Know Your Client

Top 3 Reasons for Understanding Customer Communication Styles

The landscape for businesses is becoming more fast-paced, high-tech and competitive with each year. Customers are expecting personalized offerings based on their interests, customized experiences based on their preferences and efficient service delivery on their terms. They want to resolve problems with a simple phone call… or by sending an email, or online chatting. Solutions should be available quickly and without the expense of much effort.

customer service experience, client engagementWhether it means expanding the social networking team to ensure every post on their Facebook page is responded to or taking a closer look at the User Experience to optimize navigation of their website, more and more businesses are putting processes in place to meet the increasingly high demands of customers. And theyre not only doing this to ensure business growth ? businesses are taking these steps to safeguard their survival. These businesses understand the importance of keeping customers happy. They know that serving the customer as the customer wants to be served produces a boost in brand appeal as well as the bottom line.

Reaching customers through the right channels and having a user friendly website may make it easier for the customer to connect with your business ? but how is your business doing once the customer actually connects; when interacting with the customer?

When the customer received a response to their support ticket did it make them feel relieved or stressed, and did the email campaign you just sent out provide just the right amount of information or discourage recipients with too much?

Unless you know the communication style of each customer you wont be able to answer these questions. Think about how technology can help you solve this problem by identifying the communication style of each customer and employee across the business to deliver an automated process for customizing the customer experience and increasing customer engagement.

The benefits of having this behavioral data about your customers are many, but here are some of my favorite reasons for understanding customer communication styles:

  1. Knowing the communication style of customers allows for automatic segmentation of your lead and contact base.
  2. One size fits all may work sometimes but custom-fit is preferred always.
  3. You can say goodbye to guesswork because workflow guidelines for each of the 4 communication styles have already been uncovered.

What are your top reasons for understanding customer communication styles?

To learn more about customer engagement with Communication DNA,?click here. Contact us to get started at?inquiries@dnabehavior.com

If you are a current Salesforce CRM customer,?Communication DNA is also available in the?Salesforce Appexchange.

Leon Morales ? Vice President, Relationship Management Solutions
Specializing in financial services and human capital solutions, Leon uses behavioral intelligence to help businesses navigate human differences to unlock performance potential. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms.

Tip: Focus on the Who for Comprehensive Client Engagement

As a financial advisor, your goal is to provide optimal support for your clients. This means discovering client needs and

client behavior, behavioral finance

achieving them by implementing a behaviorally smart plan to accomplish those dreams.
At your annual meetings, it can be difficult to be fully receptive and present to clients agendas as every individual has certain trained and natural filters. But by focusing on the who, enriching your client experience is a more intuitive and easier process.

There are three levels to understanding and ultimately, assisting the client to achieve their goals:

1) Focus on the what–Client wants to (insert goal)

2) Transition to the who–Tap into the clients self-awareness

3) Concentrate fully on the who–Truly understand clients:

  • behavioral strengths
  • values
  • biases
  • risk factors

Lets see how a behaviorally smart advisor would move through each of these levels in helping a client to successfully retire.

1) The What: Client wants to retire at age 62

Your focus: how much money they have currently, the investment allocation, cash flow projections.?
Your actions:
You might use a software program to do the calculations and Monte Carlo simulations making adjustments where necessary.

2) Transition to the Who

Your focus: What kind of hobbies does the client have?? Does he or she wish to travel?? How does the client feel about having a free-flowing day or is structure preferred?
Your actions
: You do all the same steps as in the What level but now you start to bring in ideas about what the client wants to experience in retirement by delving into the core of the client as an person outside of the office or work environment.

3) Full focus on the Who

Understand: How will the client acclimate to the withdraw stage? What does the client see as their new purpose? Has the client started to develop a change in mindset from work to retirement? How will the client adjust to retirement if he or she has been work-focused and has not fostered many connections or hobbies outside of work?

Considering that a recent Gallup poll shows 59% of respondents were very or moderately worried about having enough money for retirement, it is critical for advisors to understand clients on all levels.? Having an objective, client-focused system for uncovering behavior will help an advisor develop trusting relationships and be a deserving witness to enriched retirements.


Peggy Mengel Vice President, Human Behavior Solutions Advisor at?DNA Behavior

Specializing in financial services, Peggy uses behavioral intelligence to help businesses navigate human differences to unlock performance potential. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms.

Visit the?Financial DNA website to learn more. Try Financial DNA Free for 30 days!

New Report: Customizing Financial Planning Has Never Been So Simple

The new, all-in-one DNA Customized Behavioral Management Report helps you quickly and effectively tailor the financial planning experience for the lifetime of each client based on their unique financial personality.


