What Drives Client Satisfaction?

Client satisfaction with financial firms and financial advisors, according to various internal studies conducted by the leading firms, is driven by these two principal factors:

  • Investment performance
  • Service

Being able to deliver superior investment performance occasionally, let alone consistently, is a very difficult proposition. A distinct minority of financial advisors and money managers, normally well under 20%, deliver investment returns to their clients that exceed major market indices.

On the other hand, delivering consistently excellent client service is within the grasp of most financial advisors. Key issues in client service include:

  • Problem resolution
  • Responsiveness to client concerns and inquiries

Internal studies by leading financial services firms, moreover, indicate that overall client satisfaction with a financial advisor is closely correlated with the frequency of contact initiated by the financial advisor. Clients who feel ignored are the most likely to be dissatisfied, and to consider defecting to another firm.

The quality of service rendered by a financial advisor often depends on the quality of support offered by a sales assistant. Additionally, there are some factors beyond the control of a financial advisor and sales assistant, such as the quality of the firm’s information technology and brokerage operations. One example of this is the firm’s timeliness and accuracy in issuing form 1099 to clients.

An issue in client service that is gaining increasing attention by better financial advisors is that of financial elder abuse.

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