Jun 05, 2018

What one thing would you do to assure your firm is competitive for the next decade?

By Joe Duran

At the Icons & Innovators award ceremony held at the grand University Club in New York City I had the privilege of sharing a panel with lions of the industry: David Booth, founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors, Ken Fisher, founder of Fisher Investments, and Mark Tibergien, CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions. The first question asked by Fred Gabriel, editor of InvestmentNews, has intrigued me for years and is worthy of a little extra reflection: "What one thing would you do to assure your firm is competitive for the next decade?"

I believe that 100% of any firm's growth, and all of its future profitability, will be driven by only one thing: its client experience.

What is client experience?

Client experience, or CX, is everything a client encounters in order to receive the end product. Think about Starbucks as an example. CX is everything that happens between a person thinking they'd like some coffee to the point where they take their first sip. From the brand and its reputation, to its social presence, to the store front, its location, the look and feel of the interior, the smell in the store, the music, the greeting customers receive, the process of ordering, the pricing, the packaging and finally the product itself — everything Starbucks wraps around the product allows them to charge $5 for a 50-cent cup of coffee.

Our businesses are the same. Our attractiveness and value to clients are determined as much by how we deliver our services as the services we deliver. Yet most wealth managers deliver a client experience akin to doctors providing a physical and ongoing checkups. They offer incomprehensible data and nothing but pain and sacrifice on the horizon for the patient. Hardly a recipe for success in the new world where people have more choices than ever.

4 keys to a winning client experience

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