Having set service models based on specific segments makes it easier to automate processes and deliver a repeatable experience to each client.

In this article, you’ll find:

  • Benefits of client segmentation
  • Different ways to segment your clients
  • Tips/tricks for segmenting
  • How to get started

One of the crucial keys to not only growing your practice, but also best serving your clients in the way they prefer, is segmentation. In a segmentation exercise, you group together common clients in your book of business and assign service levels to each group. Once segmented, the next step is to create service models for your groups. By doing so, both you and your clients get these benefits:

  • You’ll have the right service model for each client’s needs: some clients need a lot of services like in-depth planning, whereas others might be best served by a straightforward goals-based plan. By having the right model for each, clients get what they need.
  • You’ll dedicate more time to the clients who need it most: It’s those clients who have more complex situations or offer more opportunities who need the most time. By segmenting, you’ll create time to spend with these types of clients.
  • You’ll deliver a more consistent experience to all clients: having set service models based on specific segments makes it easier to automate processes and deliver a repeatable experience to each client.

While most advisors agree that segmentation is vital, many actually haven’t fully completed a segmentation exercise. Or, if they have, they haven’t formalized their segmentation and applied it to their entire practice by delivering on the service models. By actively taking the steps to implement your client segmentation, your clients can enjoy a service level tailored specifically for them—and you likely get time back. Keep reading to find out how to do it.

Step 1: Segment your clients

Your first step is to determine how you want to categorize your client segments. Many advisors tend to focus on client asset level, but there are other possible factors. You can decide which to use based on your individual practice. Once you make a decision on the specific characteristics you want to use for segmentation, go through your client list and assign each client to a ranking. Common segment labels include: A, B, and C; AAA, AA, and A; or Platinum, Gold, and Silver. When you’re done, you’ll have successfully created your segments.

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Step 2: Create service models for each segment

After you know what your segments look like, you can design just the right service model for each one. The service model would include:

  • Overall service experience – Steps you’ll take with the clients from A to Z, including onboarding and ongoing servicing, and how much time you’ll spend with them (what each client meeting looks like)
  • Service menu – Some segments may receive a full financial plan, as well as additional services like estate, tax, or charitable planning, whereas others may receive a more straightforward goals-based plan
  • Investment approach – If you’ll use customized portfolios, put them in your own models, or utilize third-party models, as well as what you’ll charge
  • Communication touchpoints – How often you’ll communicate with them, including phone calls, emails, letters, and client meetings
  • Perks – Anything extra they’ll get, such as invitations to special events, free concierge services, or complimentary consultations to family members

Step 3: Implement segmentation

To make the biggest impact on your practice and your clients, implement your client segmentation in every aspect of your processes. Here are some ways to do this:

Document a step-by-step process for each service model.

This includes everything from onboarding steps, to meeting flows, to communications. You can make these steps as brief or detailed as necessary—whatever works best for you and your team.

Turn those processes into automated workflows.

Use a CRM (customer relationship management) system to execute the processes you just documented. Even though workflows can take some time to set up, once they’re in place, they happen automatically. This means that when someone on your team finishes a task and records it in the CRM system, it triggers the next task in the process.

As a result, your clients within the same service model all get the same experience, every time, and without a lot of intervention by you. Since the process is automated, steps won’t be missed or forgotten. Plus, you save a ton of time, because you don’t have to retrain or remind others of steps, or set processes in motion manually.

If you don’t have the inclination to use a CRM in this way, you can still create step-by-step processes and train your teams so everyone’s marching in lockstep.

Introduce service models to your clients.

While discussing service models is most relevant for potential clients, even clients who have been with you for a long time can benefit. You can help current clients understand all the great things you do for them (some they might not even be aware of!), which can really reinforce your value. Doing so also helps set expectations, so clients aren’t surprised by anything.

Deliver on your service models.

Once you have everything in place, adhere to the service models you’ve created, and deliver them to your clients. It’s easy to stray, make exceptions, or altogether abandon them after a while. But by not sticking with the segmentation design you created, you could miss out on the possibilities for scale—and growth.

LPL’s segmentation and profitability tool can help

Segmenting your clients does take time, but it’s a worthwhile activity that can lead to additional time for you and an improved client experience. And at LPL, advisors have access to a resource that creates client segments in less than two minutes. Plus, this tool helps advisors understand revenue sources, which makes it easier to build a segmentation plan.

Increasing Profitability and Your Client Service Level

By using these tactics, you can drive more profitability today and enhance your client service, which is great for your investors and can deepen client relationships — to drive even more profitability in the future.

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Exp 08/2025