Investors value communication from their financial advisor when times are good, but even more so when times are challenging. In fact, a study by the Spectrem Group found that the top four reasons why an investor would leave a financial advisor all had to do with a lack of sufficient communication—over and above portfolio performance.*
So how do you ensure you’re communicating enough with your client, especially when the news is overwhelmingly frightening and the markets are unpredictable? At LPL Financial, our advisors have found a few key strategies and new tools we’ve[PS1] developed have empowered them to easily stay in touch with clients—no matter what’s going on in the world.
Here are the strategies you can use to deepen investor relationships during times of uncertainty, to ultimately promote client retention and growth.
Strategy 1: Keep a Constant Flow of Communication
The key is consistency. If clients hear from you on a regular basis—especially regarding your position on the markets and how that impacts your investment strategy—they’re more likely to have confidence.
A steady stream of emails, blog posts or website content, social media posts, or other communications will let clients know you have everything under control, potentially helping them feel less concerned or reactive about their investments. And the more you take a proactive approach in communicating, the less clients will feel the need to contact you with concerns.
Here are a few ideas you can use to keep up the communications:
- Send out a weekly email newsletter with links to articles you feel are pertinent and your thoughts on the current world and market events
- Post articles or thoughts to your social media channels daily
- Write a blog post bi-weekly that you add to your website and send out in your email newsletter
- Offer podcasts, videos, or conference calls where you share your thoughts with clients
How LPL’s Helping Advisors Communicate
We’re enabling advisors to keep up a steady stream of communications with their clients through a variety of materials and tools.
- Pre-Approved Client Kits – We’re building themed kits filled with pre-approved materials advisors can use to help their clients feel comfortable investing in any environment. The kits include things like webinar decks, talking points, guides, brochures, and promotional materials like emails and social media posts.
- Market-Related Content – The LPL Research team puts out a constant flow of market thought leadership and forecasting that advisors can use in their own channels, including social media, blogs, and email newsletters.
- Social Media Content Library – The library includes content, updated daily, which advisors can set up to automatically post to their social channels.
- Timely Content – LPL Compliance allows advisors to post content in real-time and reviews posts after they are live. This helps advisors connect instantly with clients and prospects without the added time of an upfront review process.
- Marketing on Demand – This website allows advisors to customize materials like brochures and letters and set them up to automatically send to their clients.
Strategy 2: Ensure Clients Have Easy Access to Their Goals & Account Information
Investors need easy and immediate access to their account performance so they don’t have to wonder how =market activity is impacting their portfolio. The more accessible it is, the better. To make this possible, offer your investors access to a client account portal and smart phone app.
But it’s not just account access that’s important. It’s also vital to help clients view their account performance in the right context. Instead of training your clients to evaluate their portfolio’s performance versus an index, instead help them to evaluate it versus their personal goals. If clients can see and understand that they’re still tracking toward their end goal, even in volatile environments, they’ll be less likely to panic and ask you to take them out of the market.
How LPL’s Helping Advisors Keep Clients Informed About Account Performance
We’ve ramped up our focus on the client experience to help advisors keep their clients informed. We have made significant enhancements to our client portal, Account View, including the addition of an investor app.
Advisors can customize the Account View app and send push notifications so clients have account information and performance at their fingertips. Account View also has a Client Goals functionality that allows advisors to create a goals-based investment strategy for clients, whether they’re investing for retirement, a family member’s education, or a major purchase. As a result, when clients log into Account View, they not only see account information, but how it’s performing against their specific set of goals.
Strategy 3: Respond to Clients Quickly
While you can do everything possible to keep clients informed, it’s inevitable some may still have questions or concerns, especially when the markets are topsy-turvy. The best strategy is to anticipate this, and offer clients a number of different ways to get in touch with you, as well as quick response times.
There are of course the usual methods of communication like phone and email, but you may also want to consider others as well, including texting, video calls, or automatic appointment booking—where clients can set up time to connect with you at their convenience. Whatever you choose, just ensure you can respond quickly. Some good service-level standards include email responses within four hours and calls within eight.
How LPL’s Helping Advisors Respond to Client Needs
In recent months, we’ve either built technology or partnered with technology vendors to offer advisors new ways to keep in touch with clients, including:
- Texting: We’ve made it possible for advisors to compliantly text with clients via MyRepChat. [BR4] Because we feel texting is so important to advisor-client relationships these days, we’ve made this offering free to all advisors.
- Appointment Booking: Advisors can now use the ScheduleOnce[BR5] appointment booking service at a reduced rate, so they can give clients the opportunity to initiate meetings based on openings in the advisor’s calendar.
Using these tools on top of others already available to advisors mean they can offer their clients multiple ways to get in touch quickly in any market environment.
Thriving in Your Client Relationships
Staying connected with your clients all the time, but especially in turbulent times, can build strong relationships that will last. In some cases, such communication can also motivate clients to refer you to their friends and family who may not be hearing from their advisors as often. In fact, ongoing client communications can present an opportunity for you to grow, even in today’s environment, and thrive.
We see advisors who find and capitalize on opportunities as “thrivalists” – those who thrive no matter the circumstances. At LPL, we’re enabling advisors to become thrivalists with new and enhanced tools, materials, and technology. To find out how we could help you thrive, reach out to your local recruiter today.
Start the Conversation
Our dedicated team has broad expertise in the financial service industry and is ready to help you find the ideal environment in which to grow
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*Source: The Spectrem Group, The affluent investor: Five key findings and action steps for advisors
Throughout this communication, the terms “financial advisors” and “advisors” include registered representatives and/or investment adviser representatives affiliated with LPL Financial LLC, an SEC registered broker-dealer and investment adviser.
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