Here's What Separates 'Somewhat Satisfied' and 'Very Satisfied' Clients

Matt Sommer, Janus Henderson

Another technique that advisors can employ is practicing positive reinforcement through acknowledging and rewarding positive financial behaviors or milestones. By providing encouraging feedback and making sure that each client feels seen, advisors can reinforce constructive financial habits and bolster clients’ confidence in their financial decision-making. This also strengthens the advisor-client relationship by creating a supportive environment.

Emotional intelligence can also play a key role in shaping investment decisions. Investors with high emotional intelligence can recognize and control their emotions when market dynamics inevitably shift. Advisors play an essential role in ensuring that clients don’t let their emotions get the best of them when making investment decisions. 

In asking our survey respondents what their advisor provides to them, 40% of those surveyed who said they were “very satisfied” with their financial advisor relayed that their advisor helps “keep my emotions in check during periods of elevated market volatility.” Advisors should aim to build a collaborative relationship built on trust so that clients turn to them before they make a risky decision.

Additionally, the concept of “commitments” suggests that people generally have a strong inclination to uphold their promises. Advisors can help clients control their emotions by taking an approach that fosters commitment and thoughtful decision-making. For instance, advisors may initiate a conversation with clients by proposing an agreement, such as: “Can we agree that we will revisit your entire financial plan before making any wholesale changes?” 

This approach seeks the client’s commitment to a thorough review before implementing major strategy alterations. It also creates a buffer to allow emotions to settle and provides opportunity for an in-depth assessment and discussion. As a result, both advisors and clients benefit from a more measured and considered approach.

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Other needle-moving psychological techniques include visualization, behavioral nudges and goal-anchoring. Visualization involves guiding clients to imagine their goals and aspirations, making objectives more concrete and inspiring. Behavioral nudges draw from behavioral economics principles to influence positive financial behaviors. Advisors can encourage clients to adopt beneficial financial habits through cues or prompts, for example. Lastly, goal-anchoring involves helping clients align their investment decisions with specific goals and values.

While good financial advisors provide tailored financial guidance, great financial advisors build long-lasting relationships by taking the time to understand their clients on a personal level. Establishing client satisfaction goes beyond numbers: It requires advisors to address and support the emotional and behavioral aspects of financial decision-making. By embracing these strategies, advisors can build trust and help ensure that clients stick to their long-term goals.

Matt Sommer heads the specialist consulting group at Janus Henderson Investors, a global asset management firm based in London.