We’re very excited to announce the release of our new DNA Customized Behavioral Management Guide. Advisors can now?tailor the entire financial planning meeting structure, style and content to match the clients natural behavior style.

https://www.dnabehavior.com/fdna-customized-behavioral-management.png

All-in-one solution for behavioral management of your clients.

While providing guidance on how?to?best serve the client, the powerful and completely personalized behavioral insights in this report also make it easy for advisors to manage their own behavioral biases.?Adapting to the client?has never been easier.

Immediately make the application of behavioral insights in working with each client more practical and actionable in the following areas:

  • Behavioral Compatibility with the Client
  • Influences of Behavioral Biases on?Financial?Decision-Making
  • Discovery Connection Questions
  • Client Engagement ? Relationship Behavior Risk Management
  • Setting Goals – Financial Behavior Risk Management
  • Building the Portfolio – Investment Behavior Risk Management
    And more!

Learn more and view a sample.

Try Financial DNA Free for 30 days!

Do We Really Know Our Financial Selves?

financial behavior, risk profiling, risk tolerance, financial researchWith the progress of technology we have got used to instant gratification. We use the internet to research whatever grabs our immediate attention and we use social media to pass this information on. Similarly Reality TV has become a staple in many peoples everyday activity ? they watch it, they talk about it and they share commentary through social media. Whether we like it or not short term focus is the order of the day. And maybe it shouldnt be. Longer term perspectives and rational thinking to focus on what is really important is becoming harder to do, especially if you a trend follower of one sort or another.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the area of personal financial matters.

Every so often, stock markets crash. Technically this should always start with economic reassessment but more often than not such falls get exaggerated by investor overreaction to the information at hand. Sometimes investors think that If everyone is selling the market then I should as well Such following of the herd, so to speak, is quite common and is fed primarily by the financial media. Nothing sells like a bad story ? Markets have fallen by xx%. investors fleeing the market and so on.

Once markets bounce back, you will rarely see anything similar in media coverage terms to the upswing. It isnt traumatic or sensational enough to grab our attention. This herd mentality to aversion is usually fed by instinctive reactions of investors where especially in adversity we tend to make decisions quickly and emotionally. But not rationally.

But of course once shares are sold, the financial position is crystallized. Then, as it is wont to be, the market creep back up happens almost anonymously in dribs and drabs. A quarter of percent here, half a percent there and before you realize the market occasionally jumps by one or two percent in a day. The losses have been reversed and so a wealth accumulation opportunity has been lost out on. Blink and youve missed it.

The financial media can also appear to provide expertise. In the US there are no shortages of financial pundits who will expound the virtues of particular stocks or investment strategy, so much so that they are almost entertainment in their own right so outrageous are some commentators statements. This can lead viewers to become over confident, thinking that they can be more successful at investing than they really can. Hand in hand with this is an optimism bias and an exhilaration got by investing in a certain way even if they know it is difficult to be successful.

behavioral finance, risk profile, financial dna, risk tolerance, investment riskOver the years I have got plenty of client phone calls in times of market turbulence but thankfully these numbers have become less and less as time moves on. This reducing number isnt due to a reducing client bank ? we have tripled the amount under advisement in the last five years ? it is due to our emphasis on making clients understand themselves first and then the markets second. Client behavioral education is a keystone of our approach in advising clients. If people appreciate themselves and their deep rooted financial preferences they can then make informed choices about the issues that they can control rather than those they cant, namely the reactions of others to stock markets.

By focusing on their own needs which are usually long term rather than the short term noise of financial media real benefits accrue. Market rises arent missed out and additional trading expenses arent incurred. Patience and calmness are real virtues that are often overlooked and undervalued.


Eamon is a Human Behavior integrator at DNA Behavior, and one of Irelands leading independent fee based financial planners. His single goal is to help clients make wise decisions with their money now and for the rest of their lives especially in the areas of investing and retirement planning.

Visit the DNA Behavior website to learn more about managing financial behavior and risk through greater self awareness.

Are Advisors Asking the Right Questions?

“How do financial advisors know what questions to ask if they don’t know how to communicate with me?”

I wonder how many every-day working people believe that only the rich make long term plans for their financial future. Could it be that the financial industry tends to position itself as available only to advise on family wealth, estate planning, finding ways to make the rich richer or manage their large inheritances and forgets the millions of others who need plans, want to be financially secure yet feel uncomfortable about discussing their hopes, dreams and limited finances with an advisor?

Byron R. Moore writes the following in his article, Financial Fundamentals: Is financial planning about ‘predicting’ or ‘positioning’?:

Question: How am I supposed to do any financial planning these days? I dont know who is going to be president, how the financial crisis in Europe is going to turn out or how we are going to deal with our national debt. It is difficult to know what to do next.
Answer: Really? Is it really that difficult? Or are you just stuck because your concept of financial planning is proving to be fatally flawed?

