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The Practice Checkup
CLIENT MANAGEMENT
 

Introduction

A Client Management System is a method to keep clients happy so that they:

  • Provide quality referrals
  • Stay on the books
  • Buy additional products and services
  • Add to the intangible value (good will) of the practice

Segment

The first step in client management is to determine criteria to segment clients.  A good rule of thumb is to start with the following:

The AAA client has three characteristics, they:

  1. Provide quality referrals
  2. Generate significant revenue for the practice
  3. Have the ability to purchase more

The AA client has two of the three characteristics.

The A client has one of the three characteristics. An A client can also be a Center of Influence, who only provides referrals. Or, an A client could be a big prospect who is a potentially large purchaser. 

The B client has the potential to become an A, but is weaker in all or any of the three characteristics.

The C client has purchased something and needs to be maintained. Collectively, C clients represent a significant source of revenue.

The D client is one who drains resources beyond their value to the practice.

Service

Once segmented, decide what levels of service and contact to provide each tier.  This may include:

  • a specific number of personal “touches” each year (establish a “cycle of service”)
  • proactive service work (revisit their plan)
  • client appreciation invitation
  • annual review
  • cross-sales
  • anticipate life events and purchase opportunities
  • newsletters
  • holiday cards and gifts
  • birthday or special event contact

Client Management

The real work of client management is in the details.  After deciding what to do with each tier of client, then determine what can realistically be done with the tools and people available.

Use of a contact management system and calendar are ideal to manage and use client information. However, there are many variations, including:

  • posting important dates
  • posting client notes, interactions, and comments
  • recording client marketing and demographic data
  • scheduling annual and quarterly reviews
  • creating, mail merging and printing correspondence and labels

Another client management opportunity is to create strategic links among clients. For example, set up households for related clients, business groups for related employees, and other groups of people to isolate and service. 

Client management also includes day-to-day reactive work, such as service requests, address and billing changes, lapses, replacement, complaints, questions, quotes, updates, and the like.  Evaluate how each of these aspects of the business is managed within the team and Firm.

Finally, address what resources are available for clients to use (without the Advisor’s help) for routine matters.  Examples include internet sites for product and account value information and toll-free numbers.

A highly proactive Client Management system builds good-will for the Advisor’s practice.  This increases future earning potential and the value of the business when it comes time to sell the practice.