The Evolving Client Experience
What are clients looking for when using financial services in 2020? What are you looking for? This question is frequently asked, but the answer has changed considerably over the past 40 years.
In the financial industry in 1980, people had a stockbroker or banker, but financial planning was a small piece of the puzzle, maybe a target to consider the importance of life insurance. Retirement planning was a buzzword, but not something that did a full analysis of your cash flow to identify future needs.
Today, most clients want an advisor that can help them identify the best path for their next financial decision from purchasing a car, saving for retirement, reducing debt, to mitigating taxes. In our industry, we use big words like “clients are looking for a more holistic approach to wealth management and financial planning, including investment, and financial advice customized for them." Retirement planning, estate planning, insurance and other financial objectives are all parts of the puzzle. Now you know what that means: Helping with day-to-day decisions on all the financial pieces of your world and providing a game plan to achieve those objectives.
Back in the 1980s, a larger percentage of the population had defined benefit pension plans, taxes were simple, and we thought advanced technology was a home computer!
I got my first home computer in the early 1990s! Much has changed since then.
Today, defined benefit pension plans are almost non-existent outside of government and the oldest workers. Taxes have become far more complicated. Investment choices have grown exponentially, and interest rates are at all-time lows. Access to information has never been faster nor more overwhelming. With more options and fewer guarantees, this means there is a greater need for effective planning for Canadians than ever before. We must count on ourselves, and understand what we want, what we need, and establish a game plan of how to get there. That is why the role of Certified Financial Planner (CFP) has become a household name - but I may be biased. Our focus is on helping you make financial decisions while understanding your priorities and needs.
Today, what does the client want? How can we help to ensure the clients focus on what is important for them, and not get lost in headlines? What can we do to set ourselves apart in an industry that is constantly changing? How can technology help us to deliver better service to you?
I do not like to brag, but I believe we have the privilege of working with some of the best people. Clients, please take a bow. At my office, we try to understand your priorities first, and then use that to enhance our service level to you. This has been fine-tuned over the years, and we do our best to customize our appropriate for each of you. We change with the times as you have seen with the recently added technology and will continue to do so. And we care.
Knowing that things have changed a lot in the past 6 months and expecting that we may continue to see more shifts, it is time to find out how we are doing. Please expect a survey soon. We are working hard to provide you with the best level of customized service, but we always know there is room to improve. We also know that things change, and we must ensure we accommodate the changing needs of the industry as well. So, please take 10-15 minutes to answer the survey when it arrives. You will help us to provide better service to you and our other clients in the future.
Thank you for your trust. For those of you that are not clients, please think about what service levels are important to you and speak with your advisor to see how they can help. If they are not able to accommodate your needs, consider what you want, and maybe shop around. We are always happy to speak with you.