We all know that it’s much cheaper to retain an existing client than acquire a new one. Loyal clients typically lead to repeat or add-on business, as well as referrals, making them the most valuable. However, many businesses find it an expensive challenge to offer quality and personalized customer service. With the proliferation of digital and mobile technologies, clients are expecting more and more from businesses, making client loyalty an even larger task.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are turning customer service on its head. Clients are speaking up on social networks, and their peers are spreading the word: for evidence of negative customer experiences that went viral, one need not look further than the infamous examples at United Airlines, Domino’s Pizza and Comcast.
In short, the social Web gives clients a voice. Companies have been forced to offer customer service on social media because customers are speaking to and about them on the networks. While social media can be a support channel for corporations and firms, it can also be the key for business professionals such as financial advisors to better engage and retain valuable clients.
Here are three proven practices that help financial advisors generate client loyalty through social media.
Step 1: Be Present and Connect With Your Network
The first step is to be present where your clients are. In the financial services world, many people assume that clients are going to engage with the brand’s corporate Twitter handle or Facebook page. Working with over 55,000 financial advisors and insurance agents at Hearsay Social, however, we’ve observed that clients are actually more likely to engage directly with the relationship managers who they know and trust. Clients have always relied upon the expertise of financial representatives, so it only makes sense that they’d want their trusted advisor to be present online and available to respond to their needs.
Having a LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and/or Twitter handle makes financial advisors easily accessible to their clients. At its core, a social profile enables advisors to provide accurate and helpful information about themselves, what they do, and how to reach them. Social pages also serve as effective tools for advisors to demonstrate expertise, drive consistent mindshare, and consequently build trust. Successful social advisors stay top of mind with their clients and prospects by regularly sharing helpful tips related to the products they sell, relevant news, and personal updates that build emotional connection.
Step 2: Listen to Clients and Personalize Advice
The second, and arguably most important, step to building client loyalty through social networks is to listen.