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25 March 2020

Digital communication and how advisors are striking the right balance

By Ryan Alexis

With markets zigging and zagging, the historic massive volatility we are experiencing inevitably creates anxiety in clients’ minds as to the health and welfare of their portfolios and financial plans. To keep clients focused on the long-term, leading advisors are addressing client concerns head on with pro-active outreach and educational materials to put these historic events into perspective.

The good news is that in this current COVID-19 crisis, advisors’ communication and outreach efforts are being enhanced and enabled by technology.  Email, video conferencing, webinars, online chat, and social media are seeing a surge in adoption as advisors are trying to strike the right balance for communicating with their clients. However, insurance companies, schools, medical offices, and more are all leveraging these types of communication channels too. So how can you ensure that your firm is cutting through the noise?

As the head of service for the Black Diamond® Wealth Platform, I’m witnessing first-hand how it’s being done. Our Client Experience portal has become pivotal in advisor-client interactions. Specifically, the true value of the Relationship Timeline feature is being recognized. My team has noticed a dramatic rise in Timeline activity, with a 55 percent increase in usage just during February and March, when the global health crisis became more apparent. 

Timeline is a secure and powerful interactive tool used to share information, updates, reports, market commentary and other critical information, and it’s giving our advisors a significant leg up during this global health crisis. With the option to send bulk updates or to connect with specific individuals, the space is efficient yet personalized.

“We are focusing on adding as much value as we can for our clients, especially during this time of uncertainty,” Said Matt Curfman, President and Co-Owner of Richmond Brothers, a Black Diamond client since 2012. “Recently, we’ve sent video messages to clients updating them on the markets and what we are doing to protect them. While we are also emailing these videos, by uploading them to Timeline clients are sure to receive them, have easy access, and can always refer back to them.”

Like Curfman, and his team at Richmond Brothers, on demand postings of recent happenings, updates to portfolios, and market commentary and perspectives are just some of the ways my team has noticed Black Diamond advisors leveraging Timeline. Very similar to many of the social media apps that people use, Timeline’s format, usability and mobile-first design is resonating with end-clients. It’s been especially compelling because clients are also able to comment and post back within a secure environment, bringing a real time aspect to client communications, while still maintaining social distancing.

“It’s our goal to make sure our clients know we are there for them no matter what and are communicating any changes during this unprecedented time,” noted Curfman.

Just as it’s an advisor’s goal to connect with their clients in a meaningful and reassuring way, the entire Black Diamond team is here to help power a communication experience that elevates the value advisors are providing.

To learn more about the Black Diamond Relationship Timeline, check out this video or view the product brief here.