The Empty Chair – making sure your customer is at the forefront of your business strategy

Financial Advisory

20 April 2016

Financial Advisory

The Findings Tuesday 13 October 2015, Tylney Hall, Hampshire


Goldman Sachs                                                                                                       ey-2-.png                                                                                                                              

Facilitated and written by: Malcolm Kerr and Tarryn Grant, EY
Sponsor introducing: Vincent Tiseo, Goldman Sachs

Headline Finding 1: 

In the US people who have used their advisers’ services for an extended period of time tend to be very honest about their lives. Everything they want to achieve financially is connected to their own families /wants/desires/challenges. Emotionally connected advisers are more successful, especially since research suggests that consumers are more concerned with service, Service is the reason why clients hire and fire advisers.

Headline Finding 2: 

Client Service Agreements are a very important part of the customer’s service satisfaction and should include what is expected from all parties to ensure that expectations are managed. This allows the adviser to agree the level of service beforehand and knows which clients are in line to become more personal as they receive and require more attention than others. In networks, CSA are non-existent, instead they tend to have a general hygiene statement to meet regulatory requirements. The main finding is that it is all about the client and building a relationship way above and beyond that which they could expect from other advisers.

Headline Finding 3: 

The question raised was could you teach your employees empathy? The attendees mainly agreed that empathy could be taught but it needed to come from Senior Management as part of the organisation’s culture. If it was coming from the top it was more likely to stick and people would have experience that they could relate to in situations that affect their clients. If a manager shows his staff that he is empathetic and understands his client’s problems, they are more likely to adopt a similar strategy in dealing with their own clients. They also felt it was important that all people who dealt with clients were able to show empathy to all generations.                                                                    

Headline Finding 4: 

What makes great customer event is quite simple – the clients need to feel that their adviser is tailoring the event or experience just for them to meet their unique needs and this leads to enhanced customer satisfaction. Several attendees spoke on how they are running events that are more focused on their clients and this may include what their hobbies are, where they are in their family life and their affinity groups. If a client feels that they are special and remembered then they are more likely to have a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Headline Finding 5: 

Recruitment was very important to the group. They spoke about the need to recruit a younger generation of advisers who would be able to advise their own generation in the future. They agreed that it was best to get them straight out of university and it was good step to have a small scale graduate programme for smaller companies to allow them to be trained appropriately and allow them to build relationships with future customers. This also applied to the older generation who were looking for a second career. They could be trained up and already have the life experience to show the empathy discussed earlier.

Any next steps?

The main step for attendees was to go away from the event and look at their businesses and see if there was one thing that they could change in their service model to enhance the customer experience.