Fintech companies and robo-advising platforms deliver more convenience and better service at lower cost. There are also new forces in play: blockchain technologies, AI-driven financial advisory services and ever-more self-service technologies. At the same time, fee compression is forcing financial advisors to achieve more with less. Through it all, customer expectations continue to rise.
Financial advisors must deliver more value to justify comparatively higher fees – and a key differentiator is the client experience.
Edward Jones is completely focused on the client experience and ensuring it adds value at every customer interaction. It realizes that success requires a commitment to maximizing client empowerment, participation and confidence. Central to its approach is the ability to anticipate client needs before clients know they have them.
Anticipatory customer service is not a new concept, but data-driven approaches are making it easier to execute.
“We believe it’s a mind-set shift,” says Ken Cella, Principal, Client Strategies Group at Edward Jones. “We need to think like our clients—not just about them.”
Successful Edward Jones financial advisors are leveraging data aggregation technologies and on-boarding tools to help facilitate meaningful, trust-building conversations. Prior to assisting with financial decisions, financial advisors can help clients clarify priorities and values. In this respect, a better Edward Jones client experience involves not only financial knowledge, but also emotional intelligence.
To identify opportunities to add value, Edward Jones involves its people. Harnessing their insights around what is necessary to deliver a great experience at every interaction has had a double benefit. It improves the experience for customers and increases loyalty – and also energizes employees.
According to Ken Cella, “We’ve found that having the chance to be creative and to contribute goes hand in hand with people loving their jobs. A study we conducted among Edward Jones employees discovered that when staffers have “a lot” of meaningful innovation opportunities, 99 percent call Edward Jones a great workplace.”
At organizations throughout the financial services field, it’s never been more important to ensure that all employees bring their best new ideas to the business. The highest ranking financial brands in the research, such as Edward Jones, are boldly reinventing the future, and doing so in ways that widen the circle of people putting their minds to work.
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