We sent out the second annual Firethorn client survey on August 31st of this year. We are going to close out the year by dedicating the December monthly newsletter to reviewing the anonymous client survey feedback. We cannot over emphasize the importance of the client surveys as they play a crucial role in helping shape the future path of the firm. It is equally important for us to learn the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of your client experience with Firethorn.
For the second year in a row, we participated in this survey with some of the top planning and advisory firms both in the United States and across the globe. This allows us to do two very important things. We get to hear how you feel about your client experience. We also get to compare the Firethorn client experience against many other firms of all sizes.
As with last year’s survey, the Net Promoter Score is essentially an overall satisfaction indicator. This tells us how confident a client is referring us to a family member, friend, or colleague. Our score last year came in at 73 (against an average score of 68 for all firms in the survey). This year that number improved to an 87 (against an average score of 70.7 for all firms in the survey). Even at 87, there is room for improvement. We want to highlight the following areas of Needs Improvement:
- Video conferencing and group discussions are not popular forms of contact for a large portion of our client base
- The ability to better understand portfolio holdings
- Spend more time on personal matters
- Overall satisfaction to our response to COVID-19, but 5% were not satisfied
- More investment vehicles for my goals
As a result of the feedback, we are committing to you that we will:
- Continue to work on our video conference technology to make it an easier and more client friendly experience. This will never replace in person meetings, but we can improve on our virtual meeting experience.
- Continue to improve how we communicate your financial data to you. We will continue to look for ways to communicate complicated matters in an easy to understand, clear, and concise manner. Education has and always will be important to us. We cannot educate if we cannot communicate effectively to our clients.
- Financial planning is both a quantitative (art) and qualitative (science) exercise. We need to spend more time on the qualitative aspect of planning. We need to share more of our own experiences, spend more time discussing personal client experiences, and be better storytellers ourselves in our planning process.
- Seek to minimize group discussions.
- Continue to improve on the timing, transparency, frequency, and education around COVID-19 and our response to the crisis (this week was an unexpected fire drill in this exercise).
- Always sourcing new, value enhancing and innovative investment vehicles. We have never been shy about outside the box sources of investment returns.
We will close by saying “Thank You” again to everyone that participated in this year’s survey and all of you on this email for being a valued client. The feedback we get helps us on our never-ending journey to deliver a best-in-class client experience. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to share additional feedback. Please be safe out there and bring on 2021!!!