Mr Howell said that while businesses and the business environment evolves and changes in time, offering the best possible service to your client “will never go out of fashion”.
He added: “Today’s business landscape is one of increasing competition and client servicing is more important than ever. News travels fast and bad service can hamper your chances of keeping your client base or securing new clients.”
He said the hallmarks of a good business were a good reputation, strong client retention, loyalty and putting the needs of clients first.
Mr Howell said Guardian was urging its advisers to focus on developing the relationship with clients rather than concentrating heavily on the transaction and monetary part of the process.
He added: “Advisers must show their clients that they really care and their business plan, processes and communications should all be centred on understanding and anticipating a client’s needs. A lack of sincerity will make the client feel less secure and question your strategy. Ethics, and being able to demonstrate that you stand by these, is an attractive proposition to clients.”
Sue Whitbread, spokesman for the Institute of Financial Planning, said: “He’s probably right. In far too many cases advisers concentrate on simply providing detailed technical advice. However successful planners will go much further.
“They’ll focus on helping their clients to identify their important needs and goals first, then help them to develop the appropriate plans to achieve those goals. By building strong relationships based on trust and putting the clients’ needs first, advisers will deliver a service that those clients value highly and are happy to pay the ongoing fees in order to retain it.”