Like Character, Client Communication Matters In Tough Times
“Character doesn’t matter until it does,” says Louis Riddick, NFL Analyst for ESPN. He should know. When he was Director of Pro Personnel for the Redskins and Eagles, Riddick faced heavy pressure to find players who could help the team win. As he says, when you’re winning everyone’s happy. But when the going gets tough, poor character takes a situation from bad to worse.
In the same way, client communication can seem easy when markets are doing well and clients are happy with the bottom line.
- Markets weaken or become volatile;
- Financial headlines focus on bad news;
- A strategy faces major headwinds,
firms that don’t have a clear and consistent communications program struggle with client trust, and retention becomes a serious challenge. No investment firm should wait until the market turns against it to build a communications bridge to clients.
In our experience, the strongest approach is built on:
- Clear messages about the company brand and the product strategy;
- Ongoing dedication to transparency and truthfulness;
- Known guidelines and targets for measuring success;
- A consistent process for updating messages and putting them in the hands of clients – quickly.
Establishing and maintaining these processes, messages, and targets requires expertise. And tough times create more work for established communications programs. For some firms, launching a new communications strategy is an ideal project for outsourcing – hire strategy experts to do it once and then let your writing team implement it consistently. In other situations, strategy is already set in house, but you may need to bring on extra hands as needed. Either way, plan ahead and make sure you have a solid program to prevent bad situations from becoming asset killers.
If you’re looking for help with rethinking or implementing your communications strategy, Purcell Communications can lend a hand.