How to Elicit Constructive Responses - Business Management for Financial Advisers

There are 3 ways to elicit client responses. One way is to take an adhoc survey and ask them for comments at the end of meeting, a telephone survey or to conduct a written survey. In general, written surveys tend to be the best option. Thought they are expensive, they let you ask a number of questions and give clients time to respond thoughtfully.

To create a professional survey instrument with well-designed questions that will yield the insights you seek, you’ll likely need to hire a writer and possibly a graphic designer to prepare the questionnaire and then pay for printing and mailing the survey, entering the response data, and analyzing the results.

Advisor Impact’s Client Audit process, for example, would cost around $2,000 plus outbound postage to survey two hundred households, with an expected 30 percent response rate, but a similar effort done in-house could cost a planner more than twice that amount and likely yield less meaningful results.

A proper survey would enable you to identify client expectations, cross-selling and consolidation opportunities. For the best results, be sure to ask questions in five specific categories:

  1. Focus on service satisfaction, both generally and specifically.
  2. Probe client expectations regarding contact level.
  3. Assess interest in learning about different products and services.
  4. Determine client preferences about how you communicate.
  5. Ask for profile information to help you populate your database.

Good questions provide you with specific and targeted information. .Bad questions lead to difficult to interpret responses.

What to Ask and How to Ask It

What to Ask and How to Ask It

Testimonials are helpful, but research data are seen as more objective. In addition to the insight, what’s compelling about this process is the action plan that comes out of the survey.

So many times, when surveys are performed, clients are often left wondering what the purpose or result was. So regardless of whether you do it on your own or in concert with a professional survey firm, you’ll want to translate the survey results into an action step or the process will be wasted, along with the money it cost to do it.

The Report

The Report


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