Tuesday 03 August 2010

One great way to elevate your clients’ experience and eliminate any misunderstandings is to develop an accountability agreement for your business. This is an agreement that both you and your client will sign and keep a copy of. It clarifies your position and purpose on several important topics.

Here are some ideas to be included in your accountability agreement:

  1. Our clients are the most important people in this office whether they are here in person, by mail, or by phone. They deserve a timely response to all inquiries or contacts.
  2. Our clients are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them.
  3. Our clients are not an interruption of our work, they are the purpose of it. We are not doing them a favor handling their inquiries, they are doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to earn their business.
  4. Our clients are not to be argued with. No one ever wins an argument with one of our clients.
  5. We will hold in the strictest confidence, and consider as privileged, all business and personal information pertaining to our clients’ affairs.
  6. In order to provide our clients with an optimal level of service, we expect them to be continuously forthcoming with all relevant financial information.
  7. If you are displeased with any element of our service, we expect the courtesy of timely notification so that we may address the issue.
  8. If all of our clients’ expectations are met and they are satisfied with our service, we anticipate our clients to refer others whom they feel can benefit from our services.

Of course, everyone will be different as far as their needs within an accountability agreement. This only gives you a starting point for developing your own. The necessity though of having an accountability agreement is that it opens the lines of communication between financial professional and client and alleviates most possible misunderstandings that could result in negative feelings on both sides.

Continue to elevate and exceed your clients’ expectations and they will continue to be your most vocal advocates!

Adapted from The Referral Minute by Bill Cates, July 28, 2009.

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