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Crafting Excellence: Building a Top Tier Client Experience

The client experience is often a hot topic for many firms that want to ensure they are delivering a consistent and exceptional experience for their clients.  Firms that are catering to high-net-worth clients need to have this perfected.  We operate in a noisy and crowded field.  It is paramount that you deliver on your promises CONSISTENTLY or you are putting these relationships at risk.


When I am sitting down with a client, I want to understand their sales and service processes.  I want to learn about how they define their ideal clients, how they go about developing those opportunities, and how they educate prospects on their value proposition before they move forward. 

But here is another question I love to ask:

 "You invest all this time carefully selecting the people you want to work with, diligently pursue them, nurture the relationship, and successfully close the deal... what happens tomorrow?”


Many times, when I ask that question, the response is either a blank stare or a slightly embarrassed chuckle.  And that’s OK!  This shows there is an opportunity to get better.  


According to a recent study by PWC, “Even if people love your company or product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience.”


So how do you build an intentional client experience that is unique and impactful?  Here are some key strategies to create and maintain a top tier client experience that not only retains your existing clients but also attracts new ones.


Create a Plan

Building a client experience can seem very overwhelming.  That’s probably why so many firms have put this off.  But you can tackle this project, one step at a time. The first step I like to see is the team strategizing on what they believe is their best client experience.  There are a lot of options and opinions telling you what you should or shouldn’t be doing.

  • Think about your ideal client profiles, what do they expect from you and how can you deliver that? 

  • Think about your existing team members, what are they passionate about and capable of? 

  • How are other great companies providing a client experience and could you apply some of those techniques to your business? 

Taking the time to build the plan will help you prioritize where to start when implementing a new CX.

Client Discovery

The foundation of an exceptional experience begins with a deep understanding of your clients’ goals, aspirations, and concerns.  High-net-worth individuals often have complex situations from their balance sheets to their family dynamics.  We need to be issue spotters, proactive advisors, and active listeners.

If you think that merely offering high-quality products or services is sufficient, you're wrong! Delivering top-notch work is the minimum expectation for clients of this caliber. They have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of providers, whether they operate locally or nationally.  This is about building meaningful relationships. 

Robust discovery takes time.  Ensure that you have a discovery conversation every time you meet with your clients regardless of how long you have worked with them or how well you think you know them!


Here are some dynamic questions that you can implement into your discovery process.


Personalization is Key

Tailor your services to meet the needs of your ideal client profile.  This includes a comprehensive scope of work, implementation, and communication preferences.  Other items you might consider when personalizing your CX include custom marketing/gifting, custom experiences/events, acknowledgement of important dates/milestones, and asking for feedback.   


Transparency and Trust

Building trust is paramount in the professional services industry, and its even more critical when dealing with high-net-worth clients.  Be transparent about fees, strategies, and potential risks.  Regularly communicate with your clients through scheduled and consistent meetings allowing for them to feel informed and confident in your services.


Exceptional Communication

Maintain open lines of communication and be responsive!  Often, clients have questions or concerns that require immediate attention.  Ensure you have a dedicated team or point of contact to provide timely responses and address their needs.


Holistic Planning

Go beyond your core service and offer more value added conversations.  If you are not providing holistic services to your best clients, then you are putting these relationships at risk. The best private client firms have adopted this approach.  Some planning topics could include lifestyle planning, business transitions, real estate, family dynamics, philanthropy, wealth transfer, and risk management. 

Access to Expertise

Building a team of experts with diverse skills to surround your client will be critical to providing a more comprehensive scope of work.  Consider having specialists internally that can speak to proactive tax strategies, philanthropy, business transition, and estate planning.  Develop a team of external specialists that can enhance your client experience and provide collaboration.

As you look to expand your team, ensure new employees are dedicated to providing quality service.  Strong characteristics of top performers include self-discipline, high EQ, active listeners, learners, tech-savvy, and patient.


Bespoke Experiences

Dependent on the type of client you work with, creating bespoke experiences could set you apart from the crowd.  Some examples would be luxury travel education and accommodations, personalized art and jewelry education, private dining experiences, custom adventure retreats, and personalized wellness services.



Invest in technology to streamline operations and enhance the client experience.  This includes actively utilizing your CRM to help manage and track all your client tasks and follow ups. It is also critical to have robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive client data.  High-net-worth clients prioritize security and efficiency.  Once you have onboarded a technology, ensure you have buy-in from the team to use it and leverage training to build confidence.


Regular and Scheduled Reviews

Schedule meetings to review and adjust strategies and facilitate deeper discovery.  Keep clients informed of new trends, changes in their situation, and any future adjustments.  If you intend to widen your scope of work, have specific months or quarters dedicated to specific topics to ensure you are providing that service.  Also consider creating an annual benefit statement to show all the areas you helped your client execute on.


Seek Feedback

Regularly seek feedback from your clients to assess their satisfaction and identify areas of improvement.  Client input can help you refine your services and ensure you continue to meet their evolving needs.


Building a top tier client experience requires dedication, expertise, and a commitment to excellence.  By understanding your clients’ unique needs, personalizing your services, fostering trust, and continuously improving, you can set your firm apart in a competitive market.  Remember, excellence is not an option; it’s the expectation. 


If you are looking for a partner to help you navigate, design, and implement a top tier client experience, please connect with me today!

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