Many would agree that one of the most basic rules of business is to care about your customers. We’ve all heard it before: “The client comes first.” But what does it mean to truly care about your customers during a global pandemic and economic crisis when businesses are trying to meet the bottom line and employees are worried about keeping their jobs? And how do you show, rather than tell, that your business centers around your customers’ best interests while tackling newfound challenges of remote work and self-isolation? After all, saying you put customers first doesn’t mean much if it’s not apparent in your culture.

In order to retain clients and truly put them first, financial advisors need to not only have a customer-obsessed mindset, but show their “customer-obsessed” mindset. Advisors shouldn’t just strive to deliver quality services, but should also be committed to engaging with their clients in ways that meet them where they are now to stay on track for the future.

Fortunately, there are a number of impactful retention and business growth tactics that can make a real difference in your clients’ lives and show them that you care, especially during these difficult times.

Prioritize Communication
Communication is critical, especially during a crisis when your clients need you the most. Be proactive and over communicate with clients. If they don’t hear from you, they may assume that you don’t care about them. Make it abundantly clear that you are thinking of them and are eager to meet their needs. Remember to be considerate in your communications, and strike the right tone. While it’s not business-as-usual, you should still reassure clients that you are addressing their financial concerns. If you don’t communicate, your clients will make assumptions about the work you’re doing for them—and that’s rarely, if ever, a good thing.

Share updates on additional meeting opportunities, webinar offerings, new resources, and other ways your company is continuing to prioritize clients and provide great service. Continue to ask for feedback to demonstrate that you’re thinking about how best to meet clients’ needs. All of this will go a long way to show them you’re committed to their long-term success.

Create Emotional Connections
Another important way to support your clients during this stressful time is to focus on deepening your emotional connections with clients. The more time you dedicate to this now, the deeper your connections will be upon emerging from this crisis. Whether you are calling, emailing, meeting virtually, take the opportunity to connect emotionally before diving into the task at hand. Ask about the well-being of their family to learn if anyone has been impacted. Ask if they need anything. If you aren’t able to help, consider how your personal or professional networks might be of assistance. If appropriate, consider hosting a virtual client happy hour to create affinity groups or change the conversation with your most critical clients. Bottom line: Make sure your clients know you care about them.

With so many people working remotely it’s important to develop creative ways to keep morale high. Share photos and videos of your team working from home, as well as stories of customers and their families who have been impacted by your service. This will inspire more meaningful engagement with customers across your business and allow you to personalize your interactions.

Evolve With (And For) Your Customers
Your firm’s services should evolve based on your customers’ needs. Put mechanisms in place that allow your team to continuously grow alongside your customers and more fully meet their needs. Consider creating new products or suites of solutions to serve customers that may be seeking those services elsewhere.

Tracking data and metrics is important, but you shouldn’t just track the hard numbers. Track customer relationships, and give your teams ratings based on how well they’ve connected emotionally with clients. Rating a customer interaction with an emoji, for example, can help encourage more personalized customer connections. When you implement these changes, let your customers know.

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