A recent online opinion poll conducted by Cafemutual in which 339 IFAs participated shows that 45% of IFAs believe that they should interact more than six times a year with their clients to retain their loyalty. Another 33% IFAs felt that they should meet them 4-6 times a year while the remaining are of the view that they need to interact only 1-3 times a year. Cafemutual spoke to a few advisors to get their views on frequency of client contact.
Suresh Sadagopan of Ladder7 Financial Advisories believes that frequency of interaction varies from client to client. “Some clients may like to meet once a fortnight while some don’t like to meet for years. Hence, maintaining a balance is necessary to deal with clients. Ideally, I suggest interacting with them once a quarter. This interaction could be in the form of face-to-face meetings, skype or telephonic conversation, chatting etc. depending on the comfort level of clients.” According to him, advisers should deepen their conversation in these interactions through open ended questions to retain loyalty.
Mukesh D Dedhia of Ghalla Bhansali group feels that while regular interaction with clients is generally a key factor in client retention, advisers must not take a cookie cutter approach. Instead of applying the rules mechanically, they must learn to tailor their interaction based on a study of each client.
"Proactive communication, proper contact management and prioritising client communication especially during market downturns are essential since most of us get into defensive mode during such times. We should regularly update them about the economic scenario and the logic behind every decision we take in connection with their portfolios apart from monthly portfolio updates and suitable product updates," says Shifali Satsangee of Funds Vedaa who meets her clients at least once a month.
Malhar Majumder of Fineadvice says that there is no benchmark for interacting with clients. However, a regular contact program across touch points is necessary to build a healthy relationship. He feels an interaction of an hour in two months through any means will work out well for advisers to retain the confidence of their clients.
Vishal Dhawan of Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors seconds the view and recommends advisers to interact with their clients at least once in two months. He advises that every meeting should have a particular agenda like children education, retirement planning etc. According to him, excessive focus on portfolio performance should be avoided since advisers have little control over returns on investments. He suggests that it’s better to focus on client’s financial goals to retain their loyalty.