Create a Magical Client Experience

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How do you create magic in the experience you offer your clients? Do you surprise and delight? Are you building loyalty or simply delivering your service? I just returned from Disneyland where I witnessed mastery of The Client Experience.

We were in line at the Indiana Jones ride. Right before we boarded our vehicle, my 6-year-old daughter dropped the oversized lollipop she was enjoying. It shattered, and she started crying. No big surprise. The surprise came when the ride attendant said, “Don’t worry, we’ll get you a new one.” My husband and I looked at each other and said, “Yeah, right, how are they going to pull that off?!”

Here’s the delight:  when we exited the ride, the Disney ‘cast member’ delivered a gift certificate for “one lollipop replacement” for my girl to trade in at the candy shop for a brand new one. Disney understands surprise and delight like no other brand. They have taken the time to map out exactly where the problems arise and provide not only a “fix” but an experience so delightful it leaves the whole family amazed.

Disney also demonstrates expertise in another time-tested loyalty strategy—segmentation. By integrating tiers of service into their client experience, customers feel special, privileged and desiring the high status perks:

  • If you pay up to stay at the Disneyland hotel adjacent to the park, you receive a “magic” hour in Disneyland before it opens to the general public.
  • When you commit to a ride early in the day with their Fast Pass system, you can take the No Waiting Line for the most popular rides.
  • Annual Pass holders receive discounts at every retail stop in the park (and there are many).

Disney knows how to provide special experiences to the most loyalty of customers. This is the essence of powerful segmentation. Reward the clients who are the ambassadors of your brand and they will continue to spread the word about your firm.

How can you incorporate a bit of Disney magic into your client experience?

You don’t need storybook princesses or decorative popcorn buckets to woo your clients. But you can find your own version of a Fast Pass or replacement candy.

  1. What if you set up an event that delivered a high value service that your clients never got around to doing for themselves? At my firm, we hired a photographer and invited clients to come in for the family photo they never seemed to have the time to schedule.
  1. Could you have a team member look up unclaimed property on behalf of your clients to see if they have dollars locked up with the state waiting for them? Everyone likes to recover hidden treasure.
  1. How do you express your thanks? Try a handwritten thank you note. No one gets personal mail anymore, let alone something written by hand. Break through the clutter and jot a “how are you” note, remember an occasion in their life, or simply wish them a happy birthday.


These are all simple, yet often overlooked, gestures as we direct our attention to finding new clients or deal with running a business. Take a few moments to create the magic in your client’s experience with you. You’ll see a sparkle in their eye as shimmery as Cinderella’s tiara.

Kristin Harad 2014Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers
San Francisco, CA


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