Customer Service for Financial Planners: How to Go Above and Beyond for Your Clients
When people think about financial planning, many of them picture the official sessions that happen every month, quarter, or year. These sessions are when you meet with your clients to help them get their budget under control or check on their retirement savings plan or devise an investment strategy.
But what happens when your clients need advice and guidance outside of those sessions? What happens when your client loses their job and isn’t sure how to handle the drastic change in income? What about when you have a client who gets an unexpected inheritance and wants to know how to use it wisely and minimize tax repercussions?
Many financial planners just have their clients wait until the next scheduled session to talk about these things. And while that’s not necessarily wrong, we could be doing so much more for our clients. We can be there for them when they need us, even if it’s not during an “official” financial planning meeting.
Being willing to help our clients on their terms is the heart of true customer service. And taking this approach as a financial planner can improve your clients’ experience, your own job satisfaction, and the long-term success of your firm.
So what does it really mean to serve your clients well?
Care about your clients
The key to going above and beyond for your clients is attitude. You need to decide what you think and how you feel about your clients.
What’s your motivation for being a financial planner? Are you in this profession to be right, and to enjoy the feeling of having people follow your advice? Or do you really want to help your clients improve their lives? Are you willing to support them even when they don’t follow all your advice or have financial priorities that don’t match your own?
When you truly care about your clients, you want them to succeed. And that desire gives you the motivation to give an extra 10% in your work and find ways to help your clients as much as possible.
Look for ways to help
Sometimes it’s easy to go the extra mile for a client. They may request some extra assistance with their budget or their retirement plan. But other times, you might need to infer what a client needs and figure out a way to help. To do this, you need to make sure you’re paying attention.
One of my clients recently got divorced. She was struggling with her finances and trying to figure out how to manage her money in this new phase of life. Budgeting felt overwhelming, and thinking about paying off her credit cards was scary. Basically, she was afraid to mess something up.
I could tell she needed guidance, and I knew she’d feel worried and stressed if we waited until our next scheduled meeting to go over her finances. So I just got on a call with her and we walked through it together. It was a fairly minor change to my schedule, but it was something really meaningful and helpful to her. A little bit of time out of my day made a huge difference to this client’s life right now.
It’s a relationship, not just an appointment schedule
The thing about customer service is that it’s not really hard to go above and beyond for our clients. So many people (in our profession and others) do the bare minimum. They set a strict meeting schedule and show up for their clients during those times, but they really don’t offer outside support.
We can do better. We can truly partner with our clients to help them reach their goals.
Sometimes that might mean showing up outside the scheduled meeting times or jumping on a quick call to walk a client through a challenging issue. But if you’re willing to go the extra mile for your clients, you’ll set yourself apart from others. You’ll encourage clients to remain loyal to you and to recommend you to their friends.
Build a loyal clientele through excellent service
Giving your clients outstanding customer service isn’t a requirement – that’s why it’s called “going above and beyond.” But having this attitude of service and giving a little bit extra can bring countless benefits to your clients and yourself!
When you go out of your way to serve your clients, they feel confident that you’re always on their side. And you can feel satisfied that you are truly making a difference for them. Plus, this type of service is what sets you apart and helps you grow your client base. It’s really a win-win for everyone.
How do you go above and beyond for your clients? Let me know in the comments!
If you want to learn from real financial professionals who provide excellent customer service, join our unique training experience, Amplified Planning CORE. Instead of spending hours reading textbooks and filling in worksheets, you’ll experience real-world planning sessions with seasoned professionals offering “play-by-play” commentary. Earn CFP® experience hours and receive deliverables you can use in your own practice. Get all the details about this innovative learning experience to find out if it’s right for you.