As South Africa slowly returns to economic activity, it is a clear signal to maximise your time to focus on the future.
By effectively using your resources and your employees’ time as lockdown restrictions are eased, you can create a vision of a brighter, better time beyond the ‘now’. Doing this will also help you to capitalise on operational efficiency, retain clients and lay the foundation for future business growth.
Many FSPs’ business operations have slowed due to the restrictions enforced by lockdown. Less new business and fewer servicing queries have led to less work. Business in general is also still slow, as not all industries are operating. Some employees have not yet returned to the office and walk-in client consultations are discouraged.
As an FSP business, how are you responding in the current crisis? Are your operations still in a slowed-down phase, or are you actively involved in the things you can control? Is your focus on working ON your business and demonstrating real leadership? Are you helping yourself and your clients to think beyond the present, and focus on the future?
Instead of waiting out the storm, it is prudent to use your time effectively during the storm. Also consider how to maximise administrative employees’ time with productive tasks that will contribute to business continuity and future profitability. So, think about what can be done now to add value to your business, which you may not have had time to do previously. Consider client retention strategies your business can perform to remain sustainable. Also brainstorm what your business can do to retain your clients and that can also lead to future growth.
Updating your CRM system
You could also consider addressing a challenge that many FSPs face: that the client information on their CRM system is not up to date. Missing or invalid information means it is not possible to communicate effectively with clients.
During this ‘slower’ time, your administrative staff could update your clients’ information and check if clients’ circumstances have changed. They can also confirm which communication channels your clients prefer. This will enable you to personalise communication in line with your clients’ preferences and assist with solutions if their circumstances have changed. You will also know how to communicate with clients regarding online financial planning meetings, servicing queries and general matters.
Communicating with clients in a way that reflects you know them and understand their circumstances and preferences, shows that you care. It is also an opportunity to remind them about what you do, why you do it and how you do it. In turn, this reminds your clients of your value proposition and why they chose to do business with you.
According to research that Business Health in Australia conducted amongst IFAs, using personalised mail merges and communicating with clients can increase profits by 166%. Furthermore, contacting your ‘A’ clients more than 10 times a year can lead to a 148% increase in profitability.
Know your clients
It is said that client information is like gold dust: the more you have, the more it is worth. It therefore makes sense to record new client information in your CRM system to preserve your ‘gold dust’.
Good record keeping ensures that information is kept in an organised manner and in the correct place, such as the right folders on your computer. This makes it easy to retrieve information when speaking to clients. You could reaffirm with your employees the importance of keeping progress of client queries where your CRM system allows for notes, and even what the communications entail. This yields a more positive experience for clients, and you minimise the opportunities for frustration, such as clients having to repeat their concerns.
The more information your CRM system has, the more touchpoints you have with your clients. Knowing their birthdays, for instance, as well as their children’s milestones, like when they start school for the first time, matriculate or head to university, creates more opportunities to provide value and achieve positive results. Being aware of personal interests and hobbies may also be a chance to send clients relevant information, such as articles about foodie holidays.
Research shows that having more than 20 client data points, or bits of information about your clients, in your CRM system can increase profitability by 290%. This is because your communication is personalised and, at times, unexpected. The more you show you relate to your clients, the more they appreciate that you understand them, their circumstances and needs.
Maximising the current ‘quiet’ time can help you to demonstrate leadership to your clients by proactively helping them to think about the future. Satisfying client needs, demonstrating that you have their best interests at heart, and that you support them even in tough times, also prepares your business to focus on future growth.
Register for our Exceptional Assistant webinars to help you improve your operational efficiency and contribute to your business’ profitability during uncertainty. If you require more information, contact the nearest Masthead Regional Office.