Client experience (CX) - how would your proposition stack up on “TripAdvisory”?

Financial Advisory

Financial Advisory


Goldman Sachs AM                                           owenjames-logo-2.png


Moderator: James Goad, Owen James Group

Expert: Marie-Laure Humbert, GSAM 


Today, power is flowing to the individual and electronic connectedness is accelerating that shift.  The concept of CX is prevalent in every industry influencing all aspects of your business:

  • Acquisition – service is a key differentiator and a great way to attract clients.
  • Retention – happy clients do not move.
  • Growth - happy clients also recommend you – and become an advocate and brand loyal.


  1. As an industry we have always relied on referrals for new business and we are now seeing the rise of digital players such as VouchedFor to help facilitate the process. This trend is set to continue as the significance of ‘independent opinion’ in clients’ selection process – including client referrals, ratings and reviews – has risen by 15% in the last two years, more than any other customer experience factor. But how would a client describe you to their friends and what differentiates you from the pack?


When we asked advisers what they thought were the three main reasons that clients chose to do business with them - their service, reputation and relationship management came out on top. And this is reflected if we were looking through the lens of a client (see table below) in terms of the reasons they would hire or fire an adviser.



Service – 22%

Less than superior service – 55%

Reputation / trust – 20%

Poor investment performance – 21%

Pricing – 19%

Poor advice – 18%

Investment performance – 11%


As you can see it is all about service! 

Much of the debate around the table is centred on whether an adviser understands the clients’ unique needs; meets their goals; delivers on commitments; and is empathetic? It was agreed that advisers are typically great at communicating with clients individually, but struggled with regular, consistent, group marketing.

So how do you communicate regularly and consistently to your clients, but make it personal? And what is the right balance between face-to-face and the use of technology? The merits of email Vs postage Vs phone calls Vs social media were vigorously debated, and a pre-call or letter to clients came out top in terms of getting noticed. However, the real litmus test was whether clients could play back to you what you want?

However, here are five strategies outlined to maximise the client experience:

  • Client segmentation – As with the Airlines, treat everyone fairly but not equally by adopting a client service matrix.
  • Client communications – Think about the client journey and the use of technology.
  • Client reviews – Make it an experience.
  • Client education – Provide information in a simple, interesting and visual way.
  • Client events – Include their family members.

So to conclude, to deliver a great client experience and stand out from the crowd we cannot rely on expertise and outcomes.  As advisers, we need to leverage off a blend of our soft and interpersonal skills, and traditional expertise in delivering the defined ROI and client goals.

Next steps:

What does good CX look like?

  • Some examples of best practice in terms of what is happening around the world?
  • Lessons learnt from other industries – eg pharmaceutic

How do you measure CX?