Building A (Modern) Client Service System Model To Deliver Value More Efficiently, Profitably, And Enjoyably

Building A (Modern) Client Service System Model To Deliver Value More Efficiently, Profitably, And Enjoyably

While many financial advisors may have focused primarily on portfolio management at one time, the evolution of the financial planning profession has opened up an ever-growing number of services that advisors now offer to their clients on a regular basis. While this shift has allowed advisors to charge a premium fee for high-quality service, it has also resulted in increased workloads, especially as the number of clients that advisors serve (and the types of issues that are brought to the table) grows. But instead of tackling each task that comes to light, as if playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole’, advisors can take a more standardized and systematized approach to create their client service models while still offering high-quality and personalized service – and doing it efficiently to free up time in their own schedule!

First, when it comes to assessing the services that are offered to clients, advisors can distinguish between low-value ‘factory work’ (generally consisting of necessary activities that don’t necessarily require the advisor’s expertise to complete) and high-value ‘focus work’ (activities that require the advisor’s attention, talents, and unique insights). Factory-work activities are prime candidates for automation; for instance, instead of spending time during a client meeting asking a client to review their beneficiary designations, advisors could instead use a standardized email template generated by their CRM system, automatically populating each client’s information and offering options to either confirm current designations or schedule a call to discuss any necessary changes.

After assessing their client service tasks, advisors can better see how their services –not their clients – can be categorized into three basic tiers: standard, special, and personal. The first ‘standard’ tier represents client service tasks that are predominantly ‘factory work’ tasks, applicable to all of a firm’s clients (e.g., reviewing insurance coverage), and can often be standardized and systematized through the advisor’s tech stack tools. Second is the ‘special’ tier, where advisors identify specific and specialized needs that arise in response to systematic processes in the standard tier, but that still consists of ‘factory-work’ tasks that can be addressed with the help of the advisor’s support staff. The last tier is the ‘personal’ tier, which consists of immediate client needs that often involve focus work, requiring more of the advisor’s time and attention. The personal tier involves all of the client’s needs that can’t be standardized or systematized in the standard or special tiers, and helps the advisor ensure that their clients’ personal needs are covered during client meetings and conversations.

Ultimately, the key point is that standardization and systemization can help advisors improve efficiency and support firm growth while still delivering a high-quality client service experience. In fact, creating a client service model that leverages automated processes so that the advisor’s time and energy are focused on high-value tasks not only frees up significant amounts of time for the advisor, but also ensures that clients receive the planning services that match all of their unique needs!

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