I have found that in the financial services industry, there are very specific issues that can hurt the client experience. There is too much jargon and not enough clarity. Relationships are often transactional and not built on trust. Many clients do not understand what they are paying or even how the advisor they are working with is being compensated.
That is what led me to write the book, “10 Common Mistakes Financial Advisors Make and Simple Ideas to Avoid Them.” I wrote it in hopes of raising the standards and thereby improving the overall client experience. My entire career has been built on trying to minimize the pain points that many clients experience in working with an advisor.
I spend a lot of time reassuring people I meet that they are not alone in their frustrations. A common question I get is “how do I know when it is time to seek a second opinion around my current investment approach?”
Typically, there are areas of discomfort that clients have ignored for a while. The first I have found is in the general language being used. It is critical that your advisor speak your language. When I talk to clients, I try to communicate in a language they understand, one they are familiar with based on their background, occupation, or life experience. My wife’s parents came to the U.S. from Cuba and only spoke Spanish. So, it was great. I didn’t speak Spanish and because of that never had an argument with them in all the years I was honored to know them. In fact, when we were at dinner with them my wife would speak in Spanish and then turn to me and speak English.
What is the lesson here? My wife spoke their language because that is what they understood and when she spoke to me, she spoke my language because that was the only way I would understand what was happening. When advisors sit at the table and talk to people, they tend to speak in industry jargon. This can create a stressful situation for some that are not well-versed in the subject of money. While they are trying to understand what is going on, the conversation is continuing. Or worse, in some instances they feel like they should already understand all the specifics. This is a shame and does not allow this important relationship to come from a point of mutual understanding and creates a disadvantage. This should never happen. It is the advisor’s responsibility to speak in a way that is understandable to the client.
There is a certain level of service and commitment people should expect. Given …….