When reading this article it occurred to me that maybe a more valid question from potential clients might be will my money be safe if I take your advice. This doesnt necessarily refer to their ability to understand and manage risk; maybe its more about allowing the client to share their genuine concerns, their lack of knowledge about the financial industry, and their unpretentious, down to earth approach to their finances.Financial planning questions

The world of financial advice is highly competitive; learning how to build your business and increase your bottom line could be as simple as knowing how to communicate with your prospects. Understanding their communication style from the very first point of connection (phone call or meeting) through every interaction over the lifetime of the client relationship could be critical to the sustainability of your business.

Advisors need to understand their own communication and behavioral style up front before the first meeting.? This insight will enable advisors to uncover client communication styles and enable the advisor to adjust their approach in order to effectively engage their client into the conversation.

If as an advisor you are genuinely able to communicate your interest in talking to the client, once they have revealed that their financial status is middle-class or below, you will build confidence in the client and begin the process of developing the relationship. As an advisor its critical to the process not only to be client focused but to be able to uncover information that will result in sound and appropriate advice being given.

Seeking financial advice is a big step for many people. The industry needs to better understand their behavior and communication from the perspective of potential clients. Only then will it truly be able to know the right questions to ask potential clients.

You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. – Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Pocklington is a Human Behavior Solutions Analyst at DNA Behavior, assisting with the research and development of behavioral products. DNA Behavior helps grow behaviorally smart businesses and financial advisors worldwide to increase competitive advantage using the most reliable behavioral discovery and performance development systems on cutting-edge technology platforms. Solutions are delivered in the areas of client experience management, financial personality management and human capital management.

Visit the Financial DNA website to learn more. |??? Try Financial DNA Free for 30 days!

Why Your Behavior Influences Your Own Wealth More than Market Movements

Every so often I meet a personal investor who will tell me that now is the right time or the wrong time to invest, depending on whether the markets are going up or down as well as depending on that individuals past experience.? Despite having 30 years of investment experience I never get into an argument with them because I know something they dont. Namely, very, very experienced investment professionals rarely, if ever, out think the markets. Even the greats such as Warren Buffet and Anthony Bolton acknowledge that markets cannot be outguessed in the short term and their own success owes more to long term holdings rather than short term trading outlooks.

In any event, many people who are inexperienced?in dealing with?investment markets (and even some who are experienced) tend to look for signs that they are right in the perspective of what is happening at any point in time. They look for reassurance about what they are thinking, or more correctly hoping, can be confirmed by one or more public facts about the markets. In Behavioural Finance terms this is referred to as Confirmation Bias. Put simply, people favour information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses even if such confirmations turn out later to be false indicators.

This behaviour is also closely linked with Herd Mentality. In essence this is where people are influenced by their peers by adopting certain behaviours and?follow trends as well as possibly purchasing items. Investment history is riddled with Herd Mentality events from Tulipmania?in 1637 through to recent times when global property bubbles made?many seem smart before looking extremely foolish.

Why Your Behavior Influences Your Wealth More Than MarketsNewness Bias is also a well documented behavioural trait and is the desire to give more weight to recent information and ideas usually to support a particular investment outlook. This helps to support the belief that one is right because the latest set of economic data says so. Does this sound familiar?

The use of these three outlooks on investing works both ways. If markets are going upwards, they are used to justify why one should invest. Similarly, if markets are going in the opposite direction they are likewise used as justification as to why one should not invest in particular assets. It just depends on your starting position.

So the question is, if one cannot outguess the markets what should you do?

The starting point for all investing lies not in what markets are doing but rather in what you actually need in your own personal life. By defining what our own individual objectives are we can then set about expressing these in financial terms. Of course, such planning is not a simple process and requires a lot of thought but in my experience once this whole area is addressed properly investment decisions and their long term effects become more realistic, as does the evaluation of competing investment options.

After that it comes down to long term planning, and?not short term reactions to investment flavours of the month. The great thing about such an approach is it allows investors to exert control over their financial outlooks rather than being held hostage to them. In other words by controlling what we can control, namely our behaviour, we can have a disproportionate positive effect on our financial well-being. This isnt just my view or any recent perspective. Considerable research has been done on this.?As far back as?2000 Meir Statman, a distinguished economics professor based in Santa Clara University in California, produced research which showed that 93% of investor returns are influenced by their own personal decisions and not those of individual fund managers or indeed the performance of investment markets.

The bottom line? Before you make a decision to jump in and out of markets, think about what your investment objectives are and whether they are aligned to your, correct, asset allocation. If there is a mismatch then the issue isnt markets but is more personal. And for that you need to be aware of your own behavioural impulses as these influence your financial position more than anything else.