In a world of technology investment apps, the human touch is a critical differentiator for financial advisors seeking to keep current clients happy and earn new business. Research proves clients want real, person-to-person  communication that apps can’t provide. The Spectrem Group reports that 57% of Millennials and GenXers say it’s important that their advisor calls them regularly, and 87% of Gen Xers expect advisors to respond promptly to inquiries and questions, as do 58% of millennials.

And yet, robo-advisors remain a real threat, especially when it comes to next-generation investors. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates $30 trillion will be passed down to new wealth inheritors by 2020, the vast majority of whom won’t stick with their parents’ advisors. According to wealth management strategist April Rudin of The Rudin Group, a whopping 98% of heirs change advisors soon after receiving their inheritance.

Whether next-gen investors are tempted by cost-effective robo-advisors or good old-fashioned human competition, the risk of losing new inheritors is real. So, how do you separate yourself from the pack and keep the clients you’ve worked so hard to earn? By building trust—and luckily, little everyday actions can help create meaningful connections and show clients the value of your service. Here are five you can implement today!

Communicate with gratitude.

Whether in person or over the phone, make the most of every exchange by using appreciative language, listening, and getting to know your clients. Follow your client’s lead: If they’re up for a little friendly chitchat, engage them and take advantage of the opportunity to build rapport, and if they’re more down-to-business, use the opportunity to showcase your expertise. Regardless of where your conversations take you, aim to express gratitude. The words “thank you” never go out of style!


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Build a repeatable process.

After a phone call or meeting with a client, a follow-up email is a good opportunity to reiterate information and make sure your client is heading in the right direction. Forget to mention a bit of helpful info during your conversation? Include it in your follow-up. Don’t have anything specific to relay? Send a thank-you email anyway—or even a personal card! A simple “It was great to talk to you” goes a long way.

Customize and connect.

When’s the last time you received a handwritten note in the mail? It’s rare these days—and that’s what makes it so special. Mailing personalized messages to clients is an easy and inexpensive way to show you care. Try sending a card to commemorate a client’s service anniversary or birthday, or simply to say, “Thank you for your partnership.” Try keeping a stack of cards and stamps handy and set aside time to pen a few notes each week.

Create an exceptional experience.

Every time a client calls, you have the opportunity to enrich a relationship. And for potential clients, that first call is critical: According to Invoca’s report, The State of the Mobile Experience, 74% of callers will move on to another business after one bad phone experience. With all the time you spend networking and all the money you invest in marketing to get your name out there, you surely don’t want to make a poor impression when an important client calls. Next-gen investors are looking for responsiveness that your trusty voicemail can’t deliver—but, of course, you can’t always be available to pick up the phone. A virtual receptionist service is an affordable solution that ensures every call is answered by a friendly professional. Even if you have a dedicated in-house receptionist, a virtual receptionist service can be a great safety net, providing overflow phone coverage as well as coverage during breaks, vacations, emergencies—whenever you need a hand!

Set yourself apart with a virtual receptionist.

Financial advisors often find that leveraging a virtual receptionist helps give that human touch clients are looking for. For Bob Pedrick, Executive Vice President at Chartered Advisory Group, virtual reception has proven an invaluable asset. Pedrick says his virtual receptionist service “brings extraordinary value and efficiency to our practice. When our clients call, a super nice person—not a machine—answers the phone and is able to connect that client to us no matter where we are.”

Set yourself apart from the robots of the world and have a real person answer your phone. Test our service and experience the Ruby difference for yourself!

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Ruby Receptionists at the 2018 Fastest Growing Companies Event

Boy do we have a lot to celebrate here at Ruby! This year marks our 15th birthday and we’ve made the Portland Business Journal’s Fastest Growing Private 100 Companies list for 11 consecutive years—more than any other company in Oregon’s history! We’re proud to be included among so many incredible local companies and are happy to call several of those companies customers too.

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Human interaction is alive and well in the digital age! During May 23rd’s Rotary Club of Seattle Luncheon Ruby CEO Jill Nelson and Columbia Hospitality CEO John Oppenheimer discussed the power of the phone call.

“We have a stated mission, and it is to keep alive those meaningful personal connections, those human connections that are increasingly lost in today’s technology-focused virtual world and every day I’m just reminded of how important that is,” Nelson said.

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Finance remote receptionists
Remote Receptionists for Better Control, Productivity, and Service

The landscape for financial service professionals has been shifting over the years. The adoption of smartphones and the use of social outlets has impacted the ways advisors connect with their clients. Most people are digging for details about businesses by using their hand-held mobile devices, which puts the capacity for making a phone call merely a click or tap away.

Mobile search will drive more than 73 billion inbound sales calls to small and large businesses in 2018. Looking ahead, it’s predicted that a whopping 162 billion calls will be made to businesses in 2019. Phones will be ringing off the hook!

