By Julian Webb
Let’s begin with some hard facts. There’s no such thing as 100% client retention. No advisor can prevent death, divorce and clients moving way. However, there are aspects of the client experience that advisors can control. Communication and connection with the client is a prime example. Getting communications right can result in higher client retention, greater client satisfaction and more referrals.
Today’s discerning clients are accustomed to seamless and beautiful digital experiences. However, it takes more than a sleek app to keep them involved and invested. When it comes to communications, what do clients want from their financial advisor?
More frequent communications
Standard quarterly performance reports are not enough to create true client satisfaction. Advisors surveyed by the FPA reported an average of 23 client touch points per year (the average for top clients was as high as 33 points of contact per year). Lack of communications or responsiveness has been found to affect the advisor-client relationship enough to make a client leave their current investment management firm. Clients need frequent updates to feel connected.
Questions to ponder: Do you have a formal communications plan? If so, does it have a sufficient number of touch-points to keep your clients engaged and inspire loyalty?
Your clients have come to expect multi-channel communications. They should be able to begin a conversation in one channel and continue it in another with minimal friction and no loss of information. While each generation may have different channel preferences (e.g. in person conversations, printed reports, online or via mobile device), they all deserve a seamless experience.
Question to ponder: Does your technology allow for seamless transition between communication channels? Is the quality of your client experience equally great whether the client is in the office or on the road?
Are you still treating all your clients the same way? Research shows that only 22% of advisors personalize their client communications. Investment managers must be able to tailor communications to include the exact data that clients need to see, and they must be able to do it quickly and easily.
Questions to ponder: Are you able to support client requests for customized reporting? If so, do those requests require help from IT staff?
How you can learn more
Modernizing your client communications requires the right technology. Many product providers have tried to address the surging demand for better client communications, which has resulted in sub-standard software flooding the market.
That explains why the process for selecting the best tool has become time-consuming and complex. How do you know which product features matter most? What is the blueprint for choosing the solution that will fit into your existing workflows? Will the platform be able to keep up with your firm’s future growth plans?
Our white paper Modernizing client communications: Choosing the right technology to meet your clients’ demands addresses this challenge and offers step-by-step guidance for choosing the right technology solution for your firm. Be sure to review the questions on page 3 that will help you assess where your communications platform stands vis-à-vis the industry’s best practices. Selecting the right client communications and reporting solution can save your firm money, create a better user experience for clients and empower your advisors to deliver a higher level of service.