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Client sensitivity when reopening your office

As states prepare to allow businesses to reopen, the question of client service is bound to be at the front of all of our minds. Specifically, will our clients embrace the opportunity to meet with us face to face, or will that prove to be a scary proposition for many of them?

Encouraging in person meetings

In our office, we encourage clients to have an in person review of their accounts at least once a year. It is such a pleasure to catch up, share a cup of coffee, find out what’s been happening in their lives, and talk about changes they’d like to make to their financial plans. This is an opportunity not only to be sure we are ahead of any planning challenges, but also to strengthen trust and camaraderie with them. Sure, these meetings can be done quite efficiently online, but there really is no substitute for sitting together in the same room.

Offering your clients alternatives

Keeping in mind potential fears, we have put together the following framework for an email (it could also be adapted for a phone call) to a client inviting them to come in for a review:

“Hi Kathy, It has been a while since we have seen you, so Paul would like to set up a time for you to come into the office for a review of your accounts.  We understand that you may have concerns about being “face to face” due to COVID-19 and all that has been happening. Naturally we would love to see you in person, but we do want to be sensitive to any concerns you may have, and would be more than happy to arrange a virtual meeting if that is more comfortable for you.”

We would then offer the client two potential appointment times to choose from and await their response. This email allows a financial advisor to begin the process of reconnecting with clients, while also providing a feeling of control and safety to their clients.

Making your office a “Safe Zone”

Additionally, here are few ideas to implement in your office to help your clients feel comfortable when they meet with you in person:

  • Have hand sanitizer in your lobby and where you meet with clients
  • Allow them to grab their own cup of coffee
  • All drinking cups should be disposable
  • If they need to sign something, provide them with a new pen that they can keep
  • If you need a copy of something they have (ie, drivers license, paperwork, etc.) use gloves

Anything your office staff can do to demonstrate that client health is a priority will go a long way to help your clients feel secure.

How is your firm handling the process of reopening with your clients? We’d enjoy hearing your ideas and feedback!

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Posted by Kimberly Townsend
4 years ago | May 3, 2020