By Debbie Dry
Now more than ever, clients expect high quality communication away from their meetings, but what are the key tech tools advisers must embrace to ensure success today?
It’s no industry secret that good communication is essential for the health of your advisory business.
In what has been a tough year for many clients, who will be anxious about the economic outlook in the UK, this rings even more true today.
Listening to your clients’ anxieties and ensuring that meetings address these efficiently, in a personable manner, has always been the best way forward during times of instability… this won’t be changing anytime soon.
But post pandemic, your communication strategy must go further than simple face-to-face or remote meetings and financial reviews.
Your clients are receiving increasingly sophisticated communication from almost every retailer and supplier they interact with, and they will be expecting the same when it comes to their financial adviser.
This means more than a newsletter once a month. Advisers must embrace communication technology that can ensure an informative, engaging experience outside of meetings. Those leaning into this are enjoying strengthened client relationships and higher levels of trust and loyalty.
But what does this communication technology actually look like? What are the tools you need to be embracing and how do they add value to the client experience and your firm?
Let’s find out…
Your website CMS (Content Management System)
You might already have a suite of templates for emails, newsletters and blogs, but you will need to consider the workflow for content production, even for a very small business, given that there is a regulatory requirement for compliance sign-off.
A CMS, or content management system, is a tool that allows you to easily create, manage, and update your website content.
A CMS will allow you to write, create and manage impactful blogs that can address specific concerns amongst your clientele, or outline any thoughts around topics that your clients may appreciate.
A CMS should allow user roles to be added into the process; this prevents content from going ‘live’ without the approval of specified individuals. This may sound like extra bureaucracy, but sending documents to multiple people for review, comment and sign-off is an incredibly inefficient way to manage an editing process.
Away from direct communication, using a CMS should improve the usability of your site and account for mobile users, decreasing friction and making any visit to your site a more fulfilling experience for your client.
Social media scheduling tools
We shouldn’t have to detail the pros of communicating with your clients on social media. Even the least technologically savvy members of your client list are most likely still using Facebook to get news or updates from their financial adviser. Ensuring consistency is key for client engagement on social media, but with so many different social media platforms and a busy schedule, this can be a challenging feat.
That's where social media scheduling tools come in.
Social media scheduling tools allow you to schedule your social media posts in advance, so you can plan and execute your social media strategy without the need to be constantly checking and updating your accounts. This can save you a lot of time and effort, and allow you to focus on other important aspects of your practice, whether that be onboarding new clients or ensuring compliance.
With a social media scheduling tool, you can plan and schedule your social media posts in advance, ensuring that you are posting regularly and consistently. This can help you build a strong following on social media, boosting authority by keeping your clients and prospects informed about your thoughts on market news or updates around your firm.
You may believe your communication is astute, and that your content is interesting, engaging and effective at addressing the concerns of your clients, but how do you really know?
The truth is, there is no way of telling what your clients appreciate without the use of analytics tools that can measure your content performance. You should never use a simple piece of client feedback alone as a proxy.
Using a CMS which has in-built tracking and dashboarding, or an external tool like Google Analytics, will allow you to track the blog topics that your clients engage with, the amount of time they stay on the site and whether or not they continue on your site after they’ve finished with the page.
Advisers should also be led by the data when it comes to their newsletters, utilising mail software that can accurately track email performance (including open rate, unsubscribe rate and click through rate). Like blogs, learning what your clients do and do not engage with will allow you to pivot accordingly, and fill your clients’ inboxes with the content they value, increasing client satisfaction.
Some CRM packages offer in-built mailing functions and the necessary tools, but if not, software like Mailchimp will do a good job of tracking efficacy.
Getting better at communication invariably means using smarter technology to manage the process of creating and distributing content for your client. In an industry shaped by market news, policy change and geopolitics, it’s impossible to ensure valuable communication without technology that can manage the process for you.
Embracing new forms of technology in this area will increase the quality, quantity and relevance of content that ends up in front of your clients, adding real value to your communication strategy in 2023.