How Not to Get Fired as a Financial Advisor – Improving Customer Relations
Client retention is key for a successful career in the financial advice field. The last thing any financial advisor wants is to lose clients. According to a report in FA Mag, Bain & Company, increasing your client retention by just 5% will increase your profiles by 25%. Perfecting your customer relations isn’t exactly easy, though. E*TRADE Advisor Services reported that 20% of clients leave their advisor in the first year and 25% leave in the second year. So if you want to hold onto your clients, you need to put some extra work in during their first year with you.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your clients right where they belong—happily doing business with you!
Tip #1: Use AI to your advantage
In recent years, AI technology has become commonplace in most businesses, particularly those in the financial sector. In fact, according to an EIU study, 86% of Financial Services executives intend to increase their reliance on AI by 2025. The same study showed that AI initiatives have a huge impact on customer satisfaction.
In other words, if you start using AI to speed up your processes, your clients will be happy. AI can help you to get through mounds of data quickly and with fewer errors. This means that you’ll be able to provide your clients with timely, personalized, and accurate financial guidance.
Tip #2: Get to know your clients properly
Want to make a positive, lasting impression on your clients? Start focusing on relationship building. The better you get to know your clients on a personal level, the more likely they will be able to trust you and invest in you as a long-term advisor.
Make sure your clients actually enjoy meeting with you by spending a few minutes chatting. Creating this friendly, intimate atmosphere will immediately set you above your competitors. Plus, it will leave your clients feeling like they got more out of each meeting than just financial advice.
Tip #3: Be honest about what your clients can expect
While it may be tempting to draw in clients by overexaggerating their potential financial growth, make honesty one of your key policies. Selling your clients big dreams may result in a lot of new clients, but most of these clients will look elsewhere for advice when they realize that you cannot meet the lofty expectations you sold them.
Be honest when assessing your clients’ financial portfolios. Explain to new clients what they can expect given their savings and their spending habits. Show them a clear, realistic financial plan. This will help you gain trust that lasts for years to come, earning you far more in repeat business than if you keep gaining and losing clients year on year.
Tip #4: Check in often
Another great method of building trust in a relationship is to maintain a frequent, open line of communication with your clients. Check in with an email or a phone call every month or two to reassure your clients that they’re a priority, and remember birthdays and any special occasions you can leverage to communicate with them. It’s also vital that you make a habit of responding to your clients in a timely manner. Try to answer emails and return calls within a few days.
By sending a friendly check-in email, you’ll remind your clients why they chose you. You may even encourage them to schedule a new meeting to discuss new options. This means it’s a great way to keep business flowing, while also keeping your clients feeling happy and taken care of.
Communicating so much can perhaps feel a little overwhelming, but the ROI far outweighs the perceived hassle. Fortunately, we at The Birthday Company can make “staying in touch” hassle-free for you. Simply load your customer list into our system and we will take care of birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and adding a one-time mailing is a matter of clicks. We have you covered with tip #4!
Tip #5: Add personalization to your client’s experience
A good customer relationship is based on trust, and a lot of that trust comes from delivering a personalized experience. Try to avoid following standardized formulas. Instead, really listen to your clients’ needs and plans. Then, develop a customized plan that really suits them as individuals.
While this approach may take a little longer, it will pay off in the long run. According to Econsultancy, 80% of companies see their profits rise after implementing personalization. Plus, Accenture reported that 33% of clients will end customer relations when they feel their experience isn’t personal.
Customer relations aren’t always easy in the financial sector. In fact, most advisors find that a large portion of their clients jump ship after a year or two. Even though it’s normal and even unavoidable to lose some clients from time to time, putting your focus on client retention can have a massive impact on your profits.
Building a relationship with clients as a financial advisor is the best way to improve your client retention rates. Focus on building strong, personal, honest, and friendly relationships with your clients and everything else should fall into place.