For almost 10 years now, we have held an annual Client Advisory Board Luncheon where we get direct feedback from our clients. We invite our clients into our office to review everything we do, from marketing, communications and the services we offer. The goal is to determine from our client’s perspective what should we keep doing, what we should stop doing, and what we could improve. We know that we could never understand the client’s perception of the things we do. The Client Advisory Board allows us to get answers to questions that are rarely asked.
Last week, we had another successful gathering! We had several clients attend this year and we discussed many topics including how we communicate with clients, meeting agendas, social media, client events, our services and our website. Here are some highlights from the discussion. We list below the 5 things we learned from our Client Advisory Board.
Keep The Week Ahead and “Announcements” Coming
We received a lot of very useful feedback regarding how clients receive our information and how they use it. The general consensus was that “The Week Ahead” newsletter contains a variety of information that caters to different concerns…there is something for everyone. Also, the Board found our Announcements to be a hit as they are eye-catching and create a call-to-action for clients.
TFG ACTION ITEM: Send Announcements monthly and keep the variety of content in The Week Ahead.
Open Communication is Key
We pride ourselves in our open and frequent communication with our clients. It was great to hear that all clients, including new clients, notice this and understand that they can reach out to us whenever they need to and are confident that they are being kept in the loop. The Board was not as enthusiastic about social media or blogging. We strive to answer emails and return calls the same day. We are here for our clients and strive to create an environment where there is valuable and prompt communication.
TFG ACTION ITEM: Continue with strong communications and “same day” response to all emails and phone calls.
Remind Client’s What You Need from Them Before the Meeting
Regarding meeting agendas and meeting preparation, the Board requested that we request documents prior to the meeting. This reminds clients to gather the materials we need from them a few days in advance. It also holds them accountable for the items and helps them get it to us quicker. Many clients still prefer to bring in hard copies rather than upload online (due to security concerns). The agenda itself was determined not to be as important to receive in advance as one is distributed the day of the meeting.
TFG ACTION ITEM: Send clients an email stating the documents/materials we need from them a few days in advance of the meeting.
Identify Your Clients’ Main Concerns
We also gained insight into the main concerns of our clients, including running out of money in retirement, minimizing taxes in retirement, education funding for future generations, Medicare, and long-term care. Each client has different priorities which are important when creating their customized plan. The Board asked that we continued to provide information that caters to what clients are most concerned about.
TFG ACTION ITEM: Continue to provide clients with resources specific to their areas of concern.
Incorporate More Interactive Client Events
It’s always a good time when we get to see our clients outside of the office! We host different client events like our annual Holiday Party, cooking classes, and Galentine’s chat. Our Board had some great feedback about trying out more interactive events to increase attendance. Early next year, we plan to do our first brewery tour (this had unanimous approval), wine tour and more cooking classes.
TFG ACTION ITEM: Organize more participative events where clients can learn and become more engaged.
Thanks to this years Board participants! We appreciate all the feedback from our clients and look forward to actively incorporating these suggestions in the future. See below for photos from the event!