By Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many financial professionals to go remote, but establishing credibility and trust with your clients can be tough when you can’t meet face-to-face.
Here are four key steps advisors can take to improve virtually, strengthen client relationships, and boost efficiency in today’s digital environment:
1. Select The Appropriate CRM Software to Engage With Clients
Communicating more effectively with clients and prospects virtually is significantly timely during a pandemic. If client information and data in your client relationship management (CRM) platform currently is partially useful, disorganized, less intuitive or doesn’t integrate well with other programs, now is the perfect time to re-evaluate and upgrade. Using the right CRM software for your firm size and for future growth has three main benefits:
- Tracking all interactions with clients, referrals, prospects, and Centers of Influences (COIs). This includes phone calls, video meetings, emails, and more.
- Maintain steady contact with clients—an especially important benefit during these times of crisis and financial uncertainty.
- Capturing valuable client data, such as their biggest pain points to create detailed messages that address their specific needs and concerns (which, in turn, boosts credibility and authenticity).
Two popular CRM options for financial advisors with small to midsize teams are Redtail and Wealthbox. Consider researching some options for new productivity tools today, and you’ll be amazed at how much more connected you feel to your clients.
2. Let Clients Know You’re Here For Them
2020 has brought on a host of challenges for even the most financially secure clients. They may be experiencing job loss, the death of a loved one, or worried from stock market volatility.
Communicating with clients often is key to keeping their worries at bay. This could be as simple as:
- Sending short video updates on recent policy or stock market changes
- Conducting consistent client reviews on a semi-annually or if appropriate, quarterly basis
- Reminding your clients that you’re never too busy to meet with them
Your communications don’t have to be anything huge, but being consistent will go a long way in building trust (even if you can’t meet with them face-to-face).
3. Enhance “Face-to-Face” Video Meetings
Video meetings don’t fully replace face-to-face interactions, but they are the next best thing.
That’s why it’s worth noting how to improve video meetings to consistently enhance the client experience. Reflect upon your video meeting format these past 8 months, and develop new approaches that engage clients with deeper discussions. Identifying new concerns, changing or modifying financial goals, troubleshooting a problem, or helping them understand complex information can all be done through the convenience of a video meeting. Furthermore, video dialogues will enable you to see their facial expressions, gauge their responsiveness, share screens, and keep you connected going into the new year.
Many advisors use Google Meets, GoToMeeting or Zoom for virtual meetings. We recommend seeing which one is approved by your compliance officer.
4. Use Technology Designed to Improve Team Communications
Working remotely can be a tough adjustment—especially if your team used to be housed in the same office. You may find that it’s harder to communicate with each other, it takes longer to do routine tasks, and you’re struggling to stay connected. That’s completely normal.
There are several technologies you can use to boost your team’s productivity. For example, you could use:
- Slack for internal communications
- Microsoft Teams for group discussions
- Trello or Asana for task management
- Loom for creating quick video messages for updates
You don’t have to implement all of these tools, but think about your team’s biggest pain points. Then see if there’s software or productivity tools that can help optimize your workflow.
How We Can Help You Improve Your Virtual Firm
Financial services is a trust-based industry. If you need help improving a collaborative virtual working environment that promotes trust and authenticity with your clients and prospects, we’re here to help. Take the first step and reach out to Advisor Business Solutions by emailing [email protected] or calling 562-439-4804 to get started.
Suzanne Patrick-Lawrence is president and CEO of Advisor Business Solutions. She is a business planning and communications specialist with over 20 years of experience developing business and marketing strategies for financial services, global corporations, government agencies, nonprofits, and small businesses. She is passionate about working with financial advisor practices seeking guidance, support, and structure to position their firms for a successful transition. To learn more about Suzanne, connect with her on LinkedIn.