Slideshow 5 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty

  • March 02 2012, 4:00pm EST

5 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty

It’s an advisor’s dream: Having customers as devoted and loyal as the adoring fans at a Lady Gaga concert. The customers would follow the advisor from bank to bank or even to a different channel in the same way that rock star groupies follow their favorite performers. Building that kind of loyalty, of course, isn’t easy. It takes time and perseverance. Rick Rummage, founder and CEO of the career-consulting firm The Rummage Group, has five tips for advisors who want to build a strong following among their customers. Here’s how they can achieve the advisor equivalent of rock star status.

Tip 1: Give Outstanding Customer Service

Give every client your cell phone number and always answer your phone if available. If unavailable, call back very quickly, even if you have had bad news. Inaccessibility is the biggest gripe clients have with their advisors, says Rummage.

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Tip 2: Sell Customers on You, Not Your Firm

Never sell your clients on your firm, says Rummage. Instead, sell them on you and your incredibly unique advice. Loyalty should lie with you.

Tip 3: Keep Your Clients Focused

You are not paid to beat the market. You are paid for financial planning and exceptional service. It is up to you to hold your clients’ feet to the fire and make sure they stick to the plan.

Tip 4: Know Your Clients and Their Families

Have high-touch with your clients and get to know them and their families, even if you spend just 10 minutes quarterly to call them to touch base. Be sure, though, to spend eight of those minutes talking about them and their families and two minutes telling them you reviewed their investments/plan and everything looks good.

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Tip 5: Never Sell Proprietary Products

Under no circumstances should you ever sell products that are uncommon and not offered at most firms. This, says Rummage, is “the kiss of death” when you change firms.