In these times, some things aren’t within our control, but some important things are. Decisions made by municipalities and individuals to practice social distancing in the face of the COVID-19 situation will flatten the curve in their communities and countries.
We’ve already seen extraordinary measures from our banking customers that have pledged to waive fees and keep liquidity available to businesses and consumers.
Now, as offices temporarily close and financial advisors must work from home (just like us), it’s imperative that they remain easily reachable by clients — especially given market turmoil — in addition to proactively reaching out to reassure clients that their policies and portfolios are being closely monitored.
It’s been heartening to see the proactive measures that advisors are taking to quell client fears with a human touch during these turbulent times. We’re seeing unprecedented levels of activity over our platform, and clients are overwhelmingly grateful in their responses as retirement plans, dream vacations, and children’s college plans are all at stake.
It is always important for advisors to build stronger relationships with clients, but as they face uncharted waters ahead, here are five ways advisors can continue to strengthen the advisor-client relationship and deliver critically important communications:
1. Remind them you’re open for business.
Advisors need to make it abundantly clear that they are still working just as hard as ever, even if they can’t meet clients face-to-face. Texting, mobile calls, video calls — they are all key.
It is also essential to update local advisor and branch web pages with hours of operation, mobile phone numbers and office closure information.
2. Leverage all communication channels when call demand is high.
In these uncertain times, clients are frantically calling. The desire to know about their portfolios is far greater than advisors’ call capacity. We’re now seeing advisors (versus corporate) sending proactive bulk-texts and emails to successfully deflect and balance out inbound call volume.
Firms like TechGirl Financial have taken steps to create a client resource page, with a direct video message from advisor Kim Gaxiola, CFP, customized content on Instagram, a podcast and educational webinars.
Each communication method has not only been invaluable in maintaining a strong connection with clients, prospects and professional partners, but engagement levels are at new heights, resulting from messages that are confident, empathetic and pragmatic on what is happening and what’s to come. The key is to be proactive.
3. Provide a steady and compliant stream of email and social media content.
It’s important to provide a steady drip of updates to keep clients continuously informed. In addition, it will be important for advisors to adhere to the texting and social content policies their firms put forth.