Nine Ways to Rebuild Trust With Clients

New Hearts & Wallets study reveals nine trust-building practices advisors can use

When it comes to retirement planning, advisors need to make sure that they are implementing trust-building techniques that can help them stand out from the pack and offer individualized services.

A new study released by Hearts & Wallets identifies nine trust-building practices that financial services companies should undertake to gain consumer trust. The study found that investors today are seeking advisors who go beyond mere cookie-cutter solutions. "Trust is low right now because there is a disconnect in the way the industry is talking about retirement and the way the consumer is thinking about it," said Laura Varas of Mast Hill Consulting, one of the report authors, in a statement. "The good news is that there are ways to rebuild that trust."

Hearts & Wallets is a partnership between Chris Brown of Sway Research and Varas, two leading researchers in retirement market trends.

Of the nine ways in which financial services providers can build trust, first on the list is a provider's ability to understand and share a client's needs and values. Providers also need, among other attributes, to have a strong understanding of the advice value proposition and pricing and then go beyond traditional age-wealth segmentation to convey this nuanced behavioral understanding through messaging and product enhancements, the study found.

Focusing on consumers in different stages of life and wealth accumulation, namely "peak accumulators" (young Baby Boomers and Generation Xers) "mid-career accumulators" (all investors in their late 20s, 30s, and 40s), and "late careers" (those who will continue to work) is very important.

"It's important that the industry understands the emotional states and motivators of the various segments," Varas said in a statement. "Client communications and product need to be tailored to these often overlooked but important customer segments."

The Q1 Explore Report, and other work by the two researchers, can be viewed at heartsandwallets.com.

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