Client loyalty is the only thing you can count on

Client Loyalty word cloud. Wordcloud made with text only.

Let’s remember how service excellence and client loyalty was everything to a business. There weren’t any websites, social media, Google, email, etc. There was the phone, face to face, posted letters and they all had to ensure they built unshakable loyalty. If they didn’t, then a financial business needed the local paper, the yellow pages, signage and sponsorships to attract clients which were very slow and expensive.

What if the best practices of the past and the digital power of today were combined onto a very unique process of service delivery and client relationships? Imagine the influence available to a smart operator who could leverage both.

Back to basics

If you were to assess the client base of most financial service businesses, you would find a very under-leveraged business model. Rarely does the client base understand what are offered and rarely does the business truly understand client needs.

When the market gets tough, professional services are often seen as expensive and unnecessary. When the opposite is the reality and even critical. The key reason for this belief is because their past experiences haven’t been of great value, both financial and personal. “I have to do it so spend the minimum”, The result is reluctant transactions from the market

In the past, there was a high focus on face to face or phone communication. It created a connection and was a powerful factor in building trust. Financial professionals took the time to engage with their market and really got to know their clients and their businesses. The relationships were stronger and therefore advice was more open to be given.

The opportunity

Here’s a simple test you can do first with your team and then with your clients. With your team, ask them to write down all the services you provide and what ratio they believe they generate cashflow. There is a strong chance you will be stunned, the lack of awareness to all of your services and how they are split. Then ask your team to report on how these services are implemented to their clients and the reasons why more cant be offered. Don’t accept “I don’t have time to do it” as that’s guaranteed it’s not happening.

The next stage is to ask your clients what they know about all your services and expertise, this will also be a big awakening. I know of one firm that did this exercise, they had 32 services on offer and the most any one person on the team could recall was nine. When they quizzed their clients it was even lower.

The challenge was the standard of client relationships being mostly reactive and many in the team were reluctant to offer them as they thought it was hardline selling. When in fact it was their professional responsibility to ensure their clients were at least aware of what they should be doing. They changed the mindset from selling to professional advisory and they were all over it.

The opportunity identified approximately 35 per cent of additional revenue immediately available. Consider what is possible out of the existing client base if all of your clients could be offered the ideal solution. How much additional revenue is just sitting in your client base right now?

The simple solution is to how you identify your client service commitment. Don’t just use technology to be different, use highly engaged client connection to be better.

Darrell Hardidge, CEO, Saguity, and author of “The Client Revolution and The 10 Commandments of Client Appreciation”