How Prudential Leverages Texting to Build Client Loyalty
March 31, 2017
“It was really a no brainer for us. We’ve had so much success with social media using Hearsay; we were happy to move forward with Hearsay Messages and to finally have a solution that meets our business needs.” – Birdia Chambers, Prudential Head of Social and Digital Strategy
More than 50 percent of today’s financial advisors are texting their clients, because they know that’s how their customers prefer to communicate. And texting is the most responsive form of communication; not only are 98 percent of text messages opened, 90 percent are read within three minutes.
As a leading Fortune 50 financial services company with thousands of advisors, Prudential recently implemented Hearsay Messages to capitalize on this powerful communication channel, increase engagement and drive client loyalty.
What Was Prudential Looking to Solve?
For several years, Prudential’s advisors were very eager to text their client but their policy prohibited them from doing so. Prudential’s compliance team didn’t have a mechanism in place to supervise, monitor or capture advisor texting activity.
“We weren’t successful in finding a solution that would satisfy the regulatory obligations associated with texting until Hearsay created its Messages product,” said Birdia Chambers, Prudential’s Head of Social and Digital Strategy. “It was really a no brainer for us. We’ve had so much success with social media using Hearsay; we were happy to move forward with Hearsay Messages and to finally have a solution that meets our business needs.”
Prudential also needed a solution that provided quick, easy attestation – consent from clients that explicitly states they’ve opted in to receive text messages from a Prudential advisor – in order to abide by company compliance policies.
Who Was Involved in the Discovery Process?
As common in any large firm, there were multiple stakeholders during the discovery and decision-making process. Prudential achieved buy-in by:
- Keeping control partners in the loop every step of the way, specifically during the concept phase.
- Engaging their compliance, risk management and legal partners, allowing them to weigh in and truly understand what type of solution they were looking for.
- Working closely with their technology team, as this was not just a systematic solution, but a compliance solution as well.
- Involving senior leadership to ensure there was the necessary executive support to move forward with this type of solution.
What Were the Results?
“Our advisors are constantly telling us how easy the app is to use; how intuitive it is to be able to send a text message to a client,” said Birdia. The most common uses to date have been sending polite greetings, as well as meeting reminders and acknowledgements. As a result, Prudential has seen a significant increase in advisor productivity.
Prudential is currently incorporating Hearsay’s new Texting Console for Hearsay Messages, which gives advisors the ability to have their administrative teams send and respond to text messages from their desktop computers, on the advisor’s behalf. With advisors spending 55 percent of their time in client meetings, on the road and other client-facing activities, the Texting Console offers a valuable way for staff to establish a “texting command center” at the home office to quickly respond to client texts.
Hearsay Messages also offers various types of attestation to ensure compliance. To meet internal regulations for consumer opt-in, Prudential chose custom email attestation. Advisors simply let their clients know they should be expecting the email, and as a result of this proactive communication, no clients have opted out.
Within just a few months, Prudential’s use of Hearsay Messages has produced impressive and insightful results, including:
- Clients respond to advisor texts within 2.5 minutes on average
- No clients have opted out of receiving text messages
- No compliance violations by advisors
- Easy learning curve – advisors have quickly adopted Hearsay Messages with little training
- Highest texting traffic: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays
One-to-one messaging is undoubtedly the key to deeper client relationships. We look forward Prudential’s continued success on this powerful new channel!
For more information, watch the Prudential webcast featuring Birdia and Victor Gaxiola, Hearsay’s head of customer advocacy.
- Creating Your Text Messaging Policy [guide]
- Hearsay Messages Playbook [guide]
- Regulatory Scrutiny May Put Firms Without Advisor Texting Policies at Risk