Creating a Best-In-Class Client Experience in Your Family Offices

When it comes to elevating the “customer experience” to improve client satisfaction and results, today’s family offices could learn a thing or two from Starbucks.

Starbucks has succeeded in turning the coffee buying process into a highly consistent, satisfying experience they can charge a premium for. The company created its experience using an integrated platform, common business processes and a detailed set of workflows that are consistently executed to deliver on the Starbucks promise.

Of course, the workflows and business processes within a family office are often highly complex and the expectations of clients are not always predictable. No matter how well we craft an experience, a client may not perceive it exactly as we anticipate or hope. Yet, offices cannot afford to throw up their hands and give up in the face of unpredictably. Instead, the axiom “to plan for the worst and aim for the ideal” is appropriate when considering the experiences your office wants to create.

Client experience is the sum total of how your office engages with its family members, not just during specific types of interactions or snapshots in time, but throughout the entire day-to-day cycle of client-office engagement. Sometimes people think of customer experience as emanating from digital interactions, such as on a website or a smartphone. In other cases, client experience is focused on client service delivery, or the speed at which problems are solved. To be really successful on a long-term basis, client experience needs to be seen as all these things, and more.

Family Offices can achieve the same efficiencies and valued client experiences as Starbucks by closely examining the critical daily tasks they perform and transforming them into well-documented, systematized processes for consistent, best-in-class service delivery. Adding workflow automation to minimize steps that must be performed by people will help assure that consistency. And providing a multi-channel client experience that allows family members greater convenience and choice in how they engage with the office will also improve efficiencies and satisfaction.