InvestmentsAug 17 2017

Six ways to reassure clients in times of crisis

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Six ways to reassure clients in times of crisis
ByRosie Murray-West

Advisers faced with trying to keep jittery clients from doing something stupid are being encouraged to put in place a few simple steps for client communications.

Ten years on from the beginning of the financial crisis, global events are still causing volatility.

Kevin Morrison, business development manager at fund manager IBOSS, said for advisers this makes reviewing the way their firm communicates with clients crucial.

"Many investors will be understandably nervous about a market correction / fall / crash / wobble," he said.

"Some may be tempted to sell their investments. Others will be torn between their head and their heart; the former reminding them that exiting now is the wrong thing to do and the latter telling them to run for the hills."

With this in mind, he gives his top tips on how to communicate with clients in difficult times.

1) Keep in touch

Regular contact, in-between face-to-face reviews, reinforces key messages and reminds clients of investment fundamentals.

This communication can include regular newsletters sent electronically using a bulk email system, and newsworthy communications at the time of events.

"Remember, clients will read the mainstream media, whether in print or online, and some of those messages will sink in," says Mr Morrison.

"That’s why it’s so important that your clients hear from you. As Winston Churchill apparently said: “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”; never has that been truer than the world we live in today."

2) Act quickly

Being proactive is one thing, but you will also need to react quickly should stock markets fall significantly in a short space of time.

Many of your clients won’t need any extra reassurance, as your regular pre-emptive communications will have been enough. Some, however, will appreciate you being there and will benefit from the support during an uneasy time.

Reassuring messages about the fundamentals of investing should arrive in clients' inboxes as fast as humanly possible; a lot can happen in a short amount of time.

That means having the outline of your communications written and ready to go as and when you need them. Make sure email databases are up to date too; it’s probably the clients you have acquired recently which will need the most reassurance. 

3) Stay social

If your clients use social media, you probably should too.

Connect to them and use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc to communicate your key messages, both regularly and in times of crisis.

Not only will your clients see these messages, but other potential clients will do too.  

4) Clear your diary