Are you aware how your practice handles the “critical moments” with prospects and clients?
This was one of the questions that a survey of financial professionals sought to answer. The short answer from most respondents was “no.”
In fact, only 20% of those answering a poll from the Sandler Research Center had identified the “critical moments” that clients had with their firm. Another 38% said they started identifying those moments but still had work to do.
Sandler Research, which is associated with Sandler Training, defined critical moments as, “Every contact an existing, or potential client has with your company can be described as a critical moment. It could be defined by how quickly their call was answered, how long it took your company to send out the information they requested, what happened when the technical team turned up to effect installation, or even how accurate your invoice was.”
Identifying the moments is the first step in the right direction, Sandler said. The researchers cited a CEO who turned around a struggling airline.
“Jan Carlzon of SAS identified almost 1,000 moments for clients using his airline,” according to the report. “He then set the task for his senior managers to improve each of these by just 1%, resulting in a substantial increase in service! We do not expect you to discover 1,000 critical moments, but it is important that you at least begin the search.”
Although only a small number of respondents knew their critical moments, many were able to identify what they believed they did well.
Nearly a third believed they excel in response time. About a quarter said the prided their agility.
Although only 20% of the respondents were aware of their weaknesses, 36% said their business was effective or very effective at converting those critical moment weaknesses into critical moment strengths.
Six in 10 respondents said they were good or very good at building on their strengths.
Half of the poll-takers said they have a regular process to review performance with their most important clients. But only 17% said they do it only for feedback. Nearly half said they did it for feedback and a sales opportunity.
More than half said they have a process for addressing problems identified in the client feedback.
Nearly 90% believed at least 61% of their clients were satisfied with their firms.
The survey was done with the help of the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Canadian Professional Sales Association.
This survey represents the data submitted by 203 individuals, from more than 130 distinct organizations all self-identifying as being in the financial services or insurance industry.
The survey collected data from August 20 – October 18, 2019. Due to rounding, some percentage totals do not equal 100%.
Steven A. Morelli is editor-in-chief for AdvisorNews. He has more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor for newspapers and magazines. He was also vice president of communications for an insurance agents’ association. Steve can be reached at email@example.com.
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