Client satisfaction with advisors remained even last year, according to a survey from Advisor Impact.

On an overall ranking of various categories, the satisfaction rating has been 4.7, out of a possible 5, each year since 2004. And last year, instead of plunging as might be expected, it came in at 4.6.

The percentage that was “very satisfied” fell slightly to 73%, down from 79% a year earlier.

The portion of clients who are deemed “at risk,” those who appear to be ready to leave their advisor, saw an uptick, though. They represent 7.2% of all clients in the survey, up from 5% a year earlier. That number had been hovering between 4.7% and 5.3% over the previous five years.

Julie Littlechild, president of Advisor Impact, said that advisors should take these findings as a positive sign that it’s possible to build a solid, trusting relationship even during the worst of times. She said it bodes well particularly for referrals.

Things were so tense last year that even unsatisfied clients were scared to move, Littlechild said, but now that things have eased up and those unsatisfied investors are starting to look around, they’ll hear rave reviews from the majority of satisfied investors.

Now here’s the caveat, and it’s a big one: The methodology wasn’t all that strict. Littlechild acknowledged that it was self-selecting group. Only advisors who wanted to gather feedback sent out these surveys. There were 10,000 respondents.

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