June 19, 2020

Building a Client Service Calendar

Written By Charesse Spiller

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Let’s dig into why financial planners, specifically, should have a service calendar for their business, and how to build the ideal service calendar for your practice.

Having a client service calendar can help you go from burnt out and overworked, to streamlined and scalable. How? Service calendars can help you to organize a “Starbucks experience” that’s consistent and exceeds expectations for each of your new clients, all without having to recreate the wheel every time a new prospect signs on with your firm. 

Your client service calendar should look to accomplish several things:

  1. Guiding new clients through an optimal journey with your practice.

  2. Organizing your business processes to be repeatable and easy-to-understand for team members.

  3. Serving as a “safety-net” that ensures nothing falls through the cracks when working with clients.

Let’s dig into why financial planners, specifically, should have a service calendar for their business, and how to build the ideal service calendar for your practice.

Why Should Advisors Have a Service Calendar?

Many financial planners who our team speaks to have one concern about service calendars:

What if a service calendar detracts from the custom experience I provide?

It’s true that consumers seek out financial planners because they’re looking for a personal, high-touch engagement. However, we argue that your service calendar actually levels up your ability to serve clients, exceed expectations, and still scale your team successfully. 

Your service calendar will effectively set clear expectations for your clients about what they can expect when working with you. Providing this level of clarity allows them to know what’s next, how they need to prepare and gives you the opportunity to choose where you want to go above and beyond without overburdening your schedule. When expectations aren’t clearly set, you’re in danger of disappointing your clients – and your service calendar helps you to avoid this!

A service calendar also helps you, as the business owner, continue to hone your services and deliver exceptional results with confidence. As you continue to identify inefficiencies in your business, or areas you’d like to build out “extras” in your client service model, these can be adjusted in your calendar to clearly articulate your value proposition.

Finally, your service calendar helps you avoid several behind-the-scenes pitfalls. Having services clearly laid out in your calendar allows your team to seamlessly plug into the bigger picture of how you want your business to run. Additionally, it can help you and other advisors in a sales role identify and articulate your value proposition and sidestep price-haggling conversations with prospects.

What Should Your Service Calendar Include?

Every financial planner’s service calendar is going to be unique to them. However, a good rule of thumb to follow is that your calendar should include all touchpoints throughout the client engagement. This includes both client meetings and other soft touch points such as email check-ins from your client service coordinator, client portal onboarding, or quarterly client newsletters. There is so much value that you and your team can provide outside of meetings! 

Your standard service calendar should outline what the Year One experience looks like for a new client. I find that most financial planning services are top-heavy, so you may be able to have a Year One calendar, and then a calendar for ongoing maintenance services with long-time clients who go beyond the initial plan. 

Here are a few ideas for what to include in your team’s service calendar:

  • All standard financial planning meetings

  • Service calls with team members

  • Life-changing event check-in’s and plan changes

  • Surveys

  • Events or webinars

  • WOW Factors – birthday cards, apple pie pick up at Thanksgiving, etc.

  • Education and notifications – tax checklists, open enrollment notices, etc.

All touchpoints throughout your services that clients are a part of. Meetings and beyond.

Making Your Service Calendar Work For You

When building your team’s client service calendar, it’s important that you make it work for you. One of the best ways I’ve seen financial planners do this is to create two calendars – one is external for your clients, and one is internal for your team. This allows you to tailor internal service calendars to include WOW factor moments (or that above-and-beyond experience), adjust depending on the tier of the client, and assign different team members to different tasks. 

Do you have questions about your client service calendar? Reach out! Our team would love to help you streamline your service calendar, and leverage your workflows to help you grow your business.

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