Due to social distancing we are having to find new ways of communicating with each other, with video and audio calls being the popular choice, email, website blogs/vlogs and social media also have their place.
At this time, it is more important than ever to ensure that you get the balance of frequency and tone of communications right with both clients and colleagues. Get this right and you will create trust and loyalty but getting it wrong could mean when this crisis is over you see clients seeking advice elsewhere and staff unsettled and looking for alternative employment.
How are you communicating with your clients?
With the government providing daily briefings by Cabinet members and senior advisers to ensure that the public are being kept up to date with what is happening. Personally, I have never really been one to watch much of the news but at the moment I am tuning into the BBC most days to hear what our Political leaders have to say.
There are many different ways to provide communications, and just because a client hasn’t called you to discuss their investments now, doesn’t mean that they are happy, it could just be that they have other things on their minds. Touching base with them, through a phone call or email reminds them that you are there if needed. I had a friend ask me last week if I could recommend a good advisory firm, as having transferred their pension last year they had heard nothing from their adviser over the last few weeks as they’ve watched the value fall. This should not be seen as a one off, as you know your clients best, are there some that need more assurance and would welcome a further conversation?
Frequency of communications.
Some firms are providing client daily updates on the situation, whilst others weekly, fortnightly or monthly which raises the question how much is too much? We’ve all had times when we hit the unsubscribe as we’re tired of receiving those too frequent emails. But in this modern world, there are many different ways to get the level of communication right. Whilst smaller firms may struggle to post regular updates for clients due to capacity, asking clients to follow you on social media and posting regularly on these platforms, can be an accessible way to provide more frequent updates to those that want them.
What about staff?
During these times its just as important to check in with your staff. Working remotely can be very lonely for people, particularly those who live on their own , so picking up the phone just to ask how they are and chat about the world in general rather than work can be a welcome distraction and shows them that you care about their wellbeing. Encourage staff to have a daily chat (with or without you there) just to break up the 4 walls syndrome that 3 weeks in some may well be experiencing.
Communication is the foundation of any business so ensure you strengthen these foundations by providing the level of communication and engagement that your clients and staff need.