Potential clients are calling for something they can’t obtain in a web/mobile search alone.

Popular reasons people are calling include:

  • quickly getting an answer (59%)
  • quickly getting an answer (59%), 
  • talking to a real person (57%), and 
  • getting more information (54%)—plus many find 
  • it’s convenient to call (42%).

They call because they want to know they’ve been heard and are kept up-to-date on important portfolio items. This is especially relevant as the financial market is unpredictable; when shifts happen, clients are looking for answers—from a real person. Fostering those personal relationships can reduce the risk of clients moving to another advisor.

Meaningful engagement for every caller is the goal. Some financial planners achieve that with in-house reception – and the many labor hours that come along with it. Others stretch the labor budget and assign phone reception duties to their existing staff. More and more financial planners are hiring remote receptionists.

So which setup is best for your business? And how do you know when it’s time to take a new approach? Here are some factors to consider.

What Clients Expect When They Call Your Office

While call volume is growing, there is increased expectation for quality customer service.

The Spectrem Group reports that:

  • 57% of Millennials and Gen Xers say it’s important that their advisor calls them regularly.
  • 87% of Gen Xers expect advisors to respond promptly to inquiries and questions,
  • 58% of Millennials expect advisors to respond promptly to inquiries and questions.

It’s critical to ensure a good experience that meets or exceeds caller expectations. Understand that they want to speak with a live person—they don’t want to reach voicemail or an automated system. They are calling to talk to someone who can help them.

Should Financial Planners Answer Their Own Phones?

It’s a complicated question. Between client meetings, creating new investment plans, and personal appointments, sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day.

Some questions to consider:

  • How can you handle incoming calls personally without compromising your productivity, flexibility, and focus?
  • Do you interrupt a client meeting to answer a call?
  • Do you let it go to voicemail?
  • Are your habits forcing you to miss out on connections with customers?

Can Your Other Employees Take On The Reception Duties?

You must be confident that team members are equipped and have the bandwidth to help callers or route them properly. Keep in mind the costs associated with having your team answer phone calls versus focusing on higher value-added tasks. It can work if you and your team are ready to make this part of everyday practices.

What’s a Remote Receptionist?

Designed to help you best serve your clients, a remote receptionist gives financial service professionals the flexibility to run your business in a way that best meets your needs and your clients’ needs. That real, human touch helps you create meaningful connections with callers. Plus, you gain the freedom to work the way you want—in the office, on the road, wherever!

Why Do Financial Planners Hire Remote Receptionists?

Take the insights of Wheelhouse Wealth Advisors, for example. “We realized the importance of having a live person answering our calls,” says John Postizzi Jr., Branch Manager, Financial Advisor at Wheelhouse. “We knew we didn’t want to hire an in-house receptionist because in this line of business that’s no small undertaking. It would require a thorough screening process and fingerprinting in order to deal with all of the sensitive information related to this line of work.”

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If you’re interested in experiencing the difference a quality remote receptionist service can make for your financial services business, Ruby Receptionists is here for you! We serve many financial service professionals from small boutique brokerages to LPL and our partners NAPFA and FPA. We’re the front-line voice for more than 7,000 businesses in the U.S. and Canada, and passionate about helping small businesses grow and keeping those essential human interactions alive.

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How to legitimize a small business

As a small-business owner, it’s all up to you. Your passion is running your business and making it successful. But with only so many productive hours in a day, you need to make smart decisions and strategic efforts that help your business survive and thrive.

Join us for our free webinar, 6 Essential Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business, presented in partnership with Entrepreneur.

The strategies outlined in this webinar will build upon each other to help you:

  • Legitimize your business.
  • Establish your role as a thought leader in your industry/market.
  • Give you an actionable go-to-market strategy to grow your customer base and establish a foundation for long-term success.
  • Provide exceptional customer service to retain customers for repeat business and/or give referrals.

This webinar will be led by Ruby’s Chief Marketing Officer, David De Rego. With more than 30 years of experience growing service and technology companies, De Rego is passionate about driving brand awareness, positive customer experiences, creating demand and viral growth.

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Ready to turn more callers into customers?

Missed connections translate to lost revenue. With Ruby, you have a partner in gaining and retaining customers. Plus, we’re so confident you’ll love our service, we offer a 21 day money-back guarantee*.

*Ruby is delighted to offer a money-back guarantee to first time users of both our virtual receptionist service and our chat service. To cancel your service and obtain a full refund for the cancelled service (less any multi-service discount), please notify us of the service you wish to cancel either within 21 days of your purchase of that service or before your usage exceeds 500 receptionist minutes/50 billable chats, as applicable, whichever occurs sooner.