Typically, trust is established as part of the “courting” process, when your clients are getting to know you and you are getting to know them. Once the relationship has been established, and the investment policy has been implemented, the key to client retention is keeping that trust. However, doing this is easier said than done.
In Salesforce’s 2017 Wealth Management report, 51% of investors admitted to being “dissatisfied” with their advisor’s ability to meet their needs. Deloitte’s 2017 Digital Disruption report was able to surface some of the reasons: for some it’s a lack of trust – a belief that advisors are putting their own interests ahead of their client, others felt that their advisor was not offering the right options tailored to their unique context. For millennial investors their relationship with their chosen wealth manager is no longer as enduring it would have been for their parents.
So how best can wealth and asset management firms work to keep the trust they’ve initially built?
Creating and maintaining trust
First and foremost, clients want to be treated as people, not just as portfolios. This means actually listening to client needs rather than trying to foist your firm structured products upon them. Centering the conversation on client needs – and listening before speaking – provides a perfect way for clients to share with the advisor what is of most concern to them: their goals, feelings about risk, their family, and charitable interests. All these topics are emotionally based, and a client’s willingness to share this information is crucial in building trust and deepening the relationship.
Another important aspect of trust is delivering on your promises. At the start of the client relationship, expectations are set regarding the services, strategies, and performance that the client should anticipate from you. Whilst you may not be able to guarantee a return on investment, some aspects, such as client contact and meetings, are entirely within your control, which is a good thing: Recent surveys suggest that clients want more contact and responsiveness from their advisors. Not being proactive in contacting clients and not returning phone calls or emails in a timely fashion were cited by Spectrem as among the top reasons for changing financial advisors.
Our clients use Episerver Content Recommendations to identify their clients’ needs and interests by automatically tracking their online reading arc. Even if they haven’t spoken to a client for some time, advisors are presented with a real-time dashboard of their client’s interests. Armed with this information, their advisors can have a more informed and proactive client engagement; and are in a better position to build client trust in the digital age.