Who could’ve predicted 2020?! The past year will have lasting impacts on how we conduct business. One of the key lessons from last year, has been the importance of strong client relationships, highlighting the need for effective client communication.

Client communication is quite often something that falls down on the ToDo list, but last year showed how important it truly is. One thing we heard a number of times from clients throughout the year was how informing their clients en masse about legislative changes, Government initiatives and the potential impact on their clients financial circumstances freed them up to focus on those important one on one conversations.

Granted 2020 was a year like no other, and hopefully we wont experience something like this again for quite some time. However, there will always be changes to legislation that impact your clients’ finances, there will be market movements that worry them. So having processes setup to manage your en masse communications means you can continue to see and speak to clients individually. Effective client communications also work to build your reputation as an expert who has their best interests at heart and positions you for referrals.

So what are some of the trends for 2021 as we look towards a fresh start and set up our goals for the New Year?

Hyper-personalisation

Personalisation has been a major focus of businesses for the last five years, and with good reason.

One study found that 80% of customers are more likely to purchase products and services, from brands that offer personalized experiences.

Financial advisers, accountants and brokers know their clients intimately. You know your clients hopes, goals, their financial situation and dreams for the future. You’re one step ahead of many industries but are you making use of all the valuable data you collect about your clients?

Are you turning this data into tags, categories or automated triggers to improve your communication and deepen your relationships?

Ensure you are collecting and meaningfully recording your learnings from clients. It’s great that you know them inside and out, but this information needs to be recorded elsewhere so the team can leverage the information.

Personalisation goes beyond marketing and needs to be considered every time clients interact with your practice. Businesses have been increasingly trying to capitalize on personalization to create more meaningful experiences for clients. For example, something as simple as asking a client for their communication preferences can make a big difference. As you will then know how they want to be contacted and you can avoid frustrating them by choosing a different method.

Hyper-personalisation is more than including your clients’ name on a newsletter, it’s providing them with content relevant to their circumstances, at a time and in a way that is convenient to them. It’s making them feel that each experience they have with your business is one that is tailored to their specific needs.

This focus is expected to continue into 2021, but with an even greater focus on connecting with clients in the digital spaces they frequent.

Predictive Analytics and Data Science

Nothing is unimportant when it comes to customer data. Everything has the power to inform how we create goals for the business.

Data science is booming, and this will continue into 2021. With the rise of clean data gathering tools that are supported by multichannel platforms, we are able to gain even more from our data every year.

Here’s a quick look at some of the data types that you may already be collecting in your businesses, that can assist you to better target clients and predict behaviour:

  • Transactional client data – ie services they utilize

  • Client behaviour on the website – ie you may have software to track clients and future clients online behaviour before you have conversations with them.

  • Segmentation – ie can you find patterns in your clients based on shared experiences or situations such as age, location, marital status, education and so on, of your clients.

  • The lifetime value of clients.

  • Client preferences.
Once you have enough client data, collecting it in a preferably automated way, you’ll need to take the time to analyse it so you predict behaviours.

This field of artificial intelligence and machine learning is advancing at a rapid rate right now. So, what does this mean for the client experience and your client communication? Setting up some triggers or meaningfully segmenting clients will mean you have;

  • Real-time feedback – If the customer interacts positively with a new services offering or perhaps an article on your website, this will be recorded in their client notes and inform your next interaction with them.

  • Predict customs needs – This can be reminders about meetings, renewals or even suggestions around milestones, providing education and suggest an appointment. For example as a client approaches the age of retirement, you may have notes about their preferences or even just simply their age which could trigger a campaign providing them with information to start thinking about as they approach retirement age.

  • Prevent clients from leaving – You can identify which clients are at risk of leaving based on a range of factors so you can take action. For example clients who become less engaged with emails and start reducing their services.

Leveraging the power of Video

Another trend moving into the new year will be the increasing amount of video content.

Are you using video content to connect with clients? If you’re not by now, you’re in the minority.

Videos are a great way of engaging with clients, building your brand, and also explaining complex concepts. The growth over the last few years has been supported by the increasing number platforms that distribute and host videos. All platforms, in some degree, now cater for either live video content or pre-produced material.

So if you’re not already, why use video?

  • Video content is now one of the most widely consumed form of digital media.

  • Many consumers prefer viewing and receiving video content as a medium. This has grown due the number of platforms supporting video. It’s also a very engaging way of interacting with a brand.

  • Video marketing has become so effective that some companies have reported an 8x improvement on click-through rates with a personalized video compared to standard email campaigns.
Videos don’t have to be lengthy in order to be effective. An introductory video may need to be longer, but for video marketing to be successful, short and punchy works great.

If you’re not using video, what are some simple ways to implement a video in 2021?

  • If you’re not comfortable in front of a camera you can leverage existing videos. These may be chief investors, economists or even white labelled animated videos to explain various financial concepts.

  • An onboarding / introductory video is a great way to introduce yourself and explain the process of your first meeting.

  • You could produce client testimonials, short videos of clients sharing their experience.

  • Introduce your newsletter or monthly update. I know many struggle to find content, so why not maximise the content you will be distributing?

Social media

And finally social media. Social Media is definitely not new for businesses but there is no doubt, it has become an integral medium for communicating with clients. Brands that are effectively using these platforms are reaping the benefits.

Not only can social media drive traffic to a brands website, but consumers also see it as an effective channel for customer service. A growing number of existing and potential clients will now use social media to engage with brands regarding posted content, concerns, and service-related queries.

Social media is a cost effective and targeting way of reaching potential clients in terms of advertising your business and getting your businesses message out there.

While many businesses are aware of the importance and value of social media, many neglect to strategically align their social media with their client communication strategy.

Your social media should not be a discrete effort, it should be viewed as an extension of your existing client communications, so an extension of your website, your newsletters and seminars.

This is great news for people who struggle with what they should post. Look at your existing communication pieces, the key imagery or messages on your website and use these on social.

If your business has yet to take advantage of enhancing client communication and developing customer experience strategies for social platforms, you’ll be left behind.

Were here to help

Advant Plus provides you with the tools to assist you in maintaining regular communication with clients, with regular monthly content, graphic posts and economic update videos, but we also have a team of marketing specialists that are here to help elevate your client communications.

We can help answer any questions you may have about the platform, assist you to streamline your existing marketing processes, take the plunge into social or even act as a sounding board for custom content ideas.

Book a time today with us today