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The Client Journey: Step 2 of 3

Time for the juicy bit!

We want to present you with snippets from our client journey, so you know what to expect when you get in contact with us. 

We’ve broken down our client journey into three articles. This second article on the client journey is a summary from a different perspective; from the other members in the team that you will actually talk to.

Hopefully you feel comfortable with the initial chat we have had and now it’s time to really get to know you. You should be feeling motivated and somewhat inquisitive as to how this process might work out. Even at this stage, we want you to feel a connection with us. 

We're going to run through the next three steps in the process: the initial meeting, onboarding, and the exploration meeting. 

Okay, time to hand over to Demi, an adviser here at Jacksons who has been right in the thick of developing our client journey…

Initial meeting

After you’ve got in touch and had a chat with Sharon or Pete (and if they feel we can add value for you), you’re then connected with one of the advisers here. We then get in touch to arrange a convenient time to arrange a meeting with you. That may be face-to-face in our office, or by way of a Zoom/Teams video call.

Although the premise of the meeting may seem the same, us chatting with you about your hopes and dreams, I find it’s pivotal to build on what we know of you at that point. It's where we get to meet you first hand and hear in your own words what your aspirations are, what hurdles you face, what you have done so far to overcome those and for us to explore how we can help.

Building that personal adviser to client connection from the outset is vital. We play the role of a soundboard, an independent party and sometimes a therapist of sorts. Money is a super-emotive subject - you need to feel comfortable chatting to us openly and honestly to get the most value out of our journey together.

I don’t usually delve into the minutiae during this meeting, however we will explore your situation further. It’s your opportunity to ask us questions, you may have some burning ones you would like guidance on early in the process which we can help with!

As we chat, we explain the next stages in more detail for you - in what I call the big nutshell. A more detailed explanation of the process can be found here.

Following our meeting, I would take time to collate my notes, consider the objectives we are looking to achieve working together, and the costs involved. I will then send you a ‘next steps email’ within five working days of our meeting to summarise our proposal. We don’t then apply pressure. We wait for you to come back to us with a decision. If it’s a yes, then great! We will introduce you to your Client Relationship Manager, who will help with onboarding you as a client and the journey begins. If you don’t feel we are the right fit, or the time doesn’t feel right for you, that’s okay. It’s always a pleasure meeting people from all walks of life, and we always leave the door open for you in future. 

Great summary Dem. Let’s switch to Hayley to talk through this next bit.

The Client Relationship Managers takeover to guide you through the next steps. Over to you H!

Onboarding: what do we mean?

Once you have confirmed you wish to work with us, your Client Relationship Manager (CRM) will send you an invite to our online portal. This is a secure, personal finance portal just for you. You are asked to complete the client information sections as fully as possible to allow us to see, in black and white, your assets, liabilities, investments, pensions and protection plans. You are encouraged to add plan numbers and any information you have e.g. start dates and values of plans. And joint clients - e.g. couples - can be linked so you can share information and add joint assets/liabilities rather than having to duplicate entries. 

We can securely share documents with you via the portal and you can digitally sign letters or forms we send to you. This is safer than using email as you can use two factor authentication to log in and is much more efficient.

The portal also allows you to send secure messages to us and us to you. These are seen by both your adviser and CRM and one of them will come back to you ASAP (we even encourage an emoji or two! 😊).

The portal is very user friendly and if you have experience with other online platforms, it’ll be a breeze. Even our less confident clients have mastered it and now happily communicate through portal messages.

Your CRM will invite you to a short portal meeting via video call to go over the functionality, how best to use it, answer any questions and explain the next steps in the onboarding process. This is where your homework starts. We need your ID documents and for you to sign our Client and Fee Agreements to proceed, all of which can be uploaded or signed via the portal. We will also require letters of authority to your existing providers, to gather as much information as possible on your existing position to inform your adviser's recommendations to you.

You will be sent a risk profile survey to complete, which will help your adviser with the next meeting.

Great summary H!

It's worth the effort

We need you to do a bit of work, but we want it to feel worthwhile. Once you've added the information, all we need to do is amend it every time we catch up. Lots of effort in the beginning, to make it smooth throughout your journey with us.

Exploration meeting: fact find and attitude to risk

The clue to what this meeting is about is in its title.

By this stage, your CRM will have helped you through the onboarding process and you should have completed ‘your profile’ (factfind) on our client portal. We will take the time to review this, consider the notes from our previous meeting and the objectives we have identified, to highlight any gaps in our understanding.

By having a really good look at your input, with our next conversation we are able to explore some areas further in the meeting. It might be that you have no protection plans in place, which we may consider to be a shortfall. We will question how that makes you feel and agree on how we may bridge that gap.

We may have had some policy information back from the providers we sent letters of authority to, which we may wish to discuss with you further.

Next, we fact-check and deep-dive further into parts of the information you have provided to gauge your feelings and understanding which helps shape our advice that follows.

You will have already been invited by your CRM to complete a risk questionnaire. We will review your answers and consider the discussions we have previously had (usually we get a steer for how comfortable someone is with investment risk, but there are some curve-ball clients out there). We discuss this with you, considering how long you may want to invest for, alongside thinking about how some plans have different objectives/timeframes. 

Once we have nailed this, we consider your capacity for loss; as in what impact will market fluctuations have on your current and future standard of living. We ask you to think about whether you have any specific or strong views on how you invest, and whether you are interested in learning more about Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) focused funds.

After this meeting we should have a much rounder view of you, your needs, views and wants.

If we are cashflow modelling for you, we will refine the identified objective-led scenarios to present at our next meeting.

If cashflow modelling isn’t needed for your financial plan, we will have what we need to research and build our recommendations for you, delivered in ‘The Big Picture’ and ‘Report Notes’ documents.

What I would say from these initial stages, and at every stage in working with us, is that you should feel educated in personal finance matters more each time we meet. Whether that’s a deeper understanding of your own views on how you wish to invest, or a better understanding of how your pension can be accessed in future. Education is empowerment, which we feel really strongly about. 

So, as you can see, we want to know loads about you: how you feel, what you care about, your priorities. But don’t be worried - if you don’t feel you have a grasp on these things now, that’s all part of the process: by the end of it, you will have a better understanding of where you are now and a clear path of where you are going. Like Demi said, it’s all about education and empowerment.