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Australia's asset management firms are not speaking in plain English

Australia's asset management firms are not speaking in plain English

Poor communication fails customers - and damages trust

DUBLIN, Nov. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- VisibleThread, the content optimisation vendor, has released its readability study of the top 39 asset management firms in Australia. The results show how the financial services industry communicates. The average readability score in the study is 35.33. However, an acceptable score from a governance standpoint is 50.

Poor readability impacts on business

"Language clarity affects business efficiency. If visitors cannot understand a website or information documents, what does it say about an organisation's transparency?  And what assurance do clients have that internal helpline staff understand them either?" asks Fergal McGovern, CEO of VisibleThread.

Trust in financial services firms continues to decline

Trust has declined in the financial services sector, according to Edelman's 2018 Trust Barometer. Australia is one of 13 markets where trust has continued to decline between 2017 and 2018. The number one trust builder requested in the Edelman report is easy to understand documents. Financial services firms hold people's livelihoods and futures. It's little wonder that people want to have trust in the guardians of their finances.

Sentence length and passive voice

  • The average level of passive voice among the firms surveyed is 13%. Acceptable level is 4%
  • Australia's asset management companies use long sentences in 28% of copy - 5x the recommended frequency

Scores for each of the 39 companies surveyed are available here.

Optimising for readability is simple

The good news for firms is that technology can help simplify content. An AI solution can measure objective readability standards and provide metrics. Marketing and compliance professionals understand better where they need to improve. The ripple effect is happier customers - and much-needed trust.

VisibleThread: VisibleThread helps organisations govern content quality, embed plain language and simplify the user journey for their customers.



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