Today, the demand for financial advice has never been greater. The rapidly increasing number of baby boomers approaching retirement, coupled with the fall of defined benefit pension plans, has led to a surge in the demand for financial advisors’ time and expertise.
Investors’ lives are also becoming increasingly complex, and advisors are being tasked to do much more with the same number of hours in a day. From tax management and estate planning, to building portfolios that will last generations, advisors now have to deliver on an entire ecosystem of financial wellness.
The Amazon Effect
Not only is the demand for financial advisors increasing, but so are customer expectations. Today’s consumers have grown accustomed to the “Amazon experience,” where they can easily browse for the products they need and access simple one-click shipping right to their doorstep.
This same type of simple and customized experience is now expected across all industries—including financial services. So how can advisors create a great investment experience for their clients? As an asset manager, Clark Capital serves a large advisor base across the country, and we’ve been able to identify what the most successful financial advisor teams are doing to not only meet but exceed client expectations.
Here are three things today’s top advisors are doing in an effort to create a superior client experience:
1. They create a holistic wealth management plan that’s unique to their clients
Today’s high net worth investors expect their financial advisor to deliver holistic wealth planning. Top advisors are focusing beyond investments and defining their true value proposition to include delivering comprehensive financial wellness for clients and their families.
But just like shopping on Amazon, every customer will be different. Clients’ long-term financial goals and objectives are varied and fluid, and a one-size-fits-all approach to creating investment portfolios doesn’t create an optimal investor experience. Advisors that can deliver a customized and unique investment plan that aligns with the investor’s overarching financial plan can create a first-class experience for their clients.
2. They are proactive in setting and managing client expectations
One ever-present challenge facing advisors is the capital markets—and unfortunately, it’s something none of us can control. The fourth quarter of 2018 was a reminder of how volatile the capital markets can be, with both bond and equity markets experiencing significant investor outflows. Investors that exited the market during this downturn missed out on a tremendous rebound in the first quarter of 2019.
This type of panicked decision making can quickly derail a client’s financial plan and dampen their investment experience. It’s important to remember that for clients, it’s not just about the end goal—it’s also about the journey along the way.
The best advisors we see are those who make client reviews a habit, and proactively set and manage client expectations. When the next downturn hits, as it inevitably will, having an established line of ongoing communication can help ensure clients will remain committed to their plan, and in turn, increase the likelihood that they will successfully achieve their long-term goals.
3. They spend more time with their clients
We’ve all seen the studies—advisors who are able to spend more time with their clients have higher revenue and are more likely to not only grow, but also retain their book of business. With the increased demands on advisors’ time, top advisor teams are partnering with best-in-class asset managers, back office support, and marketing firms, among others to help free up their time. By strategically outsourcing with the right partners, advisors can focus more time on their clients and what’s important to them.
At the end of the day, great investment returns are only one piece of the total equation. To be a top advisor in today’s world, you have to go above and beyond performance, and bring together a team of trusted partners that can help you deliver a superior client experience.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Clark Capital Management Group. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. There is no guarantee of the future performance of any Clark Capital investments portfolio. Material presented has been derived from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. Nothing herein should be construed as a solicitation, recommendation or an offer to buy, sell or hold any securities, other investments or to adopt any investment strategy or strategies. For educational use only. This information is not intended to serve as investment advice. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast or research. The investment or strategy discussed may not be suitable for all investors. Investors must make their own decisions based on their specific investment objectives and financial circumstances. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
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