If clients are going to put you in charge of their money, trust is paramount. But establishing this trust is difficult when potential clients are faced with a sea of financial firm choices. To help, we’ve rounded up some common issues and suggested some solutions to address these obstacles to help you both earn and retain financial clients.
Problem 1: Clients Aren’t Sure Which Financial Firms are Trustworthy
According to a Northwestern Mutual study, people who use a financial advisor are nearly twice as likely to feel financially secure than those who don’t. But with so many companies out there offering to help people with their money, how can you stand out as the one they can trust?
Be transparent. A J.D. Power & Associates investor survey found that communication is important to investors: those who were contacted 12 times or more in a year gave the highest ratings. Trust comes from clients understanding that you will do right by them, but they learn that by seeing you do the right thing. Communicate openly and honestly with all your clients. Include your clients in decision making, explain all your actions, and answer their questions.
Once clients trust you, they’ll happily share your name with others. When potential clients come in, treat them the same way you treat your clients: explain everything to them, walk them through your processes, and listen to their concerns.
Clients are likely to write reviews about your business. Download our Essential Guide to Online Reviews for tips on managing and responding to reviews.
Problem 2: Clients Don’t Understand the Contracts
Reading a financial services contract can be as daunting as reading an entire book in Latin. (Need proof? A Pew Charitable Trust study found the median length of bank disclosures for key checking accounts was 111 pages!) How can clients trust you when they can’t understand your paperwork?
Make the small print readable. If possible, rewrite your contracts in plain English, or use disclosure boxes so everyone can understand your terms. If not, sit down with your clients to explain the contract in detail, including what all those amendments, footnotes, and henceforths mean. For some guidance, check out Pew Charitable Trust’s sample disclosure box, which provides consumers with clear, accessible information about their checking account: including key fees, terms, and conditions. Your clients will love you for it.
Problem 3: It’s Difficult to Reach Young Clients
According to The New York Times, millennials aren’t the easiest to reach. For example, they don’t often respond to phone calls or voicemail messages. So how do you communicate with them and reach them to discuss important decisions?
Consider texting. According to Open Market, up to 80% of companies in the financial services industry are either currently using or plan to use global SMS texting with customers and employees. You can send urgent or timely notifications like IT alerts about system status or network outages as well as customer surveys and updates. Connectivity can help you automate your text campaigns and make it easier for clients to receive important information right away.
Problem 4: Not All Customers Trust Online Financial Transactions
The rise of the Internet has also seen the rise of online financial fraud, including identity theft, making many clients wary of online financial transactions.
To make online transactions more secure, implement two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication—where clients are texted a security code to input each time they login to verify their identity—makes online banking more secure. A few other ways you can ensure online safety include a safe login screen (with a password retrieval system) and PCI compliance.
Even if you encourage clients to use your financial services online, don’t forget about the importance of face-to-face interaction. Make it easy for clients to reach you on the phone, and be available for in-office appointments. Some clients will resist online financial transactions, so ensure you’re available to meet with them in person.
Remember to be open, honest, and accessible with clients. When they understand that you have their best interests in mind, they’ll continue to use your services and recommend you to their friends and family. For more info on building a solid relationship with your customers, check out our simple tips on retaining clients.
Image credit: Maksym Poriechkin / Shutterstock
Katie Shaheen is Connectivity’s Central Region Sales Manager.