Client communication in times of uncertainty presents opportunities for investment managers to engage with (and retain) clients. Client outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic requires key capabilities to provide timely and relevant updates to your customers during this crisis.
Flexibility & Customization. Uncertain, volatile markets generally lead to spikes in ad-hoc requests for information from clients, which usually is not part of any standard reporting content. These off-the-run requests can strain an organization’s ability to gather the requisite data from disparate sources and systems and create reports as requested. Having a reporting solution in place that allows for flexible data collection and rapid design/reuse of componentry can help significantly in addressing this challenge.
Always On & Informative. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the deployment of client-facing portals for sharing investment information with clients, advisors, interested parties, etc. When your clients log on to your site, are they getting fresh data, or is the data only current as of the last statement/reporting period? Are clients given access to static documents or interactive content that allows them to do things like filter reports, drill down for further detail and customize views? Can you use your online site to provide clients with custom content, such as context and guidance around your firm’s moves through this extraordinary market?
Portals also offer your clients the ability to access their information anytime and can provide them the ability to self-service for a wide range of their information needs. This means client service teams can switch from spending the bulk of their time dealing with high volumes of tactical requests (“can I get holdings by country of risk?”) to handling more in-depth requests for context, guidance and reassurance. This type of engagement is much more valuable for your clients and helps strengthen relationships, build loyalty and improve client retention.
A portal presents a great opportunity to communicate with your clients in a variety of methods. For a wide audience, it could be used to distribute a recorded video from your CxO or to host a webinar. On a more individualized basis, portals can offer tools like integrated chat for client service teams or advisors to deliver tailored service.
Collaborative & Insightful. Reporting in many organizations is still a manual, hard-copy driven process. While many reports are distributed softcopy and/or digital, the review process is often conducted by review of printed versions with manual markups. Current off-site working conditions upset these types of processes. Having access to online, interactive workflows to support the review and approval process helps track activities, shepherd deliverables and mitigate these issues significantly.
It’s a tough time for us all. But it’s easier to muddle through when you know you’re not alone. Client communications is a valuable and critical undertaking at all times but never more so than during this (and any) crisis—lucid, timely and helpful communications from you to your clients will yield invaluable returns.
Watch our "Are Your Communications Meeting Client Needs in Uncertain Times?" webinar, where we detail how important client communication is in helping your clients feel calm and confident when the markets look murky.
Written by Mike Kendall
Director of Global Product Strategy, SS&C Institutional & Investment Management