Sending inadequate performance reports to your firm’s clients can hurt your client retention, says Philip Lawton in Middle Office: Managing Financial Institutions in Turbulent Times.
Too many numbers is a common flaw. Clients also need narrative explanations, says Lawton. In my experience, some people can quickly grasp the significance of a chart or table. Most people will benefit from explanation, especially an explanation that highlights the most important data.
Charts that are “busy and unattractive” are also a problem, Lawton says. He suggests that you hire a graphic designer to work with your performance analysis to fix this.
“…over time, ill-designed reports and poorly delivered explanations may damage relationships and erode trust,” concludes Lawton.
Jan. 22 comment by Philip Lawton:
It’s hard to get performance reporting right, but seeing it—and helping compliance officers see it—in the context of client relations can make a difference. Retail clients may be relatively unsophisticated, but institutional clients are typically very busy, and both need clear, meaningful communications. Performance reports must, of course, be complete enough not to be misleading, but too many numbers tend to elicit too many words of explanation; the result may be frustration and, ironically, incomprehension. That’s not the desired outcome!