Optimising Your Communication Channels

Beddoes Institute co-founder, Dr Rebecca Sheils, discusses the number of communication channels advisers should be using to optimise client satisfaction. This article is the latest in a series that considers the key findings from the Association of Financial Advisers’ ‘Connecting with Clients’ white paper (sponsored by Zurich and produced by Beddoes Institute).

The previous articles in this series have outlined the personal and en masse communication preferences of clients from three different generations: Gen Y, Gen X and the Baby Boomers. This article addresses the number of channels advisers should be using to optimise client satisfaction.

The chart below shows the average client satisfaction split by the count of communication channels used by a practice. The data shows a strong relationship between satisfaction and the number of communication channels up to the four‑channel point, after which the benefits start to diminish. This highlights a strong relationship between satisfaction and number of ways a practice communicates with its clients – a ‘more is more’ effect.

This next chart shows the same satisfaction data, broken down for the three generation groups. These results suggest that this ‘more is more’ effect is consistent across ages, with clients in all three generations reporting higher satisfaction with practices who communicate via a larger number of channels.

While there is a clear relationship between the number of channels used and satisfaction, one possible explanation for the results is that the clients receiving communications via more channels are in fact higher value clients, who tend to receive a special level of account management from their adviser.

To control for this scenario, satisfaction by number of channels used was analysed separately for three different groups of clients:

  1. Those whose adviser looked after one or some of their needs
  2. Those whose adviser looked after most of their needs
  3. Clients whose adviser looked after all of their needs

The results of this analysis, shown in the chart below, revealed that more communication results in higher client satisfaction, irrespective of the value of the client. These results also indicate that multi‑channel communication is a hallmark of leading practices.

The key take out from this research is that more communication leads to higher client satisfaction. This is especially true up to the four-channel point, after which satisfaction gains diminish.

To sign-up to receive best practice tips on how to implement each of the communication channels covered in the white paper, visit: connectingwithclients.com.au

Connecting with Clients delivers insights into how consumers interact with advice professionals, and what the best advice practices are doing to set themselves apart. The series is based on the Association of Financial Advisers’ industry white paper research, ‘Connecting with Clients’, conducted by Beddoes Institute and sponsored by Zurich, which measured the most preferred communication channels across more than 500 financial advice clients.

Dr Rebecca Sheils is Director and co-founder of the Beddoes Institute, which specialises in delivering research and consulting services to the financial services sector.

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