In our fast-paced, constantly connected world, a client’s experience with a brand and service team can make or break a company. Poor client service, outdated messaging, and not understanding client expectations will lead to lost revenue and damaged reputations. However, providing a great client experience does not have to be difficult. Here are five recommendations to build unbreakable client relationships.
1). Demonstrate your commitment to the next generation of clients. In a word, be authentic. Younger generations will come into over $30 Trillion in wealth over the next decade. This demographic expects your message to be authentic and is more likely to leave a financial professional when they lose faith and trust in a brand. That is why authenticity is so important – it helps cut through the noise and allows people to see the brand for what it really is. There are a few key things that young people look for when trying to assess the authenticity of a brand.
First, they want to see evidence that the brand is genuine and honest. This could be in the form of customer testimonials, positive media coverage, including your employees’ values and beliefs in your message, and even just a well-designed website that looks professional and trustworthy.
Second, they want to see that the brand is transparent and open. This means being upfront about who you are, what you stand for, and what you are selling. It also means being honest and open to feedback from clients.
Finally, your clients want to see that your financial services brand is trying to make the world a better place. This could be through charitable donations, environmental initiatives, or social responsibility programs. Whatever the case may be, it is important for brands to show that they care about more than just making money.
By being genuine, honest, transparent, and consistent with your brand and messaging you will be able to build trust with your clients and show them that you are a brand worth supporting.
2). How you secure personal info is more important than the actual digital experience. According to a Hero Digital survey of 1,500 investors ranging from millennials to baby boomers, a commitment to the security of personal information is “the most important attribute” that a financial professional can deliver. The baby boomer generation had the highest expectation for the overall security of personal information, as well as the highest level of trust that the financial firms they work with are secure. Conversely, younger generations required more assurance that their information was secure.
There are several ways that financial firms can demonstrate their commitment to securing client information.
First, invest in robust security solutions and document your effort so it is easy for clients to understand what you are doing to protect their data. This may include data encryption policies, two-factor authentication when accessing data networks and systems, annual employee training, and annual security audits.
Another way to show commitment to security is by educating and training employees about best practices for safeguarding information. This might include training on password management, social engineering, and other cybersecurity threats. Formal education and training enable your employees to provide intelligent and honest answers when clients ask about your firm’s security policies.
Finally, financial firms can also show their commitment to security by being transparent. This means sharing information about their security measures with clients and keeping them updated on any changes. It is also critically important to be open and honest in the event of a breach at your firm or a third-party that may have access to your client’s personal information so that clients can make informed decisions about their own security.
By taking these steps, financial firms can demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding client information. In doing so, they can help to build trust and confidence in their ability to protect data.
3). Ensure your client service team feels valued and appreciated. While the client service team is on the front lines, and they are often the face of your brand, they are also often the unsung heroes of a company. Your services team members are the ones who keep the clients happy and engaged, building relationships, and function as a direct link to the company's biggest fans: Clients. Without these teams, companies would struggle to maintain client relationships and keep them happy. In fact, studies show that 80% of customers leave companies because of bad customer service. So, it is no surprise that good client service teams are a company's biggest asset. But what makes an effective team? And how can you make sure your team feels appreciated, happy, and ready to provide the best possible service to your clients?
Encourage their feedback. Your client service team is constantly interacting with your brand champions and lifeline to your business: your clients. The client service team will appreciate being involved in decision-making and their inclusion demonstrates their opinion matters. Invite client service team members to brainstorming sessions, give them a seat at the table during strategy meetings, and let them weigh in on new initiatives. By including the client service team in how you shape your business and policies, you are letting them know their input is valuable.
Another way is through recognition. And the recognition can and should go beyond company-wide emails or announcements at team meetings. Publicly acknowledge how client service team members are helping to improve the business and the brand. Recognition can be shared through your social media channels, press releases, and announcements on your website. Not only does this let your client service team members know that their efforts are appreciated by you, but it also speaks to your brand’s authenticity.
4). Embrace digital communication, specifically SMS messaging and chatbots. It is no secret that millennials and Gen Xers are digital natives. And while the baby boomer generation is more likely to say their digital interaction with a financial professional is meeting their expectations, the heirs to their wealth are looking at how you operate your business. These future clients grew up with technology at their fingertips and they are used to having instant gratification when it comes to getting the information they need. Text messaging and chatbots are two great ways to communicate with clients, and they should be a part of your financial professional's communication arsenal. Here is why:
SMS Messaging is quick, efficient, and private - perfect for busy professionals on the go. And unlike email’s low open rates, close to 99% of text messages are viewed. Look no further than your own phone. When was the last time you did not open your SMS app when your phone went “ding!”
Chatbots can provide immediate answers to simple questions, making it easy for clients to get information without having to wait. Having said that, it is important for a live person(s) to monitor the messages that come in through a chatbot.
Both methods are cost-effective and can make each interaction feel like a one-on-one conversation.
5). Omnichannel customer experiences are not the future of customer service. Omnichannel customer experience is right now. Establishing omnichannel customer experiences means you can reach your customers however they choose, whether it is accessing account information on mobile devices, learning about your business on social media, understanding your views and opinions in long-form blogs, or communicating with you via websites, SMS chat, phone, and email. And providing an omnichannel customer experience is not simply a trendy strategy – it is essential for your business. In fact, according to a recent study by Boston Consulting Group, 70% of consumers say that having a consistent experience across all channels is important to them.
By providing a seamless client experience across many channels, you enable your client to choose the medium that works best for them, keep them happy, establish and build trust, and make it easy for your clients to do business with you.
To create unbreakable relationships with your clients, it is important that you make your brand authentic, empower your client service teams, and adopt omnichannel customer experiences. If you want to learn more about how we can help you implement these strategies, contact us today. We would be happy to share our expertise and help you build lasting relationships with your clients.