Monday, January 26, 2009

Would you "robo call" your financial planning clients?

I wouldn't.

I winced when I saw "robo calls" among the crisis communications tools recommended by a marketer who shall remain anonymous. This person suggested using robo calls to invite financial planning clients to a quickly organized meeting or conference call at a time of crisis.

Robo calls. Those automated, pre-recorded phone messages that jam up my phone line even after I hang up. I don't care what their topic is. I do not want to be robo-called.

But is there a good alternative for speedy communication with many people? If you've got 300 clients, like some investment advisors I've known, it isn't practical to call each one individually. Letters aren't fast enough. Email blasts require that you have email addresses for all of your clients--and that they pay attention to email. 

Maybe robo calls would be okay if you get your clients' permission in advance to use this method only in times of crisis.

What do YOU think?

Susan B. Weiner, CFA
Check out my website at or sign up for my free monthly e-newsletter.
Copyright 2009 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved


  1. Hi Susan,

    Robocalls? Not a chance. I also cringed when I saw that piece in a recent adviser magazine. Robocalling sends the wrong message to clients.

    Podcasts, videocasts, and even mail-merged emails with personal greetings convey a much more meaningful and lasting message than a robo call ever would.

  2. When dealing with a crisis situation, the more quickly you can contact everyone involved, the better.

    If everybody needs to get out of the building because of a fire and alarms aren't working, an extremely annoying robocall is in order.

    If a deadline has been moved up a week and it's crunch time for a team, it might be good to follow up a chipper robocall with one of those videocasts.

    You know, if it were suddenly revealed that clients would read large-print emails in purple and green type 100% of the time, wouldn't we immediately start using the gaudy format?

    In answer, yes. If you clear robocalls with clients beforehand, you are smooth-sailing on sound bytes!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.