End of financial year is a little different for 2019-20 and if ever there was ever a time to look at your usual processes and question whether YOU should be doing things a little differently – this is it!
For most financial professionals, EOFY represents a good chance to touch base with your clients, providing broad ranging, and relevant updates where appropriate and encouraging them to think ahead a little and review whether their plans, goals and processes are taking them to where they want to be.
This year things are a little different and it’s hard to apply a ‘one size fits all’ or even a ‘one size fits most’ approach to your communications the way you may have in the past.
While very few people have been untouched by the crisis, there is a vast difference in the way people’s lives have been impacted.
Your approach to communications is going to be more effective if you take into account this wide range of experience. Have some of your clients been stood down to rely on government assistance for the first time ever in their lives? Has their business temporarily shut its’ doors, or conversely are they busier than ever? Even for those individuals who are lucky enough to still have jobs, for many, their dreams of a close and financially stable retirement are being eroded.
Emotions are high, which means that clients are going to be a little less understanding than usual if they are provided with material that misses the mark. For example, sending a superannuation update about the benefits of adding a little extra into super to someone who is struggling to make ends meet may not be well received at this time.
Conversely sending your clients material that is very appropriate to their immediate needs and concerns is going to be very much appreciated.
Obviously you are having individual conversations to provide advice and support where necessary that is tailored to peoples’ specific situations but how best to apply a more targeted approach to your communications and still manage to be as efficient as possible? Bearing in mind that providing targeted communications means sending more (a higher volume of) communications – so an efficient content creation and distribution process is imperative.
Firstly, think about implementing some categories in your client database so that you can target your communications to different groups. You know your clients better than anyone so trust your judgement to work out the best way to categorise. Categorising may mean looking at your client’s life stages or thinking about financial planning topics that you know will be of interest to a certain group (eg investing, super, government support). Feel free to also come up with categories based on what you know about your clients and conversations you or your team have been having. Don’t try to get too granular with your categories if you are doing this for the first time – keep it simple.
Next think about your content – locating high calibre content that is relevant to these different categories of clients (that’s where we at Advant Group come in!). We spend a lot of time thinking about who we are writing for and our material covers a very wide range of topics, geared to varied client demographics. We’d recommend that you use the categories in the Advant Plus platform to assist you to locate relevant material.
Finally, let’s look at the best ways to distribute your client communications in a targeted way. If you are not an Advent Plus user, make sure you have templates set up so you don’t have to laboriously create every document from scratch. Of course if you are using Advant Plus, the platform makes it very quick and easy to create multiple documents.
Consider using email platforms like Mailchimp that allow you to upload entire lists and tag different segments of users within a list to send to. Advant Plus is fully integrated with Mailchimp to make this process seamless.
If you are posting to your social channels, think about who you are communicating to and try to ensure you are not always talking your client base en-masse, but providing material that is tailored to different demographics or groups.
This EOFY is a critical juncture in the year and it represents a great opportunity to reach out to your clients, strengthening relationships and improving client engagement. Taking an approach that takes into account how different clients are being impacted by the COVID-19 crisis will enable you to maximise the effectiveness of the communications you are sending out or posting.
Of course, as always, we are here for you if you need a hand.