How often do we hear it from businesses in all industries: customer service is at the heart of everything they do. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a cliché, but the reality is that if you annoy your customers and don’t deliver what you say you’re going to deliver, there is enough competition in industries all around the world that people will simply take their business elsewhere. Annoyingly, there is often someone on hand that will offer their services at a cheaper price, too.
The market for wealth and asset management services is currently enjoying huge growth. This has been fuelled to some degree by the uncertain economic environment in recent years, as individuals that are wealthy but inexperienced when it comes to financial markets are looking for the best ways to protect their assets.
As such, customer service and transparency is a big thing for asset management companies. What should they be doing, and what does great service look like?
Understanding Customers’ Objectives
If you were to draw up a list of common criticisms of financial services in recent years, it is fair to say that pursuing their own objectives above those of their customers would be close to the top of the list.
Things probably aren’t as bad as they are depicted in the recently released The Wolf of Wall Street film, but the reality is that many firms were pursuing their own goals with customer satisfaction a by-product of their own success, rather than delivering those the other way round.
To be fair, asset and wealth management companies like ACPI Wealth Management, as well as bigger institutions such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, have always done a good job of understanding clients objectives from this perspective and have perhaps been unfairly affected by conventional wisdom and beliefs around the wider finance industry.
Moving with Today
Gone are the days when a financial institution could look at a market situation and lock themselves in for many years at a time. Yes, certain investments and markets require particular commitments, often over the long term, but it is also important to be looking at how markets and the economy is moving on a day to day basis.
Wealth managers don’t want to be moving assets around every day, but they do need to sense trends so that returns can be maximized and any losses minimized.
With greater demands for transparency on the financial services industry than ever before, the firms that can offer this without being pushed into it are likely to be more successful.
What this means today is allowing investors or wealthy individuals whose assets are under your management to come into the office or get in touch whenever they need to so they can discuss what is happening with their portfolio.
This has become increasingly important given that investors themselves are looking to be more involved with the management of their assets on a daily basis, although companies should still ensure they maintain the balance of giving good advice and direction against carrying out clients’ instructions.
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Jake Walken is a business consultant who specializes in the field of customer service training. He goes into businesses in various industries and looks at the ways they can improve service to make their business more attractive.