Having to wait on hold for extended periods of time when working with a service provider, such as a turnkey asset management platform and custodian, can have a far-reaching negative impact on your practice. These lingering delays can affect your ability to deliver timely advice, responsiveness to client questions, and the overall efficiency of your practice. The longer the wait time, the more time is taken away from providing quality services to your clients and other important matters, or maybe it’s taking you away from your family or other personal interests.
Here’s what you need to know about the impact of long wait times on your financial advisor practice.
Increased Cost of Doing Business
The longer you’re kept on hold with a service provider, the more it will cost you and your practice in terms of time, money and resources. Stop waiting on hold for answers. Demand of your partners that they make the most of your valuable time. Do a quick calculation:
How much do you make per hour in a typical year?
Multiply that by:
How many hours in a year are you away from your highest and best use because of wait time and service delays and having to follow up over and over and re-explain and prod for answers?
Run the same calculation for any staff you are paying who also sit idle waiting.
Loss of Client Trust
When you’re constantly on hold or aren’t able to provide quick answers to clients, your practice’s reputation suffers as it can convey to clients that you’re too busy to devote the resources needed to address their requests in a timely fashion. This could lead to a loss of client trust and loyalty, which could result in a decrease in new clients and the loss of business from existing clients, which have a serious and long-term impact on your advisory practice.
The day-to-day impact of hanging on hold is often more keenly felt by your employees. From the administrative staff having to manage the extended call times to the advisors being forced to divert time and energy away from solving problems and growing relationships with existing clients, every facet of your practice is affected. Long wait times mean significant staff dissatisfaction as well as increased stress, fatigue and decreased motivation levels. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in job satisfaction and increased turnover rate for your practice.
Lowered Productivity & Increased Risk
The longer you’re kept on hold, the less focused and productive you become with each task. This not only affects the ability to complete urgent tasks on time, but it can also lead to an increase in errors, mistakes, and missed opportunities. In addition, by sacrificing time from client calls and other important matters, you’re essentially increasing your risk of not providing quality advice and services to your clients. This, in turn, leads to a lower client satisfaction rate, which could have a long-term impact on your advisory practice.
The best way to reduce the negative impacts of long wait times on your practice is to introduce proactive measures to address the issue. This may involve switching providers, or having the ability to speak directly with a knowledgeable representative who can take action on the spot. It could also involve negotiating improved wait time estimates and/or a designated call time when possible. Finally, having a reliable backup contact person on hand ensures that your practice is ready to help clients when you’re stuck on hold. But the reality with today’s financial service providers is that many are severely understaffed and no matter the promise or intent, they simply will not be able to deliver the speed, action and personal touch you need and deserve. Your service providers must have a high advisor-facing-staff to advisor ratio to deliver great service.
There are a number of factors that can be negatively impacted by having to wait on hold for extended periods of time. From increased costs and reduced staff satisfaction to decreased productivity and potential for errors and mistakes, the negative effects of long wait times on your practice can be far-reaching. Addressing this issue now is the way to ensure that your practice stays productive and efficient in spite of long wait times. Don’t wait to stop the waiting!
At Freedom Advisors, we provide every advisor with the support they need to optimize the time they spend helping investors. Click here to learn more about our operational support.