How Process Empathy Can Dramatically Transform Your Advisory Firm

Matt Morris on the Pod, Achieving Organic Growth for Your Firm in 2024 (Recap), and HubSpot's New Purchase

This week, I’m back home in Charleston. We’re hosting my college roommate Sam and his family for the week before the final stretch of work-related travel kicks in for 2023.

With Halloween come and gone and the house bustling with friends, it feels like the holiday season has already arrived.

2024 will be here before we know it, and you will find more of our content centered around things that we believe will help your firm in 2024.

Here is this week’s 7-part Connected Advisor.

  1. How Process Empathy Is Impacting Your Advisory Firm

  2. Advisor-Driven Estate Planning Solutions - Matt Morris 🎧

  3. Milemarker Happy Hour - Omaha 👾

  4. Achieving Organic Growth for Your Firm in 2024 (Recap)

  5. HubSpot to Acquire Clearbit

  6. An Exclusive Interview With Charlie Munger

  7. Milemarker on the Road

Let’s get started.

How Process Empathy Is Impacting Your Advisory Firm

I’ve been a T-Mobile user for over ten years. 

For the majority of that time, my family and I have participated in what was formerly known as the iPhone Forever program. It’s gone through many iterations, but it allows me to swap out my phone whenever I wish. 

This program alone has kept me loyal to T-Mobile and eventually led me to roll up our six immediate family members and some of our extended family onto one plan. 

Recently, I was due to upgrade two of the phones on our plan. 

I hopped on to the T-Mobile site, picked out the new phones and began the process. 

A couple of days later, the new phones arrived at our house. I followed the standard Apple data transfer and was up and rolling within minutes. 

That’s when the process came to a screeching halt. 

In previous upgrades, I had been sent a shipping box to return my phone. I’d transfer my data, wipe the old phone, throw it in the box, and drop it in the mail.


This year, they asked me to take my phone to the store to drop it off. 

I think I’m in good company when I say I do not love going into a physical store for help with my phone. These are buildings I have spent countless hours of my life in, waiting with fading patience for a person to give me less than helpful advice.

It’s typically been a dismal experience. Adding this step to the return process was not an unexpected joy, but if you have to do it, you must do it.  

I jumped in my car and drove to the store, only to find it closed, possibly permanently, according to the neighborhood Facebook account, without any explanation. 

This simple matter and normal return process, once simple, was now increasing my stress and becoming a growing inconvenience. 

The next closest store is 40 minutes away, not something I can sneak in on a normal errand run. I put the phones in my bag and decided to attempt a return on one of the many trips I had coming up. 

I carried these phones to Miami, Philadelphia, and Atlanta, looking for an open store and a break in my schedule. In Philly, I found both, only to discover that the wait was so long I would miss my next meeting.

Back in Charleston, 30 days after ordering the new phones, I finally made it in to complete the process. 

Why did I make you suffer through reading this grumpy old man rant? 

Because client experiences matter.

  • T-Mobile online - 4 out of 5 stars. 

  • T-Mobile in-person retail - 1 out of 5 stars. 

At the beginning and middle of the process, I was incredibly satisfied. It was smooth sailing. Once the in-person interactions became difficult, it dramatically lowered my experience with their brand.

It made me think about my own brand and about all the brands I work alongside.

Where are we making our client’s context switch to an area that is less than stellar in our businesses?

Are you asking clients to do things based more on your convenience than theirs? 

Does your technology choice tell a story of what’s easiest for you or what’s best for your clients? 

If you’re like many of our clients at Milemarker, you spend your time serving advisors and helping them deliver top-tier experiences to their clients. 

What do you think about convenience for advisors? How would they rate their experience with you? 

Next week, I’ll push further into process empathy, and we’ll unpack how to connect it to our work.

In the meantime, I hope your next phone upgrade goes much smoother.


On the Pod

Advisor-Driven Estate Planning Solutions with Matt Morris

Episode 018: In this week’s Connected Podcast episode, Kyle talks with Matt Morris, CEO of EncorEstate Plans.

They discuss the importance of estate planning and some of the most common challenges people face in getting it done. Matt highlights the advisor-driven approach.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  1. Estate planning is a critical but often overlooked aspect of financial planning, with many people not having a plan.

  2. Technology has made estate planning more accessible, but many people still prefer to work with a trusted advisor who can guide them through the process.

  3. Financial advisors have a unique opportunity to integrate estate planning into their services and provide a comprehensive client experience.

"The future of financial advice isn't going to be asset management alone. As AI is helping us accomplish where that is going, just that one piece is just not going to be enough. And to be relevant in the future, it's going to have to be comprehensive."

The episode is available now on your favorite podcast platform as well as a video version on YouTube. While there, please don’t forget to Download, Like, and Subscribe.

Achieving Organic Growth for Your Firm in 2024 (Recap)

Thank you to those of you who attended our workshop on Wednesday, where John Wernz, Executive in Residence at Great Hill Partners, and I answered some of your top questions.

If you weren’t able to join us last week, you’ll find the recording below:

From marketing strategies to best practices for business development to optimizing your tech stack, we covered a lot of ground about how advisors should think about organic growth moving into 2024.

If you’d like to share any thoughts around anything we talked about in the workshop, please feel free to reply to this email.

HubSpot to Aquire Clearbit - What This Means For You and Me

Big news for us HubSpot users this week as they announced that they purchased B2B data provider Clearbit.

This creates a new level of insight for your sales and marketing efforts - particularly in the area of personalization.

Read more details of the acquisition here:

An Exclusive Interview With Charlie Munger

In 99 years, Charlie Munger has yet to do a dedicated longform interview - until now.

His insights are as relevant now as ever. Add this to your list of things to listen to.

Milemarker on the Road

Catch our team on the road at the following events or cities:

  1. November 6 - Houston, TX

  2. November 9-10 - Omaha, NE

  3. November 16 - Baltimore, MD

  4. December 7 - Dallas, TX

If you’re in any of those cities and want to arrange a meeting time, reply to this email, and we’ll get something on the calendar.


Thanks for joining me for another edition of Connected. Have a great weekend!

Written by Jud Mackrill

Edited by Amy Simpson and Kim Mackrill