5 tips to communicate effectively with clients

By Ravi Samalad |  24-06-20 | 
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About the Author
Ravi Samalad is Assistant Manager - Editoral for Morningstar.in.

The Coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc across markets. With growth slowing down, many of your clients would have seen job losses, pay cuts or a loss in business. Naturally, your clients would be worried about the implications of this market volatility on their portfolios. They would be looking for reassurance from you. During these times, it is important for advisers to be in touch with clients and communicate proactively.

A whitepaper published by Commonwealth Financial Network highlights five effective strategies to communicate with your clients in this crisis.

Keep it simple

In times of stress, people process less information. Whether you communicate by phone, social media, email, or video, be sure to:

  • Have one—and only one—clear message in mind. Trying to make too many points can cause confusion.
  • Use a chart or data element to strengthen your message—but only if it’s easy to understand. The goal is to clarify, not befuddle.

Be proactive

Don’t wait for a return to business as usual. During tumultuous times, a predictable communications approach can help clients feel a greater sense of control.

  • Set a standard, communicate it, and then stick to it. For example, tell your clients to expect an update from you every Friday morning, and they’ll be on the watch for it.
  • Establish a rhythm so you can get ahead of client anxieties before they snowball.

Get personal

You aren’t immune to market turbulence or national crises, so don’t be afraid to get real in your messaging when the going gets tough.

  • Skip the blast messages. Personal emails or calls and handwritten notes can mean a lot to clients.
  • Help clients focus on the things they can control, not the things they can’t.
  • Share personal experiences that your clients can relate to. It helps them understand you’re not immune to what’s happening.

Show empathy

Demonstrating to clients that you know what it feels like to walk in their shoes will put them at ease.

  • Listen. Your clients will feel heard, and you’ll understand where they’re coming from.
  • Validate how they’re feeling, and be authentic doing it. It’s easier to problem solve if you’re in sync with each other.

Be a leader

Of course, clients want reassurance that you’re doing the right things for their portfolios. But they’re also looking to you for leadership to feel like they’re on solid ground.

  • Find silver linings to reframe client concerns.
  • Identify actionable ideas. For example, the time may be right to talk about things like portfolio rebalancing and importance of asset allocation.

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