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Are Virtual Meetings Here to Stay? See What Advisors’ Clients Said

How are advisors meeting with their clients these days? Are they getting back to the tried-and-true in-person meetings? Or has the convenience of a virtual call or screen-share changed the way we do business for good?

In our recent survey, How Can Advisors Better Communicate with Clients?, we polled 670+ clients to understand what has changed about advisor-client relationships since the pandemic and in particular, their expectations for communication.

A couple of key findings from the survey: Advisors have leaned into virtual meetings since 2020 with over 70% of clients noting a shift toward this meeting format. Outside of scheduled meetings, clients largely prefer to stay informed via email or phone calls, though text messages are growing in popularity.

Download the free White Paper to see our full findings:

Virtual and Digital Communication Trends Accelerate

Advisor communication styles have shifted drastically since YCharts’ last survey from 2019. As of December 2022, 51.7% of clients surveyed meet with their advisor both virtually and in person, which is up from 38.2% pre-pandemic. Meanwhile, the mix of advisors and clients meeting striclty in-person has fallen to just 28%. An uptick in virtual meetings, which cut down on travel time and costs, seem like a worthwhile tactic for advisors wanting to scale their business. But as our survey revealed, it’s important to strike a balance between the quality and quantity of client touch points.

Additionally, responses indicate that Wirehouse advisors are prioritizing in-person meetings more than their Broker-Dealer and independent advisor counterparts, who are more likely to favor a hybrid or virtual-only approach.

Download: How Can Advisors Better Communicate with Clients?

How can advisors best engage with their clients?

Outside of scheduled meetings, email is still clients’ most preferred method of communication—73% like to receive updates from their advisor via email, which is actually up from 66% compared to YCharts’ 2019 survey. Seeing a similar boost post-pandemic, 35% of surveyed clients are open to text message updates from their advisor, compared to 31% a few years ago.

“Old school” phone calls were also a popular medium with 45% of clients indicating a strong preference toward a real-time (but audio-only) conversation. Newsletters, blogs, and social media outlets trailed significantly with none gathering more than 10% of client responses. Clients we surveyed clearly prefer a more personal touch compared to general updates posted online.

Download: How Can Advisors Better Communicate with Clients?

Download the free White Paper to see our full findings:

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