Clear communications are vital to your client relationships. But repeatedly explaining the same complex topics can be time-consuming -- and allows room for error.
To avoid harming relationships or wasting time, advisors should develop a “business correspondence template” says Bob Veres, Financial Planning columnist, industry expert and editor of Inside Information.
Create a document -- with office-wide access -- that contains a template for every significant letter that goes out to clients, Veres says.
Each complex topic -- from explanations about some aspect of long-term care insurance to the importance of getting beneficiary designations -- should end up in this file in an organized way, he says. “Once a template is created, nobody has to go through the mentally draining process of facing a blank sheet of paper.”
The most obvious advantage is the time saved. But the correspondence template will also improve the quality and consistency of client communications, Veres says, eliminating typos as well as lazy, sloppy or hasty messages: “This, of course, improves the impression that the firm makes on clients.”
When it comes to creating the template, get input from your team: The more minds, the better. “Incrementally, these letters get better over time,” Veres says -- “which raises the quality of client communications, over time, from good to superior.”