It may be tempting to write off the use of a Client Bill of Rights as superfluous, but don’t be so hasty. I’m going to show you how this can be beneficial to your practice and to your clients.
A Client Bill of Rights shows clients:
- What you stand for
- How you deliver value
- What you expect from them
It’s not enough to simply tell your clients what to expect from your relationship.
You need to go a step further.
Show, Don’t Tell.
The simple act of providing a Client Bill of Rights shows off several important qualities about you and your practice.
Organization. Well-organized people and companies write things down. They arrange tasks, responsibilities, and requirements into efficient, logical order. Codifying the way you work helps reduce anxiety your clients may have about working with a financial advisor (or it may be the reason they choose you over someone else).
Professionalism. Real professionals prepare. They outline and discuss the roles and responsibilities of both parties. After all, you can’t deliver on your responsibilities if clients decline to fulfill their own.
Care. It’s important to be deliberate in what you communicate to clients. Platitudes such as “We care,” or “We work hard and pay attention to detail” are met with skepticism. Everyone else says this. Instead, be more effective in showing you care by providing your clients with a document that lets them come to that conclusion on their own.
It’s not a secret: Sometimes client relationships undergo moments of conflict or friction. I’m sure you’ve been there: A client fails to notify you of changes in their financial situation, or refuses to take your advice, etc. How can a Client Bill of Rights help you–from the outset–reduce disagreements and increase the likelihood of an amicable relationship?
Commitment. People are more likely to commit to action when they have done so in writing. In the mind of your client, the act of signing an agreement will reinforce the importance of committing to their responsibilities.
Consistency. We’re only human. Sometimes, we need to be reminded of what we have agreed to. If you find that a client is straying from their commitment, you can review their Client Bill of Rights with them. This can serve as a gentle reminder of their roles and responsibilities. And it is a great time to reiterate the high level of service you’re determined to deliver.
This way, you won’t come across as adversarial. Instead, you will continue to assert your role as a supportive, trusted advisor to your clients.
You don’t have to write it on your own.