Client service: New technology vs. traditional methods when communicating with clientsBlog added by Lauren McNitt on May 25, 2011
Lauren McNitt

Lauren McNitt

Denver, CO

Joined: September 08, 2010

My Company

ProducersWEB

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In this week's #prowebchat on Twitter we discussed client service: new technology vs. traditional methods when communicating with clients. During the chat, we welcomed some new participants, including the editors from our sister magazines, Agent's Sales Journal, Benefits Pro and Life Insurance Selling.

Here is a sample of some of the best points our participants made:

Question 1: Many advisers are using new technology to manage client communication. Do you think this depersonalizes the communication? #prowebchat
    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB I think new tech. actually has the potential to make client communication more frequent AND personalized. #prowebchat ^KK

    @CenturyAdvisory #prowebchat i think its easier to keep in touch with clients through technology
Question 2: What tech tools/software do you use (and like) to manage your client communications? #prowebchat
    @JamesGreen1 @CenturyAdvisory What type of technology do you use -- email, social media, something else? #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB A data-driven strategy is key. Here is some of the most comprehensive research I've seen: http://cot.ag/dGuKNt #prowebchat ^KK

    @CenturyAdvisory #prowebchat we use facebook, twitter, hawksoft to help stay on top of our clients, we use our own webpage

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB A ESP like @ExactTarget can help you stay in touch and scales well with a growing business. #prowebchat ^KK

    @Benefits_Pro Do you find generational differences dictate the kinds of communication you focus on? #prowebchat

    @CenturyAdvisory I think it needs to be a hybrid of traditional hand shakes and kissing babies and using technology for youth #prowebchat
Question 3: Do you still incorporate traditional methods such as thank you notes and phone calls? Does this make a difference? #prowebchat
    @BrokersAlliance Phone calls still carry your emotions in your voice so that's still hot. Video even better. #prowebchat

    @FB_Inc We believe technology should enhance, not replace, traditional interactions with clients - eapps, email, client webtools, etc. #prowebchat

    @FB_Inc You can't be a "trusted" advisor only electronically. Fundamental social skills are still necessary to build/maintain clients #prowebchat

    @AgentNavigator #prowebchat selling doesn't have to be all old school. I use web conferencing for all clients
Question 4: Email can be tricky – too much vs. too little. Do you have any suggestions for email etiquette? #prowebchat
    @ASJonline Keep it short and sweet. Use your blog for those particularly prolific moments. #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB Use only permission-based lists, don't flood the inbox, & use targeted, timely, & relevant content. #prowebchat ^KK

    @laurenatpweb #prowebchat As more people use tech daily, do you find some clients prefer being contacted via email rather than phone?

    @Jeff_Howerton Most of my clients like to get email proposals prior to us actually sitting down and talking. Belly 2 belly still works best. #prowebchat

    @CenturyAdvisory @Jeff_Howerton i find elder clients are still face to face and phone calls and younger prefer online access #prowebchat
Question 5: Do you send out an e-newsletter? If so, what tips do you have? Daily vs.weekly, content, etc.? #prowebchat
    Advadvisor The key to enewsletters is personal content and not overkill - think weekly & a personal section at top, before business #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @ProducersWEB As I've mentioned before, clients can smell cookie-cutter content a mile away. Make it as personal as possible #prowebchat ^KK

    @paulwatpweb @KestlerFG Couldn't agree more. How many emails is too many? #prowebchat

    @KestlerFG @paulwatpweb No more than two per week, with one extra if there is something extremely important and widely relevant. #prowebchat ^KK

    @BrokersAlliance #prowebchat Clients always want a phone. They hate email that says nothing and delete it. You have to have substance, something to say.
Question 6: Do you use social media to reach out to clients? What platforms? Any success, tips? #prowebchat
    @CenturyAdvisory @Benefits_Pro I find that grandparents are on facebook now to keep tabs on kids and grandkids out of town #prowebchat

    @LifeInsSelling @CenturyAdvisory That's true! The fastest growing demos on Facebook now are 50 years and up #prowebchat #prowebchat

    @paulwatpweb How many hours do you spend each week communicating with clients? #prowebchat
    @InsuranceMktg @paulwatpweb #prowebchat With the right tools and strategy you can effectively maintain your social networks in less than 2 hrs per week.

    @InsuranceMktg @ProducersWEB #prowebchat Hootsuite is my favorite because of tracking & LinkedIn compatibility but Tweetdeck and SocialOomph r popular too.

    @ASJonline Any worries about compliance with all of this? Or are there some easy strategies to get around those issues? #prowebchat

    @paulwatpweb @ASJonline Good question. I know FINRA, among others, is paying close attention to SM these days. #prowebchat

    @InsuranceMktg @ProducersWEB Social Media Tip: Provide content that is of interest and adds value to your audience. DON'T SELL!! #prowebchat
#prowebchat after hours (remember — even if you miss the chat, we still want to hear your thoughts!):
    @robertsofia Is the #prowebchat still going on or did I miss it?

    @Jeff_Howerton @robertsofia you missed it but chime in anyway after the fact. Love to hear your thoughts #prowebchat

    @robertsofia @laurenatpweb What is the most important point you got out of today's chat? #prowebchat

    @laurenatpweb @robertsofia That you advisers are very tech savvy! & while tech helps facilitate client interaction, keeping it personal is key

    @robertsofia I believe a well-rounded communication plan requires multiple channels - email, snail mail, phone, social media, face time, etc. #prowebchat
If you'd like to add your insight to the chat, please leave us a comment below.

For more information on Twitter chatting and how you can join in read my blog, Twitter chat: How to participate and why you should
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