Learn how to write reader-friendly and engaging suitability reports

Learn how to write reader-friendly and engaging suitability reports

Ed Evans

Ok, let’s be honest about this – suitability reports aren’t page turners, and they’re certainly never going to compete with the latest best seller as bedtime reading for your clients, however well crafted they may be! Having said this, I do believe that if you employ just a little creativity and follow some tried-and-tested report writing techniques, it is still possible to write reader-friendly and engaging suitability reports.

It’s all too easy to view suitability reports as a itch that needs to be scratched to fulfil one’s compliance obligations and to approach their creation with the enthusiasm typically reserved for a trip to the dentist! After all your client has probably already accepted your recommendations, so provided the report ticks all the necessary compliance boxes, why spend time – you don’t have – worrying about presentation and accessibility….right? Wrong!

Principle 7 of Treating Customers Fairly states:

A firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients, and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading”

Thus falling into this mindset will not only put you at odds with the regulator, but it’s also likely to prove detrimental to the long term success of your business. There are clear benefits to putting the client at the centre of the report writing process and providing them with a reader-friendly and engaging suitability report, including:

Benefits to the client

  • Makes a dry and complex subject matter more accessible.
  • Aids the client’s understanding of your recommendations.
  • Provides peace of mind.
  • Encourages dialogue and questions.
  • Delivers customer service.

 

Benefits to the company

  • Provides a competitive advantage.
  • Reduces the likelihood of future complaints.
  • Reinforces your professionalism.
  • Enhances your brand.
  • Enhances your service and strengthens your client relationships.
  • Fulfils the expectations of the regulator.
  • Demonstrates your commitment to Treating Customers Fairly.

 

Over the course of the next few weeks I plan to share some ideas with you as to how you can make your suitability reports more reader-friendly and engaging. Some of the topics I’m looking to cover include length, format, language, grammar, structure and styling. Please don’t expect to be transformed into the next JRR Tolkien or JK Rowling, but you may just pick up a few helpful tips along the way. And if you got a spare minute, please leave a comment – I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Many of the concepts I’ll be writing about over the coming weeks are highlighted in our suitability report template. See how you can make your suitability reports more reader-friendly and engaging –  download your free suitability report template here.

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