In Broker Training 101 you learn that this is a Relationship business. The reality for many advisors is the day to day running of their practice often acts as a diversion from this most important point of focus. As you succeed, continue to grow, and become involved with more clients, there never seems to be enough hours in the day.
Then one day it happens – an ACAT form hits your desk or, if you have truly brave clients, a phone call explaining how you shouldn’t take it personally but they are moving their account to another firm. You ask yourself, “Why and how this could happen?”
We’ve all heard it. “Frequency of client communication trumps investment performance when it comes to client satisfaction.”
Ironstone’s research on Practice Management shows a majority of advisors candidly admitting that infrequent client communication is a common pitfall. And when clients were asked what their primary reason for leaving an advisor was, their answer was lack of contact and/or communication.
So why is there such a disconnect, and more importantly, what can be done about it?
A number of items come to mind which might serve to preclude this painful event: such as more efficient time management, delegation of administrative responsibility, or even simply blocking time for reach outs to clients on a regular and consistent basis.
We have had a number of advisors ask, “What is the right amount and frequency of contact with clients?” “What media should be used?” You know your clients best, but here are some key points to consider:
- Segment your clients into A, B, and C clients to ensure that you’re delivering top-notch service to your best clients.
- Manage your client’s expectations – but also manage YOUR OWN and be sure to ask them how frequently they would like to hear from you.
- Schedule client meetings a month out and confirm a week ahead so your calendar is full and your clients are prepared.
- Stay in touch with investors throughout the year using social media: including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Even newsletters still work!
- What is the best way to communicate? Email, Text, or Snail mail? They’ll tell you what their delivery preference is. Just be sure to deliver.
If you provide your clients with superb client service through a combination of regular meetings, events, and social media touches, you’ll stand out from the crowd of other financial professionals looking to just manage their money.
In this way you’ll avoid the most hurtful thing an advisor can experience, which is losing that client you thought you’d never lose.
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