In the drive to find new opportunities, clients can sometimes be taken for granted. But taking the time and effort to create and maintain a great customer relationship can reap rewards. Developing a rapport with all of your clients – the old and the new – establishes you as a trusted adviser with their best intentions at heart, gaining positive publicity, attracting new business, and maximising your profits.
Here are five simple ways to build better client relationships.
1. Embrace technology to create a ‘hybrid approach’
As technology and online security continues to advance, more business is done digitally. In today’s world, even older investors who have traditionally preferred a face-to-face approach to financial advice are changing their ways. However, when it comes to advice on big lifestyle decisions, people of all ages still prefer the personal touch.
A hybrid approach blends technology with traditional face-to-face methods to offer your clients the best of both worlds and a seamless client experience. Since the method of communication depends entirely on the client, you should be prepared to do both.
People now want the ability to self-serve, so provide them with access to smartphone and tablet-friendly platforms that allow them to manage their money whenever and wherever they want. But make sure there are clear pathways that allow them to call on your expert and experienced support whenever they need it.
2. Market yourself differently
According to Campaign Monitor’s 2022 email benchmark report, just over one-in-four people open emails from financial services, and only three out of 100 click through to the call to action.
New tech and remote working means we now communicate digitally in a variety of ways. An integrated marketing campaign takes advantage of these multiple platforms to ensure you get your message across to both existing and potential clients, while building brand recognition and loyalty.
If you already have a LinkedIn presence, look into Facebook and WhatsApp for business, and even Instagram as new ways to market yourself.
However, no one wants to read unending sales pitches. Instead, think about who you want to engage. What do they enjoy spending their money on? What problems do they potentially face?
If you feel confident enough (and have the time), write a piece yourself, based on your own or business experience, or simply link off to engaging content hosted elsewhere. And ensure you regularly provide new content that grabs the attention and keeps them coming back for more.
And yes, email still has its place. Some clients will favour traditional lines of communication, so for maximum cut-through, make sure your email subject line grabs the attention and gives them good reason to open it to find out more.
Social media and other forms of digital communication also help your marketing take on a life of its own. People readily share great content and good experiences, making your advocates into your own Marketing team – helping you reach new people way beyond your existing database.
3. Be genuinely interested in your clients’ aspirations
Fulva Giust, Financial Planner of 30 years at The Giust Practice says: “If you’re truly interested in people, you will remain relevant to them.
I often hear from clients that they don’t feel like they are important enough for their advisers, or they feel they don’t have enough money to interest their adviser.”
It can be all too easy to tick a box and move on. But taking the time to really talk to your client and find out their goals, aspirations and challenges can have lasting client-adviser relationship benefits. What life events may happen in the future – a house move, a wedding, a divorce, a child going to university? Where would they like to be in 10 years?
Cash flow modelling can ensure you stay on top of all life events, bring to life the financial effect of certain decisions, and showcase the value of advice to your clients.
Doing so sets much more than clear expectations for the here and now. It establishes you as someone who has their best interests at heart, who cares about their welfare – and their wealth – for the long term, rather than a short-term cash cow.
4. Take a holistic approach
In all areas of business, it can be easy to take the tried and trusted route that brings rewards with the minimum of effort. But this ‘tunnel vision’ can mean we overlook other opportunities.
A ‘holistic approach’ takes an all-round approach to advising your clients. Rather than concentrating on one aspect of their finances, look at their entire portfolio – including their cash deposits. Cash can often be forgotten in favour of other forms of investments and languish in a bank account offering little interest.
Providing your clients with access to a cash deposit platform allows you full sight of your clients’ cash deposits and enables you to advise them on how best to organise their entire wealth.
A cash deposit platform also provides access to hundreds of accounts – including market-leading and exclusive rates – so you can complement your clients’ other investments, while enjoying full FSCS protection for eligible accounts. In short, a holistic approach gives your clients the confidence and peace of mind of knowing their finances – right across the board – are in safe hands and working equally hard for them.
5. Stay connected
In our frequently time-poor industry, it can be easy to wait for clients to come to you for advice. But your clients are busy people too. Being proactive builds a relationship based on trust and efficiency. Consider adopting a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to analyse client behaviour and stay connected.
Having complete visibility of your clients’ wealth, including their cash deposits, allows you to see when accounts are due to mature, or alerts you to the latest interest rates or financial products. This enables you to start conversations and cements your role as someone who wants to help clients achieve both their short and long-term goals.
And even if everything is quiet, never underestimate the power of a quick call to say hello. Even a simple check to ask if they need anything goes a long way to building powerful relationships.
To find out how Flagstone can help you build better relationships with your existing clients and attract new business, speak to us today.