From time to time, we are required to educate and update our clients on current events and financial matters. Sometimes, for client-specific issues, it's as simple as a quick phone call or e-mail. Other times, we must reach out on a broader basis. I'll share what we do — and will await your comments to see what you do.
In my practice, how we reach out to clients depends on the subject matter, as well as the urgency. For example, after a nationwide catastrophic event, I will typically send out a mass e-mail to clients explaining the potential ramifications on their portfolios — always ending with the advice to stay the course.
If it may be a long-enduring event causing widespread concern, such as a prolonged down market or predicted crisis, I will hold an in-person seminar. We rent meeting space in the local Marriott, order refreshments and give a longer explanation of any potential long-term ramifications on their portfolios, and again, ending with the advice to stay the course.
For those issues that are “in between” on the scale of mass e-mail to live presentation, we opt for a webinar using GoToWebinar. It's easy to do. We simply mail-merge the invitation (with a mass e-mail using Junxure), develop our PowerPoint presentation and we're ready to go. Participation among our clients varies. We generally receive an audience of 15% to 25%. And since we record the webinar, clients who were unable to attend have the option of watching at their convenience.
Although some clients are more than happy to leave matters to us and are not interested in the details, other clients want varying frequencies of “touches” and reassurance. It's less about what we say and more about the fact that we care enough to communicate.
How do you use technology for client communications?
Sheryl Rowling is CEO of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.