We live in a world where perception is reality.
As advisers, we know knowledge is power – clients pay for that knowledge to help achieve their goals. The same can be said for understanding the perception gaps within your advisory business. By understanding the perception gaps, you can achieve your business goals more effectively.
Let’s take a look at the perception gaps.1
Gap 1 – The clients’ expectations of the advice and service and what the business thinks client expectations are.
Do we really know what clients expect of us or do we make assumptions about what clients want from us? This gap can be closed simply by ensuring we spend time with our clients to understand their needs and goals, and sharing what we need to do to assist them. Front line staff are key and management shouldn’t live in ivory towers!
Gap 2 – The design of the service and what business thinks the clients’ expectations are.
Most advice businesses do not have time or resources to develop a fully customised service experience for every individual client. Typically a standard process is put in place that allows for customisation along the way. This gap can be closed with learnings from multiple client experiences and providing advisers with the ability to apply customisation and tailoring as required.
Gap 3 – The design of the service and the actual service that is delivered to the client.
Sometimes services are not delivered in the way that they were planned to be delivered. This gap can be closed by testing and monitoring service delivery and training to ensure the right experience is delivered.
Gap 4 – Actual service delivery and the external communications to clients.
When advertising and communications make promises to clients that aren’t actually delivered, you can also expect to find a large gap. This gap can be closed by not overpromising – ensuring you can deliver what you promise to.
All of the gaps can also be closed by listening to your clients. Understanding their needs, wants and desires allows advisers and managers to make changes within their businesses and achieve better outcomes – not only for the client, but for the business too.
For more information about how to create experiences your clients will love, checkout Service 7, available in all good book stores right now.
1. 1. A Conceptual Model of Service Quality and Its Implications for Future Research. By: Parasuraman, A.; Zeithaml, Valarie A.; Berry, Leonard L. Journal of Marketing.