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  • Writer's pictureChristy

Communication Still Matters as a Post-Pandemic Differentiator

Back in 2019 (you know, the good ole days BEFORE masks became a fashion accessory), Y Charts conducted a survey on Advisor-Client communication and revealed a few surprising findings:

  1. Most advisors are not proactive communicators: the majority of client respondents, including those with high levels of AUM, said they heard from their advisor “infrequently” and more than a quarter said they were contacted “very infrequently.”

  2. Not all communication is additive: clients specifically wanted more communication from advisors that felt personalized and “hyper-relevant” to them.

  3. Communication frequency, style, and quality impact advisor success: clients “resoundingly” felt that frequent communication improved their understanding and confidence in their financial plans. Even making them more willing to refer their advisor to others.

Flash forward to 2022. After wide-scale adoption of remote meetings and hybrid work policies, Y charts repeated the same survey.

What they discovered was that the pandemic provided clients, especially the wealthier ones, the catalyst to change their advisor. Of those with more than $500,000 under management, 28.7 percent switched, while only 14 percent with less than $500,000 did the same.

The survey also revealed how the top three factors in selecting a new advisor shifted from 2019.

In 2019, the top three considerations were:

  • Deep understanding of me and my goals

  • Customer service/ communication

  • Portfolio performance

In 2022, by comparison:

  • Portfolio performance

  • Accessibility and availability to me

  • Deep understanding of me and my goals

Furthermore, more than half of high AUM respondents expressed a desire for more frequent communication with their advisor.

When asked how clients prefer to learn about their advisor’s perspective on the market, economy, savings tips, etc., email was the overwhelming preference. Advisors may find it comforting to know that only one percent of respondents answered “I’m not interested in receiving my advisor’s perspectives.”

As you plan for 2023, it might be worth it to ensure that you have a thoughtful client outreach plan with more frequent touch points and personalized content.

Christy Charise, Founder & CEO of Strategic Advisor

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