On October 30th we held our first Client Advisory Board meeting. This group agreed to commit their time on an ongoing basis to tell us how we are doing and what they think we should do to improve the experience for all clients. While this was our initial meeting, we expect members of the board to change over time.
For most of the attendees, it was their first opportunity to meet each other and also spend some time with our entire staff: Andrew, Christina, Lyman, and Rick. It was also good to learn more about our clients outside of the regular business meetings and calls we conduct.
We’ve been wanting to form a Client Advisory Board for years. It is a hallmark of well-run, high performing firms. It can be a humbling experience, too, as we needed to be prepared for clients to tell us about things that might need improvement.
We told clients the story about how Rick & I decided to merge our practices in 2013 and how it was the best business decision we have ever made. Six years in and we can honestly say that we are continuing to benefit from the expertise of each other and many shared resources. It has also allowed us to improve the services we provide ranging from a more automated appointment-setting service to additional comprehensive financial planning and investment research tools for both our individual client families and 401(k) clients.
We discussed the series of recent seminars and workshops on college, retirement, and taxes that we have been producing and asked for feedback on how to make them better. They suggested proactive invitation calls to clients and business relationships. Even if a client cannot attend, they might pass the invitation along to one of their friends or coworkers.
We also asked the Board to rate their experience with us on a scale of 0 to 100 with 100 being perfect. Then we asked them, “If we did not score 100, what it would take to get to 100?” This can be a tough question to ask and you have to be ready for the hard truth. In addition to receiving several complements, were told that setting the right expectations and following through every time would help improve our scores.
Overall we were very pleased with the evening, and our clients’ participation and thoughtful advice. We are looking forward to holding another Client Advisory Board meeting in the spring of 2020 when we can add to our learnings about how to get to 100.
As always, if you have ideas about how we can improve, please let us know.
In the meantime, we will continue to work hard to provide excellent financial planning guidance and service to all of our clients.
Lyman H. Jackson
Financial Planning Solutions, LLC (FPS) is a Registered Investment Advisor. FPS provides this blog for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog should be considered investment, tax, or legal advice. FPS only renders personalized advice to each client after entering into an advisory relationship. Information herein includes opinions and forward-looking statements that may not come to pass. Information is derived from sources believed to be reliable. Information is at a point in time and subject to change without notice. Such information may not be independently verified by FPS. Please see important disclosures link at the bottom of this page.