line graph of volatile stock markets

Playbook for communicating with clients during times of volatility

by Ext. Marketing - May 31, 2022

Communicating with your clients is essential and, when done well, builds loyalty and resilient relationships. This is especially true during times of heightened financial market volatility.

Here’s a communications playbook to help you efficiently and effectively navigate client relationships in uncertain environments.

1. Create your communications plan

Before you reach out to clients, get your plan in order so that you are as efficient as possible. Randomly producing articles or sending emails just won’t cut it these days – communications need to be consistent and sustainable.

Some important questions to ask yourself when building your strategy:

  • What are the main challenges my clients are facing?
  • What key messages/proof points do I want to focus on?
  • What channels are appropriate – email, website, social media, etc.?
  • Who will be involved in producing this content?

As you put your strategy together and start executing on it, always keep in mind that you are trying to build trust with your clients. That means addressing the current environment honestly and with empathy.

2. Provide context for the situation

When markets decline, so does investor sentiment – your clients’ included. Investors often want to “fix” whatever it is that caused their portfolio to decline. When it comes to broad market downturns based on macroeconomic events, there’s often nothing to fix.

We recommend you reiterate that market downturns are common and temporary. They’ve happened since markets first opened, and they will continue to until markets no longer exist. Support your points with well-designed visuals, bringing data to life with elegant charts and infographics.

3. Refer clients back to their financial/wealth plan

Building on the point above, does anything really need to be fixed? Are your clients’ plans still suitable and accurate? Unless something dramatic has occurred in their life, such as a job loss, the plan is probably fine and clients are likely still on track to reach their goals.

Focusing on goals-based investing is supported by behavioral finance insights, and is an excellent way to manage your clients’ biases. Herding and loss aversion are key biases to watch out for during periods of market declines.

4. Don’t disappear when things settle down

It’s always a smart move to revisit your client communications strategy at times like these.

We recommend you create a long-term communications plan that considers both your team’s ability to communicate consistently, as well as with a cadence that keeps your firm top of mind. This is not always easy, but we know from experience that every business can find its sweet spot when it comes to communicating regularly – without burning your team out.

Short on time and resources? Contact us today at info@ext-marketing.com or 1.844.243.1830 to upgrade, broaden and focus your marketing communications during this – and any – challenging market environment.