President's Letter - How to Avoid Losing Clients Post-Pandemic
In 2008 and 2009, many investors were angry with their advisor. However, few investors chose to change advisors until 2010. Based upon Spectrem’s historical research, most investors have long-term relationships with their advisors and only 7-8 percent change advisors within a given year. In 2010-2012, investors changed advisors at rates closer to 10-12 percent depending upon their net worth. While those percentages may seem small, it depends on who the client is and how much of an advisor's overall business depends upon that client.
In Spectrem’s recent research, we have found that most client-advisor relationships are long-term. Thirty percent have been with their advisor more than 15 years. In our report Corona Crash: What Advisors Should be Saying to Investors Now*, investors were asked how their advisor has done during the coronavirus crash. Thirty-seven percent indicated that they were more impressed with their advisor due to his/her reaction to the coronavirus crisis. At the same time, however, 10 percent indicated that they would be served better by another primary financial advisor, with that percentage increasing to 20 percent for the wealthier households.
So how do you ensure that you are one of the “more impressed with” advisors as opposed to the “I would be better served by another” advisor?
1. Communicate frequently. Of those individuals who were more impressed with their advisor, more than 60 percent spoke to their advisor four or more times since the onset of the pandemic.
2. Conduct frequent satisfaction studies. Investors today are accustomed to getting satisfaction studies from almost every organization. Wealth managers and financial providers need to provide satisfaction studies to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their customers. Check out our Spectrem Satisfaction Gauge to ensure your customers are satisfied and what else they might be expecting. It also allows you to benchmark your results against others.
3. Go back to basics to supplement the new virtual reality. There is nothing more frustrating to customers than to be unable to communicate with a service provider when you need to or want to. While most of us have become accustomed to the new virtual reality, you may still have a number of customers that prefer the old-fashioned telephone. In our report Corona Crash report identified above, almost three-quarters had spoken to their advisor via telephone. While many investors do use email and social media, most investors still prefer the telephone.
As the country returns to work - however that may look - after this volatile time, it will be critical to measure the attitudes of your customers. Let us help you in whatever manner that may entail.