Orion Financial Group's Sacha Loutkovsky talks about the multiple channels she uses to engage clients, and how her strategy has changed since merging with an accounting group.
In the scheme of things, what will you guys be doing this year, or in the future, around client engagement?
It’s actually a multi-faceted approach to how we are going to engage our clients. There’s the marketing channel, which is then broken up into social media engagement, newsletter, blogs, YouTube, vlogs – the video content.
And there’s our business channel and how we actually engage clients on the on-boarding process and the ongoing process.
Then there’s review engagement – how do we keep clients on top of their overall portfolio? How do we engage clients across multiple channels? That’s going to be a new challenge for us.
Client engagement is not just social media. It’s not just one thing, it’s a whole strategy and that’s why I believe mapping it out, putting dates on a calendar and really sticking to it consistently is key here.
You mentioned that your firm had merged with an accounting practice to become Orion Financial Group. By creating the new business, how much of an opportunity has that given you to review the whole client engagement process? Has it given you an opportunity to look at this from a blank canvas?
Oh, 100 per cent. It really is looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes. And, of course, bringing other services on, including the new staff, that is also a fresh pair of eyes.
It is a brilliant opportunity. And one thing that is taking a lot of our time, in the early stages, is getting a process to begin with and then constant tweaking. If you put it in place once, it’s probably not going to be perfect even if you do a lot of testing beforehand.
One thing that we found with our risk processes is that every six to 12 months, they need changing. So, that in itself is a whole other job. We see a great opportunity, a lot of work, but it is for the client’s benefit at the end of the day because we want our clients to have the best experience and be educated.
When you look at it now, how much of what you were doing previously has gone out the window?
On the risk side, I wouldn’t say too much. I’d say the risk side has simply evolved. A key process for us in that has been our review process. Previously under our risk-only business, there was no opportunity to provide other services for our clients or even let them know. We didn’t have informal or formal relationships with local businesses in our area.
So now, our review process has changed to let clients know that we can help you in these areas and how to engage with us. I would say our review process as a specific standalone item here has become more robust as a result.
When it comes to bringing on new clients now, are there any changes in the way you guys get clients?
It actually has been an interesting challenge. And it’s been interesting to identify how clients are going to engage with us. So, if we were to start a business from scratch, you would go out and find clients, right? We see our situation as we have a number of clients who don’t know that we offer these (new) services so we’re going to them to let them know.
So it’s a little bit of a different angle. One of our biggest opportunities now is having the accountants buy into our business. What’s been fantastic is the trust that already came with that. I actually work one day a week out of our accountant’s office and we’re talking every week that I work there, they are handing me clients and we’re talking through how they can be approached.
I wouldn’t say new acquisitions are a huge focus for us because the opportunity within our own book of clients is quite good.
Once you have exhausted that number of clients, is it back to the drawing board on how to bring new clients into the business?
Absolutely. That’s a 12- to 18-month goal for us. There is so much we can do for clients in the first two years. But, in this time, it is also key for us to continue building relationships with our existing referral partners, and new referral partners.
One thing that we love is that location is not a boundary for us. We have offices in Brisbane, Chatswood and Parramatta. We have opportunities all up and down the east coast for the moment and expansion into other territories is not a concern for us either.
So, we're definitely looking forward with a goal of building new relationships, but the focus right now is internal.
More on this discussion between Ms Loutkovsky and Risk Adviser can be heard later next week with the launch of the latest podcast.
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