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Retain and Grow Relationships

This is the final post in the “Last Mile of Digital Maturity” series. Read part 1 here, part 2 on reaching and attracting the right prospect here, part 3 on scale and orchestration to target the right prospect here, and part 4 on nurturing and converting new business here.

While new client acquisition is important, meeting overall business targets demands that firms maintain and build on existing relationships. The best leading indicator for continued business growth and retention is a steady volume of 1-to-1 conversations with clients. More consistent, personal communications translate to deeper relationships which build trust. 

Establish a Cadence

We all know that relationships are built over time, whether personal or professional. It’s critical that your field regularly engages with clients—reaching out on a birthday or graduation, proactively scheduling annual reviews or recommending coverage changes—while also staying top of mind during less predictable moments of market volatility or turmoil.

To develop these communication rhythms, firms need to embrace digital channels that encourage usage, promote the right behaviors, and measure adoption, as digital programs are of little value if they’re not being utilized. 

Surface the Right Behaviors

Core systems like CRM are important to the enterprise, but self-recording activities are time- consuming and take away from a rep’s core business. Often, data doesn’t get entered unless automated, and many firms have no idea how frequently and effectively their reps are engaging with prospects and customers. 

Without this data, corporate marketing messages can be off-target or tone deaf. To truly understand the last-mile engagements that deliver an authentic experience, firms must arm themselves with the data that enable them to deploy a more advanced, personalized content strategy aimed at cross-sell and up-sell. Likewise, sales and distribution leaders can better assess the success rate of various techniques. 

Mature firms are addressing this process head on by automating this process, ensuring interaction data feeds business intelligence, CRM and core systems to guide actions. Data holds the key to these insights—but firms must invest in an infrastructure that automatically captures this activity. Only then can you identify the opportunities that truly optimize your approach. (Learn more about how strategic integrations allow firms to enrich CRMs and turn every rep into their best rep in our white paper.)

Deliver a Best-in-Class Client Experience

In financial services, the most telling indicator of client retention is last-mile engagements. Most programs should aim to facilitate a minimum of 10 personal touch points per client, per year. The most mature firms leverage a digital platform and data to guide the field to deliver a consistent experience to every client, maximizing the value of these touch points to drive optimal behaviors. By guiding and lightly prompting field outreach during key moments, they’re increasing the likelihood of more consistent outcomes that translate to deeper, more entrenched client relationships. 

Interested in helping your field build deeper relationships and grow their business? Download our white paper now

Client Connection in a Socially Distanced World

In order to help advisors thrive in the current environment, corporate teams need to rethink how they guide the field through and beyond the present crisis to adapt to new realities and seize the very real opportunities to make their practices stronger than before.

Hearsay Virtual Event Toolkit

From webinars to live social media sessions, coffee hours to “appy” hours and more, virtual events are a great way for advisors and agents to build their brand and build trust. Here’s a whole list of ideas for you to build out for your field.

Beyond COVID – Transforming Client Engagement and Social Selling

Crises like COVID-19 accelerate the need for human touch at digital scale. While the crisis is temporary, the changes to behaviour and digital acceleration we’re experiencing as a result – more remote work, an expansion of digital communications, upgrades in digital processes and tools – are not.

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.

Connecting Corporate to Field: Addressing the Lead Follow-Up Opportunity

Watch this on-demand webinar with Corina Roy, Assistant Vice President, Field Digital at MassMutual Financial Advisors, and Jim Kerley, Chief Membership Officer, at LIMRA along with Jonathan Shafer, Director, Customer and Product Marketing at Hearsay, as they describe their successful marketing to field lead follow up process.

Join Us in Congratulating Clara Shih, the First Finovate Fintech Woman of the

We’re proud to announce that Clara Shih, Founder, CEO and fearless leader of the team here at Hearsay, was recently named the first Fintech Woman of the Year at the inaugural Finovate Awards. This award is presented to the woman whose achievements in the fintech-related areas of financial services have most enhanced the sector or raised its profile as a career for women – through education, leadership, mentoring, coaching or acting as a role model.

