View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/new-model-adviser/article/a452672
The right place for a quality service is in your office
by Brett Davidson on Nov 29, 2010 at 09:26
The 10th and final part of our series on how to create a great client experience explains how to meet your client in a professional and well-designed environment by inviting them onto your turf, writes Brett Davidson of FP Advance.
Seeing clients at your offices is a must if you are trying to create a great client experience. Your work premises become part of your service and present an image that must support the positioning of the business.
Why do the large accounting and legal firms inhabit such opulent premises? To position their offering as absolute premium. This makes perfect sense when you think who their clients are: other large companies.
What message do your premises send to prospective clients? If you are deliberately seeking to work with clients of modest means, your premises should reflect that. If you want to work with high-net-worth clients, your premises should reflect that. The décor you use will vary according to the positioning message you want to send and the premises become a proxy for the quality of your advice.
Disadvantages of visiting clients
Advisers who visit clients at home or work miss a golden opportunity to make their service more tangible. It does not make sense to go to people’s houses or places of work to give them advice if you are trying to position yourself as a high-end financial planner. That is not what top firms do and it could confuse your marketing messages.
Then there is the time issue. Travel time is largely unproductive even if you can make a few phone calls. You cannot write or work on your computer while you are driving.
Sometimes advisers make the case for seeing business owner clients at their place of work so they can see the business and get a feel for the client. That is fine but you should not do this for the first client meeting; they must visit you on your turf. Have the second meeting (the discovery or fact finding) at the client’s premises if you must and then present the plan at your office.
Business clients need to get out of their environment to concentrate 100% on what you are talking about. More importantly to make a first impression you need to make sure they see and experience the best face you can present.
A first meeting with a new client is more of a performance than a meeting. In 99% of cases what they say will not be new or mind blowing to you, but you will have to react as though it is. The way you explain some basic concepts to clients and answer their questions may be things you have said hundreds of times before but it will not feel like that to the client.
This has far more in common with a performance given by an actor than we would sometimes like to admit. If you want to deliver a top class performance every time, you have to do it on your home turf. If you visit the client, you cannot control the staging.
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