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Automation and Time-Saving Workflows

The recent world events surrounding the coronavirus outbreak have helped us all realize that our time is a priceless commodity. There never seems to be enough time for our most valuable activities and now that most of us are homebound, it’s a good moment to think about how to automate some of our more menial daily tasks to carve out more time for meaningful interactions. Luckily, digital assistants and time-saving automation tools can help manage many day-to-day tasks so we can give our attention to the valuable time we spend with one another, be they in-person or virtual meetings.

As many of us have personally experienced in recent days, striking the right balance between high-tech and high-touch in today’s digital world is a daily challenge for most businesses. With the vast array of digital solutions at our fingertips, it can be easy to get lost in the weeds and unintentionally distance ourselves from our customers. However, when used effectively, multi-channel digital tools can help connect agents and advisors with their clients by giving back valuable time that can be spent on meaningful personal interaction rather than losing oneself in the process.

This kind of innovation can seem trivial at first; why digitally delegate tasks we can do ourselves? But like any new product or idea, once put into practice, we soon wonder how we ever managed without it. Spending time on meaningful interactions rather than rotary functions can be one of the biggest gifts we can give ourselves and our clients.

Making time to regularly communicate with clients and making oneself available – especially in these difficult times – is what sets elite advisors and agents apart from the crowd. The daily vicissitudes of the market and the fundamentally shifting landscape of our daily lives has many worried and now, more than ever, it is important to make yourself available to your clients and prospects on the channels they prefer.

Optimizing Content Strategy in Rapidly Evolving Times

In light of the unprecedented situation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and resulting historic market instability, we want to offer support as you create thoughtful, time-sensitive content to enable your field force to reach out to their clients and prospects in meaningful ways.

It’s been heartening to see the proactive measures our customers are taking during these turbulent times, leveraging our communication tools to reassure clients with a human touch. To amplify the impact of your team’s efforts, we want to make you sure you’re aware of a few tools that can help best deliver these critical communications with authenticity and impact.

  • Developments – both market and cultural – are extremely fluid during these times. Content that was suitable yesterday may not be today and may even appear out of touch or insensitive. For instance, customers of ours had March Madness and spring break vacation outreach posts planned. When scheduling content, stay mindful of how quickly things are changing and be prepared to act quickly to remove anything sensitive to ensure your field strikes the right chord with their networks.
  • With the news cycle changing so rapidly, creating appropriate new or suggested content offering can prove difficult. To alleviate some of that stress, we created a curated content channel on Market Volatility.  Sourced from trusted publications, this feed is aimed at assuaging market fears and providing a long-term financial view. It’s our hope that this may be one less thing for our content administrators to worry about during these anxious times.
  • Encourage your teams to be proactive and open with clients. It’s critical for advisors to proactively and immediately reach out to reassure clients that they have a firm grasp on their financial goals and are monitoring the situation. This type of reassuring message can be delivered as a quick one-to-one text or via a one-to-many communication, delivered by a text, email or social media post.
  • Look ahead: changes made less than 24 hours before the scheduled publish time may not reflect in all workspaces. Try to proactively plan ahead (as best you can during these times) to ensure your message is consistent and impactful across your field.
  • Embrace modified messages: In times of instability, we recommend that Marketing teams create timely messaging to share with their field force that is easily modifiable but offers a personal touch. Here are a couple examples:
    • “The recent news about the coronavirus outbreak and its effect on global markets and daily life can be very unsettling and as a result, you may have a lot of questions about what to do with your investments and how to plan for the future. I’m always here and would love to chat with you, please give me a call at [INSERT PHONE NUMBER] or email me at [EMAIL ADDRESS].”
    • “In light of the coronavirus news, the same rules apply to your 401(k), your Roth IRA and your face: DON’T TOUCH IT. Reach out to me if you have any questions at [INSERT PHONE NUMBER].”
  • Reach out! Your Hearsay team is more than happy to advise and assist you in your content management efforts.

Please refer to this blog post about some other recommended best practices about how you and your organization can create stability during these turbulent times.

Four Ways Financial Firms and Their Advisors are Creating Stability in Turbulent Times

Financial advisors in the midst of this unsettling market environment are working overtime to calm investor jitters. To further complicate matters during this historic volatility, many are unable to meet face-to-face with clients because of COVID-19 concerns. It is precisely these uncertain times when the best advisors demonstrate true value.

It’s been heartening to see the proactive measures that advisors using Hearsay are taking during these turbulent times, leveraging our communication tools to reassure clients with a human touch. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a record number of communications go out over our platform. Clients are grateful in their responses – retirement plans, dream vacations, and childrens’ college plans are at stake.

Our fundamental belief at Hearsay is that technology should strengthen human relationships, not replace them. We’ve seen this play out in spades during times of great uncertainty when only a human interaction can assuage fear. These are key moments for building stronger relationships and loyal clients, and we’ve summarized our advice into four recommendations on how to best deliver these critically important communications.

Ensure Advisors Know What Communication Tools Are Available to Them 

Be prescriptive with your field on how to maintain continuous conversations with clients during any potential disruption. Advisors must know how to access systems remotely and be prepared to communicate with clients in fast-changing situations. Firms should consider how incoming business calls can be re-routed to a remote office location or provide other means of compliantly communicating with clients. In previous downturns, texting may not have been available to your advisors – now it’s essential when trying to connect with both your team as well as clients quickly. Fortunately, many technologies that advisors use to conduct their business are increasingly cloud-based, allowing easier access and reducing outages.

Reassure and Realign Clients to a Long-Term Vantage Point

The intense media cycles flooding clients can influence them to make hasty decisions that may not result in the best long-term outcome. It’s critical for advisors to proactively and immediately reach out to reassure clients that they have a firm grasp on their long-term financial goals. This could be a quick text from an advisor letting the client know that their current portfolio is still on track to meet retirement goals with minimal effect from the recent downturn, and that the current turbulence is not necessarily a long-term trend.

This type of reassuring message can also be conducted via a one-to-many communication, delivered by a text, email or social media post. We’ve seen that when advisors send a broadcast text (to several individuals at once), these are often perceived and responded to as if they were a one-to-one message. This means advisors can touch many clients very quickly, and provide a personal experience.

Open the Conversation to Adjustments in Strategy

Some clients may be in a position where they need to re-allocate assets to protect their financial future. Others may see the downturn as a buying opportunity. Start the conversation as soon as possible by letting the client know that you are monitoring their situation – this will reassure your client and let them know you are ready to act on their behalf. By opening this conversation via a direct channel such as texting, the client can respond quickly and easily to guidance or suggestions for alternative strategies that you provide. Timely responses make all the difference, and direct channels help ensure your clients get back to you quickly.

Use Video Meetings if In-Person Isn’t Possible

In disquieting times, nothing beats a live conversation or face-to-face meeting – not always possible in our current day and age. We’ve seen advisors scheduling video meetings with clients to talk them through the downturn and ensure that the appropriate next steps are being taken – and even offices proactively changing all of their scheduled in-person meetings to video conference calls.

With 70% of communication being non-verbal, information is more effectively communicated and understood via video call vs. an audio call. Conversations that include a visual component also allow for body language and expressions of empathy and understanding can help build stronger and more trusted relationships.

Seeing advisors use our technology to provide proactive, extraordinary service, build stronger relationships with clients, and ultimately stabilize our markets is extremely gratifying. This is a defining moment for the industry, and we appreciate seeing advisors creating exceptional customer experiences during a moment that deeply matters.