How to use client reviews to give – and receive – more value

Smiling couple making successful deal with adviser, shaking hands and looking very happy.

By AdviceBridge

If annual suitability reviews have gravitated to just going through the motions or yet another regulatory burden to check off your ever-increasing to-do list, you’re not alone.

The good news is that if you gave them a good dust down, they could present a valuable business opportunity.

Handled right, annual reviews can be a valuable business opportunity

Instead of viewing them as a regulatory thorn in your side, which, if not done well could cause future complaints, take the chance to demonstrate and add value for your clients.

With the right handling, you could end up with more business from existing clients. And, if happy clients are motivated to give you a glowing review, could help attract more prospective clients to contact you.

Engage and learn more about what matters most to clients

If you find that the latest annual reviews you’ve done for clients are pretty much identical, your review process could probably be rejuvenated. Take a step back and assess where you could change the process to create more opportunity – for you and your client.

Ideally, these reviews should be seen as another chance to get to learn more about what matters to your clients and to tailor the service you provide to better meet their needs.

Doing things thoroughly will also help strengthen long-term client relationships. So, instead of the annual review being something to get through, treat it as an additional way to engage and have meaningful conversations.

Feedback is crucial for every type of business

While we’ve all learned to take online reviews with a generous pinch of salt, letting clients have their say about what they really value about your service is vital.

This is especially true for an intangible service like financial advice.

Usually, it’s the simple things that come up. Clients will comment that they love how their adviser always answers the phone, or that they remember to ask about members of the family or pick up on what was talked about last time they met.

However, the necessary regulatory reviews that you must conduct also present an ideal opportunity to ask for their feedback. If you do nothing else, at least add a call to action and ask directly for recipients to leave you a review.

You could even consider adding a link to a third-party survey with questions tailored to your particular business. SurveyMonkey is a good choice and one of the most popular free services you could use to achieve this.

Using a survey in this way can help ensure that your client’s feedback is detailed and targets any specific areas that you are particularly interested or concerned about.

Tailor your service to meet clients’ needs

As well as helping to reveal where you could make improvements to your service offering, client feedback is a good way to ensure that they are making the most of your service.

By placing thoughtful questions in an annual survey, clients may reveal financial needs that they haven’t previously recognised.

For example, maybe a client originally came to you for help in setting up investments for their future and have since started a family. Or a change in circumstances may mean that they need to start considering tax or estate planning.

While these conversations should crop up during regular discussions, it won’t always be the case – especially if the client isn’t aware that you can help.

Ask questions designed to reveal this kind of change early on. This can help ensure that clients are benefiting from your full expertise and the business can continue to meet those needs – now and long into the future.

Demonstrate value clearly

Initially, one of the bug bears around MiFID II was the focus it put on the costs and charges. For many, the idea of reminding clients how much they are being charged on a regular basis doesn’t feel particularly helpful.

Instead of shying away from this, use it as another opportunity and take the chance to show how you deliver value for money.

Use the review to set out how your expertise has proved profitable, and highlight gains you have made for them. While clients may already know how much value they have gained from their investments over the year, do they know how much you have helped them save in tax through the tax planning you have provided?

A good way to illustrate this is to use charts and graphs and add tax savings to the investment performance.

As a final note, this is the kind of valuable detail that AdviceBridge can automatically add to an annual review report, or can be accessed through the client app. To find out more, email, book a demo, or call us on 020 3925 3850.