • Developing a relationship
  • Creating trust
  • Connecting and engaging

Do you bestow this feeling to your clients? How well do you know them? Building meaningful relationships for powerful and effective client interaction is paramount in establishing client loyalty and retention. Client loyalty lies in several factors, but today’s affluent investor is looking for an advisor that:

  • Creates trust
  • Adds value
  • Shares mutual values
  • Demonstrates high ethical behavior
  • Goes above and beyond

This is not to say that you don’t have to provide quality service each and every time, but without the above factors, no matter how great you are at your job, it probably won’t matter much.

Gathering Information

Start by creating a process that outlines each step of developing deeper client relationships.  Decide what information you want to gather and learn about your clients, then systematically collect, organize and store records for the most powerful and effective client interactions and campaigns.  Below is a list of some of the information you may want to start collecting and, of course, tailor the form to include additional information that is pertinent to your firm.

  • Hobbies-fitness, bicycling, arts/crafts, camping
  • Cuisine-American, Italian, Indian
  • Books/Authors– biography, mystery, health/fitness
  • Activities-golf, dancing, fishing
  • Birthday’s
  • Children’s Names
  • Pets

Download Ironstone’s Client Personal Interests Worksheet to start getting to know your clients!  Client Personal Interests Worksheet  

Use the information you collect to make contacts and conversation with clients throughout the year.  Clients like to do business with firms that express care and interest beyond the sale.  By cultivating relationships that clients can count on, you earn loyalty and trust.  Clients know that you have their best interests at heart.

Organize

You will need to include a system and process to organize the information you collect for each of your clients. Some options to consider:

  • CRM application
  • Individual files including a profile sheet
  • Note cards
  • Address book

Make sure that you and your team continue to learn about your clients on an on-going basis. The client profile sheet should be updated with your clients before, during and after the “sale”.

There is not a right or wrong way to store your client data – as long as it is organized, secure and readily available! Strive to set and attain goals that hold you and your team accountable for going above and beyond in getting to know your clients.  Set periodic checkpoints to evaluate your progress and make changes to improve your process as needed.

 We are curious! Do you collect client personal interest information?  How do you organize the information?

 Learn more about how Ironstone can impact the operational effectiveness of your firm!  Read more at www.ironstonehq.com

 

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

 Coming up next, Human Element & Team Development

  

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us:


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Is Your Firm’s Brand Recognizable?

Financial Advisors are more aggressive than ever in pursuing high-net-worth clients.   In order for you to join the elite pack and remain competitive you need to establish and demonstrate what makes your firm unique and how your firm is the solution to meeting client needs by creating a strong personal brand.

Your brand message should embody core principles of your practice. These principles should act as drivers and filters when you make business decisions. They should be easy to remember and summarize what makes you unique in serving your clients.

Keep in mind that your brand is also determined by your reputation among clients, prospects and centers of influence.  Maintaining a great brand will require that you make promises and set expectations, that you must meet each and every day.  Demonstrating to clients that you consistently follow through on what you say you will do builds trust and a strong foundation for your firm.

Advisors with strong brands do things that are meaningful to clients on an ongoing basis.

 

Building Your Brand

 1.   How Is Your Firm Unique?

In what way is your firm different from your competitors?  Evaluate your skills and expertise.  Consider the following and expound on how you effectively perform each component:

Communication with clients –  introducing new concepts, ideas, products, and portfolio performance, as well as maintaining contact with clients and prospects through educational seminars. Advisors typically try to differentiate themselves by focusing on a fee-only business model.  While this is a key characteristic, it will not truly set your firm apart from your competition and build a brand that speaks to your target market.

Set yourself apart from your competition by effectively communicating your expertise and knowledge and providing pro-active solutions to clients.

2.      Determining Your Relevance Starts with Determining Your Ideal Target Client

Choosing your ideal target clients takes more work than simply making a selection of retirees, pre-retirees, affluent professionals, etc.   Focus on small target groups with similar needs and determine how you can provide them with significant value.  Get to know your clients and target markets by delving beyond their financial needs.  Find out what their values, concerns, and fears are, and what is important to them in daily life.

Design your services as a gift that you give to your clients and prospects

that truly offers and delivers what they want most.

3.      Be Consistent

Consistent brands get noticed.  They achieve strong recognition through trust and engagement, which drives loyalty from existing clients and brings prospects to your firm. To ensure that your brand is recognized and understood it is vital to be consistent through all communication channels.

Review your brand periodically to ensure it remains true.  Research how your brand is perceived by interviewing clients which will give you a better understanding of how they interpret your brand.

Think of any strong brand and you are likely able to list its colors and the products it sells.  The appearance of your brand should always be clear across the foundation that you have set, including your fonts, logos, colors, images and the presentation of your firm name and services.

Your audience should know what to expect from your brand.  Avoid changing your media spokesperson or sending messages that don’t tie-in with what you stand for.  This only causes confusion.  If your target market recognizes a piece of communication they are more likely to engage with it.

4.       In Conclusion

Brand recognition is much more than a nice logo and a bit of advertising –it is the outline of everything you stand for, everything you believe in, and everything you do. It is how you look, how you talk, and how you act.

Ask several clients how they would describe you to their best friends. Their responses are an excellent way to periodically test whether you are living your brand.

Ironstone can assist you in developing a brand that is reflective of your firm.  We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel to achieving the results you desire.

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving your firm’s brand.  We want to hear from you!   Share your best ideas here!  How do you demonstrate your brand?  What challenges do you have in presenting your brand?   We always love hearing from you!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™! 

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

You won’t want to miss our next in the series:  Operational Effectiveness-Reports & Tracking