Regardless of the situation or circumstance, there’s one strategy that will never let you down—focus on what you can control.

Regarding the pandemic, we can control whether we practice social distancing, wear a mask in public, stay home except for essential travel, or wash our hands frequently. We can’t control the course of the pandemic, when it will end, when a vaccine will be developed or when our schools will open again.

Regarding the markets, we can control diversifying our portfolios, when we rebalance, finding opportunities for tax-loss harvesting or executing other nimble investment strategies. We can’t control how much the market goes up or down from here.

And regarding our clients, we can’t control their behavior or their reaction to what’s happening in the markets, but we can control the experience we create for them during this crisis so coming out of it they will regard us as their advisor for life. One way to do that is underscore your value by doubling down on your client experience to support your clients as they’re feeling most vulnerable.

Well before the coronavirus outbreak, I was having many conversations with advisors and industry leaders—both in person at conferences and on my Between Now and Success podcast about how to create a compelling client experience that becomes a true competitive advantage.

Here’s what several top advisors and a leading researcher and author told me about providing an exceptional client experience, and how you can adapt those ideas to help your clients when they need you the most.

1. Meet your clients where—and when—they need you. At a crisis moment like this, an advisor’s regular businesses hours shouldn’t apply.

Your retired clients, who worked so hard to schedule their time without work, just had those schedules torn up. Your working clients are juggling WFH, kids’ e-learning and a very uncertain college landscape for their teenagers. Many of your market-skeptical millennial clients are out of work or soon will be.

And we’re all managing the worry over health care and meeting basic needs that comes with living through this pandemic.

Customer service expert Joseph Michelli has studied what separates superstar firms like Starbucks, Zappos, Ritz-Carlton and Mercedes-Benz from the merely great. He told me that one common denominator of world-class customer service is meeting customers on their terms, where and when they need you the most.

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