December 11, 2015 Greg Preite

How To Build Trust and Client Retention

Do your clients trust you? Ideally, they should trust the person who helps them make the most important financial decisions of their lives. And yet, it might surprise you to learn that only 37 percent of customers say that they fully trust their own insurer. Slightly more (42 percent) say that they can count upon their insurer to provide good service. More than half of all insurance customers have doubts about their providers, and some of those express outright distrust!

According to the odds, some of those distrusting customers are your very own clients. It’s not that you’ve done anything wrong; it’s just that people tend to distrust the financial services industry in general.

A lack of trust can cause some serious problems for your retention rate. You might not be sure of which clients trust you, and which ones have more reservations, but the bottom line is that a lack of trust leaves an opening for a competing advisor. If he develops a relationship with them, you’ll be saying goodbye to some valuable clients.

Looking toward the future…

Even if people tend to distrust financial professionals, they also value financial products. In the old days, it was assumed that if you want insurance, you need to go through an insurance broker. But now, with the Internet taking over most forms of commerce, client trust is something you must consider. Twenty percent of survey respondents said they would purchase insurance from Google. If they don’t trust insurance providers anyway, so why wouldn’t they choose the lowest prices offered to them and be done with the whole thing?

What we’re saying is that you have two potential problems here: Other advisors, and the increasingly depersonalized Internet. Either one has the power to steal your own clients right out from under your nose.

Perception is the deciding factor. As we mentioned, price is often the primary factor in choosing financial or insurance products. But survey respondents also say that quality of service and past experiences with a company are the next two leading factors a provider.

So just what does “quality of service” mean? How do your customers define a positive or negative experience? Both of these factors are based largely on the customer’s perception of your company. Luckily, you have the power to influence perception.

These study results indicate that many of your clients will make decisions that are based on positive emotions like attachment and loyalty. Since increased communication is strongly linked to loyalty, your digital marketing strategy lends you powerful tools to influence your clients’ perceptions of you. The following methods will increase your quality of service, while creating positive experiences for your clientele:

  • Use social media to get acquainted with your customers. Seek to understand their concerns, worries, and motivations.
  • Provide something of value to your customers. Answer their questions and provide information they need through your blog. They could purchase life insurance from a multitude of sources, but showing that you care will set you apart from the pack.
  • Build a relationship. Providing information instantly adds value to your services, but building a true relationship inspires loyalty over time. When you regularly reach out to current clients, you inspire those positive feelings that build trust in your company.

One last thing to consider: For every financial advisor who does not launch a digital marketing campaign, another advisor is doing exactly that. If you aren’t communicating with your clients, someone else probably will. One way or another, your clients are going receive digital communications from a financial advisor, and they are going to trust someone with their money. When that “someone” is you, you will improve retention among your most valued clients.


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