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To Reach All Your Clients, Cast Many Nets

March 4, 2014

While too much client communication is better than too little, achieving the right balance can enhance client satisfaction, retention and referrals, says Nerd’s Eye View in a post about a report, by Australia’s Beddoes Institute, on effective client outreach.

Though meetings rank as clients’ favorite way to hear from their advisors across all age groups, Gen Y folk are a bit less enthusiastic about them than baby boomers. They’re likely to prefer in-person get-togethers billed as informal check-ups rather than formal reviews. Gen Xers, meanwhile — today’s 35-to-50-year-olds, roughly — are slightly happier with e-mails than either boomers or Gen Y members. Texting and Skype-like calls rank low on most clients’ lists. Everyone hates faxes.

The generations also have different attitudes toward “one-to-many” communications, such as newsletters and webinars. While boomers and Gen Xers are fairly (and about equally) keen on electronic newsletters sent to them as e-mailed links, Gen Y clients want them sent to their Facebook or Twitter accounts, according to the Beddoes Institute. Printed newsletters or brochures are appreciated by only about 20% of boomers and Gen Xers and half that many of the younger set. Though they’re pushed by marketing consultants and the like, webinars — and I’m guessing videos belong in the same bracket — aren’t very popular. They’re in favor with around 7% of clients, regardless of age.

The point, says Nerd’s Eye View, isn’t that you have to slice and dice communications strategies to please different age-band cohorts. Instead, include as many delivery options as possible to cover a variety of overlapping preferences.

So, if you like printing glossy pamphlets, distribute online versions via e-mail and social media as well. It’s a sure bet that some recipients will consume a message in one form that they’d ignore in another.

By Thomas Coyle
  • To read the Nerd’s Eye View article cited in this story, click here.