Relationship success, so they say, is all about communication.
Of course, when people say that, they’re generally talking more about the relationship between a husband and wife, and less about the relationship between a financial adviser and their client. However, the message still stands – in order to build successful relationships with your clients, you need to communicate.
And while what you communicate to your clients should be very different to what you communicate to your significant other, there are some key lessons you can apply to both.
Regular communication matters
A study by Business Health found that financial advice practices that contact their clients between 5 and 10 times a year can see a 174% increase in profits. Practices that contacted their clients more than 10 times a year could increase their profits by 287%.
So what does this mean for you?
It means that there’s a direct correlation between client communication and profitability – but only if that communication is regular. Ultimately, only touching base with your clients once or twice a year isn’t likely to help your clients feel valued, or help build a rewarding relationship.
It goes both ways
As your mother always said – sometimes it’s better to listen than to talk.
The rise of digital media has seen client communications change from a one-way conversation to a two-way one – giving you a unique opportunity to create a meaningful dialogue with clients, which is great for strengthening your relationships.
Social media is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s a great way to touch base with a number of current and prospective clients at once. On the other hand, it’s incredibly easy for clients to initiate conversations that are either with you or about you. That may seem daunting, but the evidence shows that the pay-off is real – according to Kissmetrics, posts that spark dialogue get 100% more comments than those that don’t.
One message, many ways
When you touch base with your loved ones, you do it in a myriad of different ways. Rather than rely on just one communication channel, you utilise many – whether it be text, email, instant message or something else entirely.
When it comes to touching base with your clients, utilising different channels is equally important.
The 2013 AFA White Paper on client communications found a strong relationship between client satisfaction and the number of communication channels used by a practice – in fact, practices who used eight or more communication channels achieved the highest rates of client satisfaction. By using multiple channels, you’re more likely to engage more of your clients, more often – making it easier for you to build strong relationships.
If you’re yet to launch your client communications program for 2015, now’s the time to start. Kick things off by sending a Winter newsletter to your clients. Send it via email. Post a link to it on your social media pages. Upload it to your website. Get your message out there, and start a conversation both you and your clients will benefit from.