We all appreciate the importance of maintaining consistent touchpoints with clients and potential clients to help our businesses continue to grow. It can also be frustrating to think that your exemplary service isn’t getting the attention it deserves. Nearly 80% of advisers in the 2017 AdviceTech research report stated that they want to spend and invest more on customer engagement tools – more than any other category of fintech on the market.
But what is the true value of a masterfully designed comms strategy? In this blog post we take a look at the return on investment – of both time and money – from delivering on your major touch points, and some tips on how to cover all your bases and not miss key windows of opportunity.
What constitutes a touchpoint
A touchpoint is not merely a direct interaction with a potential client – it constitutes a whole range of brand experiences linking your business to the public. It can be everything from window displays, to your website, to online reviews and a simple word-of-mouth recommendation. Indeed, part of the key to optimising your touchpoints is identifying where exactly they exist.
Each business could have a completely different environment and sequence of touchpoints at their disposal. You may have noticed the question ‘how did you hear about us’ is ubiquitous across all application forms and customer satisfaction surveys. These are the kinds of questions you want to be asking of your clients yourself; if you work out that most of your clients have come to you by word-of-mouth, it might be worth thanking or rewarding your referees to shore up your most vital touchpoint.
Inversely, if there is a touchpoint that you have expended far more time and energy on that isn’t reporting similar success you might need to reassess whether this is the strategy for you or whether these resources could be diverted to more fruitful outcomes.
Alternatively, pose yourself the question: what is undermining this strategy’s potential? You might have a handsome website brimming with meaningful information and stimulating commentary, but is it easy to navigate?
Maybe it’s the perfect website, but there’s a whole stable of financial planners clogging up your marketing space. In which case, SEO and AdWords can put your site back on the map.
Diversifying your touch points
Now that almost eight in 10 Australians are on social media (up a whopping 10 points on last year according to the Sensis), the likes of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter continue to grow in influence, and represent an ever increasingly effective – yet easy, and not labour-intensive – way of opening up the channels with your clients.
The sustained growth of social media’s popularity is owed in large part to galvanised interest in visual content – Snapchat, Instagram and the revised visual focus of Twitter. The good news is that, while the number of people who follow businesses on social media has decreased, there has been a considerable spike in how positively people respond to “engaging and relevant content”.
With this in mind it’s worth diversifying your marketing toolbelt with some well-curated infographic posts. Simple informational and inspirational images (sufficiently referable to financial advice, of course) are a softer touchpoint that can help to break up the denser materials clients might receive via email.
But don’t get too trigger happy with maintaining your touchpoints – the 2017 Sensis also revealed that consumers are put off by excessive content.
One of the biggest reservations people have about devoting time and money to communications strategies and increasing touchpoint spread is an apparent lack of tangible benefit, or at least a difficulty in identifying the extent of said benefit.
Fortunately, the management consultancy and marketing spheres have made it their mission to assess just how crucial a strong digital presence is to generating leads and raising revenue. The single most impressive stat emanating from McKinsey’s 2015 research report ‘Brand Success in an era of Digital Darwinism’ was that companies in the higher echelon of digital capabilities were able to convert sales at a rate 2.5 times greater than companies at the lower level. Relatedly, for every small increase in the index of digitization there was a disproportionately large increase in word-of-mouth benefit – presumably as a result of the momentum generated by positive reception over social media.
This data was collected predominantly from larger companies overseas, but it is equally applicable to any business in any stage of development. As with all relationships, the client relationship takes time and is nurtured with consistency and communication. This goes both ways too – remember to respond to feedback and address any criticism from clients so you are always improving the practice experience.