“Finovate has always aspired to highlight the accomplishments of the people and companies driving fintech forward. Our inaugural awards program takes this a step further by celebrating our industry’s brightest stars,” said Greg Palmer, VP of Finovate. “Clara Shih has led the charge of women in fintech since she burst onto the scene. Now she is helping to develop the next generation of leaders. We are delighted to honor her as a true role model.”

Known as a trailblazer throughout her career, Clara developed the first social business application in 2007 before penning the New York Times-featured best-seller, The Facebook Era. After founding Hearsay to provide innovative, compliant fintech solutions for advisors and agents, she authored a sequel, The Social Business Imperative.
If you’ve met Clara, you know she combines her expertise in social media with what she lives and breathes: Fintech. Clara has consistently prioritized mentoring others and at Hearsay specifically, she guides teams to empower one another through activities such as the monthly ‘Ladies of Product’ meetups. STEM education has also been an area of emphasis, from working with Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, on the school’s STEM program, which now graduates among the highest number of female engineers in the country, to her involvement with Girls Inc, a national organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.
You will hear more from Clara in the coming weeks. She will be speaking at the upcoming FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit 2019, in Washington, DC. She’s on a panel discussing ‘The Art & Science of Board Composition,’ where her role on the Starbucks Board of Directors will provide a good perspective.
She’ll also be speaking at Dreamforce this year. Be on the look out for more details!

To view all of the Finovate Award winners, please visit https://finovate.com/drumroll-finovate-awards-winners-announced/.

Analytics, Acquisitions, and the Future of Financial Advice

Data analytics is big business, but not just any solution will do in financial services

This summer, data analytics hit the big leagues. As I recently shared with InvestmentNews, Google and Salesforce spent tens of billions of dollars purchasing data analytics leaders Looker and Tableau, respectively.
The deals, $2.6 billion for Looker and a staggering $15.3 billion for Tableau, are among the largest either company has made to date. Meanwhile, rumor has it that both IBM and Microsoft may look to expand their own analytics offerings.
The money being poured into the market affirms the value that data pipelines and analytic tools bring to business in all major industries. But to truly deliver insight on that data at the point of business  impact, solutions must be tailored to meet the specific needs of vertical industries, including the highly regulated financial industry
Nowhere is data relied on more heavily than in financial services, which both requires and generates enormous amounts of data. As a consumer-heavy industry, financial services produces a huge amount of customer data. In addition, the compliance processes of this heavily monitored industry generate massive additional amounts of data.

The Future of Financial Advice

Actionable, accurate information provided by sophisticated data analysis, on comprehensive data, can provide insights into customer needs, preferences, and strategies allowing insurance agents and wealth management advisors to provide their clients with a level of service before unimaginable.
Based on targeted analytics like that that provide helpful insights on both client and field representative behaviors that influence sales, advisors and agents can easily engage clients at all stages of the customer cycle. Smart triggers can alert agents/advisors to potential problems early on, preventing policy lapses or lost clients, while other features streamline or eliminate tedious tasks and data entry, enabling advisors and agents to focus on high-ROI activities.

How to Get There

Every business needs a data and analytics strategy but as we’ve seen, not just any solution will meet the needs of financial services firms. Financial services organizations need to consider the hurdles posed by adherence to strict regulations. Compliance must be built into the solution, not just an add-on.
Fintech companies that understand the complexities of the industry and can integrate with all available data sources represent the best possibilities for the future. We can make the future of financial advice described above happen now. The resulting next-level insights will propel businesses forward as a personalized and more human experience pairs with the best of what technology can automate and optimize.
It’s a pivotal moment for analytics. As intuition is replaced by information, the impact of today’s decisions will set the course for tomorrow’s outcomes.