With South Africa moving to adjusted level four on June 28th, it’s time to refocus on supporting your clients.
With some industries slowing and others coming to a grinding halt, it’s back to crisis mode for many businesses nationwide.
There is no guarantee restrictions will ease on July 11th. So providing excellent customer service will not only help you stand out from the competition but ensure that you are indispensable.
This is an opportunity, not only to assist those who need you right now, but for later when everything calms.
Not sure how to go about communicating with your clients? These tips from the Carrick Partners team should point you in the right direction:
Your messaging is more important than ever
“Communicating with clarity, compassion, and confidence is a vital skill during times of crisis,” says Fred van Niekerk, Carrick Partners GM. “As we close up our offices for staff to work safely from home, it’s certainly not a time to disappear.”
“People are being forced to change their lifestyles, re-adjust to working remotely and re-evaluate their current needs. Uncertainty is back on the agenda, so now more than ever, your priority should be supporting your customers, not trying to make a sale.”
Much like the third wave, your customers will have plenty of questions right now. They’re wondering how this crisis will affect their business, their families and their wealth. To get your messaging tone right.
With that in mind, Van Niekerk also recommends having a clear understanding of what is happening in your clients’ industries.
“Avoid fluff. Not every person during times of crisis has the time or mental capacity to sift through an over-emotional messaging.”
In most instances, it’s better to keep your comms short and succinct. Even a one-liner such as ‘I’m here if you need me’, or ‘How can I help?’ can go a long way.
Another method of communicating your support is through helpful, engaging and encouraging content.
“One can also do this through a blog, a newsletter, email or phone outreach. Social media, LinkedIn posts and other online platforms are also useful. Get creative with the ways your company can be of service and share any important updates with your clients,” adds Van Niekerk.
Work together as a team in supporting your clients
“During this time, we have an opportunity to show our industry that we care and that we are indispensable, not only in times of fair weather but also in times of hardships,” says Bradd Bendall, Group Sales Director, Carrick Group.
In times of crisis, it’s essential to take a top-down approach to help your financial advisory staff manage their clients. Your internal communications should be as compassionate as your external outreach.
“Reassure that their pipelines may struggle for a while and that it’s ok. They will bounce back stronger than ever if they show their customers that they can serve them when they need it most,” he adds.
“At this time, for those of us on the Carrick Partners team, it’s all hands on deck. That said we also have the proper support structures in place. We’re also paying careful attention to our global partners who may need reassurance right now.”
If you’re in a position of being an industry leader, Bendall suggests setting the tone by acting as a pillar of strength and offering guidance to your community.
“It’s important during times of uncertainty to represent your business or brand as a reliable, trusted resource. And not just in supporting your clients, but your partners, suppliers and key players in your business network too,” he explains.
Bendall also recommends ensuring that your digital channels are up to date and accurate. That way, your teams and business partners can easily direct their customers to the products and services that align with their most immediate needs.
“We don’t know how the situation is going to evolve and if restrictions in South Africa will ease in the coming weeks, but in my book, safe is better than sorry. It’s important to control what you can control, if not for your own safety, for others,” he concludes.