Most of us start the first few days of the New Year looking forward. We make resolutions and goals with great hopes for 2020.  In today’s Practically Speaking blog post, Allie Carey, our Client Experience contributor, discusses “reflection” – just the opposite of what many of you are thinking/doing. Reflection is a powerful tool especially if you use it to create perspective for setting those 2020 goals.

Years ago, one of my favorite advisor clients once said that he does his goal setting/planning meetings in January of each year. He starts every year’s meeting with a question: “what can we stop doing before we add any new things to our business?”  He wants to look back before he looks forward — he reflects on the inefficiencies and non-value items in his business.  

Start planning for what is front of you by looking what is behind you. Allie’s post shares ideas that can help you look at what your clients experience has been and what it can be. See Allie’s post below. --- JDA

Happy New Year! I am very excited for 2020. There is much to look forward to and a lot of momentum to ride from 2019. As I have progressed in my career, I have become more aware of the power of reflection. I hadn’t taken the time to reflect in a while, but I was reminded to take the time when reading a recent blog post from SEI’s Front and Centered blog, Does Time Run Your Life, or Do You? When I do really set the time aside to reflect, I am often able to recognize opportunities that are staring me in the face, which helps me adjust my existing goals or — during this time of year — set new ones.

I spent much of 2019 examining and writing about client experience. In the spirit of reflection, I have summed up 3 important learnings from the past year that I believe can help highlight client experience opportunities in the new year. 

  1. Employee Experience  – A great client experience is the culmination of all touchpoints a client has with a company — and that includes its people. Here are 3 key points to keep your employees motivated, so they will be sure to make your clients happy:
    • Potential, current and ex-employees all represent your firm. It’s important to think about them all when designing your employee experience.
    • Open lines of communication between your leadership and employees is crucial to a successful employee experience. If you’re willing to hear and act on employee feedback, it can empower you to continuously improve. 
    • A good employee experience can create an entire group of unpaid sales people and advocates. If employees are engaged and valued, its likely they will in turn talk positively about you to their networks, which can include potential clients. 
  2. Personalization – Working to make each client’s experience personal can pay dividends. This year, I received personalized experience from an advisor that impressed me. The trust built with my new advisor is solid. Three things I learned from my experience:Client Experience quote
    • Communication preferences are not limited to email or phone calls. Advisors must understand if clients like to see the details or get right to the bottom line. Do clients need to see graphics and charts and time to process recommendations? 
    • Helping clients make the connection between their financial decisions and who they want to be as people is important. This can really help meet many goals that aren’t just about dollars and cents. 
    • Technology cannot replace the human relationship advisors can provide to their clients. 
  3. Client Events  – I interviewed Mitch Walk, Retirement Wealth Specialist this year, to find out how he executes successful events throughout the year – events that make memories. If you want to beef up your events in 2020, Mitch’s tactics are helpful. Three key points: 
    • Stay active and host a variety of creative events that make client feel part of the business. 
    • Strive to make every event a special experience that will create a memory.
    • Track your events: how many attendees came, how many prospects and the feedback received after each event. It can make planning next year’s event calendar much easier. 

2019 was a great year, and after reflection, I think these three elements are the most pertinent to share going into 2020. Employee experience, client personalization and events are three ways to delivers a great client experience. Each has their own nuances and tenants, but they are hardly 2019-specific. I believe these topics will continue to be important for years to come. 

I wish you all a very successful 2020 and look forward to the change and learnings the year will bring. 


Legal Note

Mitchell Walk and Retirement Wealth Specialists are not affiliated with SEI or its subsidiaries. Opinions expressed by Mitch Walk are his own and SEI bears no responsibility for their accuracy.

Information provided by Independent Advisor Solutions by SEI, a strategic business unit of SEI Investments Company. The content is for educational purposes only and is not meant to provide investment advice or as a guarantee of any specific outcome. While SEI welcomes comments, SEI is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the opinions, advice, or recommendations posted by third parties. The opinions expressed in comments are the view(s) of the commenter(s), and do not represent the views of SEI or its affiliates. SEI reserves the right to remove any content posted by users of this site in its sole discretion.

Join the Practically Speaking community

We're your go-to source for tips on how to better manage your advisory business.


I understand SEI may send future emails to me, even if I opted-out before, and that I can opt-out again later.
Photo of John Anderson