- Why do we ask for client reviews?
- How client reviews influence our service
- What do our client reviews say?
Why do we ask for client reviews?
- We want our clients to be happy
Obviously, we want our clients to be happy, especially as we do not tie them to our service in any way. All of our clients could stop working with us without notice, so we must provide an excellent service, to continue operating as a business. Put simply, if our clients are happy, they should be getting what they want from their service, and in life. In turn, we continue to grow as a business.
- We want to improve the service we offer
Client reviews and feedback are a direct way to make tangible improvements for the individual, which we can then pass on to the rest of our clients. Many of our service innovations have originated from client questions, ideas, or feedback. This helps us to keep our clients happy, and grow our business.
How client reviews influence our service
Client reviews are almost always overwhelmingly positive. However, from time to time a client may make a suggestion aimed at improving an element of service, so we can make their life easier. We treat these suggestions very seriously, as they are an ideal way to uncover and overcome minor frustrations. Our service is designed to remove these frustrations to make a client’s finances as straightforward as possible. If we can learn from client feedback, we can eliminate frustrations for clients.
Here are some examples of changes we implemented as a result of client feedback:
- “Reports are too long”
Some clients love the detailed analysis in our financial planning and investment management reports. Many do not, so we divided our reports into 3 sections with: an executive summary, main research, plus appendices. Each are signposted in a different colour, and is cross-referenced, so you can focus on what you need to know.
- “I love the meetings, but forget the discussions afterwards”
Reports cover the agreed actions, but many clients value the face-to-face collaboration with their adviser. We introduced the ‘video financial plan‘, which is a short, password protected summary of the meeting. Clients still get (reduced) reports, but they also get a video summary, which visually shows the areas covered in the meeting, with a commentary from their adviser.
- “Financial planning is complicated”
We believe in making your financial life as simple as possible. We have developed a series of straightforward visual representations of significant financial issues. These allow us to help you to focus on the most important aspects of your decisions. Of course, we do not ignore the details, but we help you to make decisions more easily.
Client service principles
Our client service principles, allow us to deal with you consistently no matter who you interact with.
- Treat clients like family friends
How would you treat a family friend? The answer is with warmth, humour and respect. That’s how we like to be treated, so that’s how we treat others.
- Ideally, what would the client want?
If we are faced with 2 choices, we ask this question. The answer generally guides our choices (within reason). This also helps us to tailor our approach to the needs of individual clients.
- Does the client know?
A key frustration with service is when you are not informed about progress. This leads to mistrust of the organisation. We work hard not only to stick to service standards, but also to let clients know about progress. This applies no matter how small a change or even when there is no change. Service not only has to be done, but has to be seen to be done.
- How do we make it easier for the client?
We want to take the burden of the work and complexity away from clients, to help them make decisions and take action.
- Every request is reasonable
Service requests are treated with respect and are used to enhance standards.
- How do we improve the process?
We regularly come up against weaknesses or exceptions in the processes we use. When this happens we improve the process to avoid this issue happening in the future.
- Accuracy is more important than speed
Mistakes are inevitable, so it is important that information is checked as part of the process.
Service as a process
Clients are generally delighted with our service if we live up to our promises, and especially if we exceed them.
Most of what we do for clients can be improved with processes designed to make sure we deliver a consistent service every time. This involves:
- Daily internal communication with every member of the team who is working on your case
- Clear standards for each part of the process, so the relevant team member can efficiently achieve their part of the task
- Clear external communication – we’ll update you even if nothing has changed, and we’ll tell you what to expect next
- Committed regular contact with clients:
- Annual reviews
- Quarterly valuations
- Quarterly contact with your adviser
- Ad hoc proactive information when it is needed
- Tax year-end planning
- Automatic communication with your accountant and other professional advisers
- Informative, relevant, non-technical articles
Treating you as an individual
Of course, while many tasks can be built into a process, each client is an individual, and deserves to be treated like one. We will adjust to your needs and requests as they arise. We can do this because we do not work with hundreds of clients, and that is why our client reviews are so positive.
What do our client reviews say?
We want to make the process easy for clients to give us feedback. They may give us feedback in a follow-up call, or on a verified 3rd party platform, like Google or Facebook.
These client reviews are published on our website, and on these alternative platforms. To read more, click on the word cloud, which was developed using the our client reviews.
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About Dan Woodruff
Certified Financial Planner & Chartered Wealth Manager at Woodruff Financial Planning
Financial Planning helps you to navigate and anticipate significant life changes. I want to help you to ensure your money is managed wisely to give you the financial security that will fund the future and lifestyle that is important to you.