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Quick Q and A: The Importance of Client Relationships

By beled | October 14, 2013

David Leslie shares his thoughts on client relationships.

 Q1: Why are personal relationships important?

In an increasingly commoditised world, customers (if they can afford it) want a personal relationship with their service providers. Personal relationships help to establish trust and allow proper, professional communication about the service being provided. In essence they provide the customer with peace of mind. Personal relationships are the key to our business because they lead to satisfied customers, high client retention levels and referrals for new business – all very good things!

Q2: How do you ensure transparency?

Our relationships with our clients are transparent from the outset. We ensure that we understand each client’s investment needs and risk profile and we provide full disclosure about our company and investment process. There is also a legislative imperative to do this in terms of FSB regulations, but we walk that talk! All portfolio transactions and performance are reported to clients on a quarterly basis so that they are fully aware of what is going on with their investments. Senior company managers are available to talk with clients at any time.

Q3: How much communication is right for clients – what is ‘too much’?

To some extent this is determined by the individual client with some requiring more on-going communication than others. Quarterly reporting as detailed above is common for all clients. We aim to meet personally with clients at least once a year, but there is constant communication as the need arises. In general, the best investment performance is achieved when clients leave us to get on with the job and this is the case with virtually all our clients once the trust relationship has been established.

Q4: What’s the best way to communicate with clients?

Face to face! But obviously that’s not always possible. The main thing is to be readily available at a senior level to communicate with clients either by phone, email or, where necessary, in person. Written communications must be thorough and properly worded!

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