Improving interactions with your clients can lead to greater client satisfaction, higher retention rates and a larger share of wallet.
“When you connect with your clients frequently, you get a chance to learn more about their changing needs and whether you are meeting their expectations,” says Raymond Yates, financial advisor and senior partner with Save Right Financial Inc. in Brampton, Ont.
Frequent contact helps you ensure your clients are satisfied and it gives you more opportunities to provide information about additional products and services they could be looking for elsewhere, Yates adds.
Here are five ways to improve interactions with your clients.
1. Initiate more contact
Most advisors have regularly scheduled meetings with their clients, with the frequency of contact based on asset levels. But an annual meeting, for example, might not be sufficient, Yates says.
“A client could experience a lot of change in a year,” Yates says. “He or she could be dissatisfied with your service for any number of reasons. And a year is a long time to wait.”
Yates suggests you or your assistant call clients regularly just to find out how they are doing and whether you can be of any assistance. Or you can invite them for lunch, coffee or an event to stay in touch.
“The more face time you have with clients,” Yates says, “the happier they will be.”
2. Integrate client-communication initiatives
You probably can’t meet all your clients in person as frequently as you would like. But you can use all your resources efficiently to improve client contact.
In addition to face time, you can schedule various communication tools such as newsletters and emails in a way that shows that you are in contact with your clients on a regular basis.
Get your team members to contact clients, Yates says. “Provide your staff with the appropriate training to interact with clients, as you might not have the time to maintain every relationship.”
He suggests you set up a contact schedule that ensures your entire client base is contacted regularly, and not only when events such as a market correction occur. Adds Yates: “Being proactive rather than reactive will enhance your relationship with clients.”
3. Establish a formal feedback loop
Clients become more engaged when you ask for their feedback.
“Feedback gives clients a chance to touch base with you,” Yates says, “and empowers them to share their views — good or bad.”
And while you are receiving feedback from your clients, you are increasing your interaction with them.
“Ask them what they think about different products or services,” Yates says, “or any plans you might have or for ideas to use in your newsletter.
4. Learn more about your clients
The more you interact with clients, the more you will learn about their needs and wants. Through conversations or meetings you may discover that a specific product or service would be beneficial for them.
“The key is to make every effort to meet their expectations,” Yates says, “and let them know what you are doing.”
5. Hold client-appreciation events
Client-appreciation events help you achieve two primary objectives: show that you value your clients’ business and provide you with the opportunity for more direct interaction.
“Events do not necessarily have to be formal,” Yates says. Casual events can provide a more relaxed atmosphere for interaction. And if you draw up a schedule for events, say semi-annually, you can create an expectation in clients’ minds and they will look forward to attending. This strategy ensure that you stay “top of mind,” Yates says.