The Lines of Communication
We continually monitor our lines of communication as well as the effectiveness of our communications. The lines are a very important first step in maintaining relationships which start as face-to-face contacts with clients.
A number of our clients were clients of other institutions when those institutions decided to relocate. In the eyes of many, the perception was that their communications would be dominated by 800 numbers and unknown trust staff who would answer their calls.
Our promise to our clients is that we will not relocate and we will focus on long term, stable, relationships made easier by our employee ownership. Equally important to us are clients who relocate and, whether we can continue to maintain our lines of communication.
One challenge in maintaining our lines of communication is the geography. Our territory is the State of Vermont, with a population of approximately 624,000. Were we in Boston, which has approximately the same population as Vermont, the availability of in-house specialists would not be an issue of geography if clients prefer face-to-face communications with, for example, a tax specialist who resides in another part of the state.
Another challenge is the expansion of lines of communication that are best served by face-to face communications. This territory expands as family members relocate: children who will become important participants in family financial decisions, or clients who retire to Florida.
The founders of the Trust Company of Vermont embraced the use of email in 1985 to allow for internal communications with the expectation that clients would also start to use email as one form of communication. In subsequent years, we have focused on the susceptibility of this line of communication to secure client information.
By chance or by choice, we are pre-disposed to use innovation of communications to maintain old fashioned relationships.
Our focus includes secure internet access to statements, enhanced phone access, security of email and video access.
And of late, remote “face-to-face”: Trust Company of Vermont Case Study