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6 challenges of call answering for Independent Financial Advisers

6 challenges of call answering for Independent Financial Advisers

This blog has been updated for 2024

A day in the life of an independent financial advisor is a busy one.

From meeting clients, giving pension and investment advice, managing multiple portfolios, helping clients with retirement or estate planning and staying up to date with new financial rules and regulations, you’ve hardly got enough time to breathe, let alone stop to take phone calls.

Especially if, like most independent financial advisors, you’re a solo business. So when you’re this busy and a call comes in, what happens to it?

Either the caller will go to voicemail and (hopefully) leave a message. More likely though, they’ll hang up and try someone else.

This is a problem because when a missed call means lost money and business, you’re only putting your firm’s financial future at risk.

As a telephone answering service for independent financial advisors and many other professional service businesses, we often see the same challenges in businesses trying to manage their calls without a dedicated resource.

If any of these challenges sound familiar, it could be time you consider investing in call answering for your independent financial advisor firm.

1. You don’t have time to answer every call

When you’re working solo there will always be times when you can’t answer the phone. You may be in a meeting with a client (and you can’t exactly walk out). You might be travelling. You might already be on the phone.

If your customers are trying to call you, and when the nature of the call could be urgent when it relates to financial matters, not being able to have a human voice on the end of the phone for a customer to talk to could become a sticking point.

This was a challenge Richard Hawkings was experiencing before he signed up with Face For Business, he said:

I need to know that if I’m in a meeting, a call from a client is going to be answered by somebody professionally and quickly. It gives me peace of mind knowing that calls are answered from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening, and answered at the weekend, whether I’m at work or out socially I know that calls are being answered professionally.

You can listen more to how we helped Richard overcome his challenges with calls answering here

2. You’re overly reliant on automated call answering

Financial advice is a very personal service and clients are often trusting you with their savings, investment, or retirement dreams. A big part of building this trust is providing a personal service and a human connection straight away.

If a customer – or potential customer – is sent to voicemail or an IVR system, the automated voice they hear isn’t going to make them feel like a valued customer, or give them the sense of personalisation they want.

After all if you’re too busy to answer the phone, what are they going to do if they need you urgently and they can’t be sure you’ll be there?

Having a friendly voice on the end of the day creates a more human feel to your firm and can put clients at ease that you’re readily available when they need you.

3. You’re being hassled by sales calls

Anyone who’s ever owned a business will know it’s inevitable that someone, somewhere, will get their contact information and try to sell them a product or service (sometimes even when it’s not relevant to you).

Whether it’s these sales calls, insurance providers or any other type of non-critical call, it’s all taking you away from clients and work.

You might think that dealing with the odd sales call is fine, but they can quickly eat up valuable time in your day, plus you’ll have the lost productivity while you try and get back to the work you were doing before you were disturbed.

A telephone answering service can relieve you of this problem by creating a barrier between you and sales calls, and even have you removed from lists.

4. Dealing with ‘non-leads’

Quite often a potential customer will contact you but not be ready for a sale.

This can take up a lot of time as you explain how you can help them, what services you have and try to move them towards a sale.

If they’re still in research mode, you may take 30 minutes running through their needs but never make a sale.

It doesn’t take many of these calls to take a chunk out of your day and ruin your productivity.

With a telephone answering service you have a resource available that can take of the initial lead qualification off your hands.

By taking a caller’s details first, your telephone answering service will be able to judge whether the caller is sales ready and should be put through, or whether they should leave a message so you can follow up when you can.

5. Hiring a receptionist is expensive

If you’re working for yourself or as part of a small firm of financial advisors you might not have the investment to get a full-time – or even part-time – member of staff to answer the phone.

You’ve not only got the wages to think about. There are National Insurance contributions, pensions, workplace insurance, benefits, sick pay, plus all the admin that comes with having staff.

You could easily find yourself spending upwards of £30,000 a year on a full-time member of staff to handle phone calls, who can only deal with one call at a time.

When they’re on the phone, or even taking a break or on lunch, you’ve lost your call answering service – even though you’re still paying for it.

On the other hand, a telephone answering service is an ‘always on’ management function. 

That’s because you have a team (usually of three with a lead receptionist) who can rotate onto your calls when another receptionist is busy.

This means you have a more reliable call answering resource so you don’t miss any calls.

6. A lot of potential clients can’t call during 9-5

One problem you’ll no doubt have experienced with clients looking for pension, retirement or savings advice, is that many of them work full-time.

This means it can be difficult for them to call you during the usual 9-5 work day because they’re at work too.

If the only time they can call is outside your usual hours then you’ll be missing a lot of opportunities. But how do you do this without working every hour yourself (which is a sure way of burning out). A telephone answering service is the answer again.

For example, our call answering runs from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and we also offer weekend call support.

This at least means there’ll be a human on the end of the line when a customer calls even after you’ve gone home and makes it much easier for your to manage new business and return calls when you’re back in the office.

How Face for Business’ call answering for independent financial advisors can help you

Are you frequently in meetings and missing important calls that could be costing your business thousands of pounds? Using Face for Business means that you never have to miss an important call.

What’s more, we also record every call we answer.

This call recording feature has proved very popular with financial advisers, as complicated financial information is saved in an audio format that can be played on any device.

Face for Business can offer you:

  • A dedicated PA who’ll find out all about your company products and services.
  • Customised call answering, call transfers and message taking based on the clients requirements and types of call.
  • 24/7 access to the FFB call and messaging portal.
  • Instant notification of messages taken via email and SMS.

Why don’t you have a look at our case study on Independent Financial Advisor, The Brighton Mortgage Company, and see how our service works.

What’s more, Face for Business offers a 7-day free trial, so you can test our service for yourself.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Call today on 0333 323 1007

01st October, 2014

Posted by Face For Business

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