By David Finley
Susan Gutfreund returned home from vacation for a celebration of Piper-Heidsieck’s luxury champagne, a type of wine only ever presented to Marie-Antoinette in 1785. Susan will never be able to forget this extraordinary experience and proclaimed: “What made it all the more remarkable was because so few of my friends have heard of it, let alone tried it.”
Susan Gutfreund lives a life where she is exposed to many wonderful things. For her and other ultra-rich consumers, they are now looking for experiences that are uniquely personal and unknown to them. Welcome to the era of the experience economy.
Wealth managers need to realize they are also working in the luxury space. To keep up with competition, wealth advisors must also provide the kind of unforgettable experiences the ultra-rich have come to expect. And if you don’t provide them with a luxury, bespoke experience, they’ll quickly find someone who will with a touch of their smartphone.
To help, I have curated five articles below that discuss the transition to the experience economy, or from selling ideas and products to selling feelings. My hope is by reading these articles you will acquire some tips to transition your entire brand to be centered around delivering unforgettable, luxury client experiences.
With personal wealth reaching a record of 201.9 trillion in 2017, and millionaires and billionaires holding almost half of that, competition for HNW clients is more aggressive than ever. Lifestyle managers can no longer offer ‘just’ luxury helicopter rides. Rather, the wealthy want exclusive experiences that no one else has done before and all to be instantly available online.
As advisors are competing with luxury brands in the fight for of the ultra-rich, they must offer the same kind of bespoke experience HNW clients have come to expect.
To cater to the needs of the modern client, we must offer digital experiences. However, many companies have tried to create technology-backed client experiences and have failed. The ones that have succeeded, are the companies that truly understand the feelings and needs that their target audience desires.
Creating an extraordinary client experience goes beyond traditional customer service; rather, it’s about putting your clients at the heart of your entire business model.
Nothing is more impactful to a client than living a life where they feel joyful and fulfilled. Your client wants you to help them cultivate this feeling of richness in all aspects of their lives. When you create personal and memorable experiences, you will draw in more clients because you are giving them the feeling they want to have in their lives. Not only will they be impressed, you’ll grow trusting relationships that will keep them coming back for years to come.
Starbucks, Apple and Soulcycle have created their entire brands around delivering a unique, exclusive experience for their customers. In wealth management, clients are looking for the same kind of experience they have come to know from these all-star customer experience companies.
Of course, your clients expect investment performance, but what makes them stick with you and recommend you to their peers is a novel and enduring customer experience.
As the cost of luxury goods continues to rise, and the number of one percenters decrease, those that are offering bespoke experiences must up their unique offerings if they want to be seen by the world’s richest. Wealth managers wanting to work with the ultra-rich must make their client experience more VIP than anyone else to keep up with the demands of market. The rich want access to the impossible and it is your responsibility to deliver it – or they’ll find someone who will.