Client Services and Operations Director
Posted on November 26, 2018
Trust is still a hot topic with financial services brands. After the 2008 crash consumer trust levels dipped to an all-time low, which had a knock-on effect on financial services brands, but what many don’t realise is that consumer trust levels with IFAs also took a dip.
In June 2018, the FCA undertook the Financial Lives survey, interviewing 13,000 consumers about their personal finances and found that only 39% of people said they trusted financial advisers to act in their best interests.
So whilst financial services brands have been working hard to regain trust from the end consumer, have they been working hard enough to ensure that Advisers trust them and feel comfortable promoting their products?
This blog looks at how you can use digital communications channels and tools to build trust with financial advisers.
Let’s start by looking at what trust is – Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something.
Give the Adviser what they need so they don’t have to ask you for it. Make sure the information about your products, such as fact sheets, brochures, KIDs and terms and conditions is easily available through your website is key, but go the extra mile and make sure that that content is easy for them to find by introducing sort, search and filter options on your site. In the case of one of our clients we developed an easy to use historical pricing section to their site, so IFAs could easily find accurate and up to date pricing for products their clients were invested in.
Get to know your Advisers and keep an up-to-date and detailed CRM system running that feeds into your marketing communications process. There really is no excuse for sending an Adviser information about products that they are not licensed to sell, or information on products that they don’t advise on.
Being truthful and transparent
Clear communication is key, hopefully you have tone of voice guidelines established, if you don’t, you need to ensure that all departments of your business and all communications that go out, whether it’s a marketing email, service communication or social media post, all use the same key terms and are consistent. Remember, you are the experts not them, so provide information in a clear and simple way.
Making your communications more personal is also important, sending emails from an individual account manager or client representative in your firm is key, also providing personalised sign offs and showing staff on your website, with links to their LinkedIn profiles will give your brand a more human touch.
Showing your ability
Ten years ago Google completed 4 billion search queries a year, that figure is now at a whopping 1.2 trillion search queries. Most people use the internet in search of answers to their questions and Financial Advisers are included in this. When they search on Google, it’s an opportunity for your business to be there and answer the question.
Presenting advisers with quality information on the topics they care about and in an easy to digest format, is how your business can become a trusted source of information.
Ensure you share the load of producing the content throughout your team and utilize different formats such as, video, infographics, blogs and whitepapers, all written by different team members as this will help to showcase the ability of the wider team and help position you as thought leaders.
Start getting it right now
Post RDR it is clear that the role of the Adviser is here to stay and with many financial services firms focusing more on servicing Advisers, now is the time to ensure your website and marketing strategy supports them and positions your brand as a trustworthy business.
If you’d like to discuss how to improve your digital communications strategy with IFAS, please get in touch with me at email@example.com or on +44(0)20 3735 5534.