While customer relationship management software often has a role in handling client data at financial advisory firms, advisors don’t always take full advantage of CRM’s capabilities.
A CRM system can also help firms better manage their business and client relationships, support sales management, provide insight on clients, help manage workflow and facilitate team communication.
Think of CRM software as the brain of your business operations for developing, retaining and acquiring customers. In addition to helping financial advisors find new clients and handle customer issues, CRM can maintain important compliance records and manage the flow of information. And it provides a central resource where teams can access client data, including custodian and account information, and document communication with clients.
Building out your CRM software is not an easy task. Financial advisors have swaths of data that need to be organized and managed to get the best use of CRM, and it can be a struggle for advisors to abandon their low-tech habits. If they record client calls on slips of paper, store task reminders in Outlook or sometimes forget steps when processing leads, the transition may be a challenge.
To get the most out of your CRM software, your team must understand how a CRM platform can drive customer service, data management, client retention and the monitoring of work. The in-person customer relationship is important, but active CRM management between the advisory practice and the client is also critical.
Here are five steps to take toward getting more out of CRM software at your practice.
Clear Out and Correct Old Data in Your System
A CRM platform is only as useful as the data stored within it.
To better leverage your CRM, identify data that are outdated or incorrect. This usually applies to client household information, communication preferences, billing and fees, account histories and other data financial advisors access on a daily basis.
Set Up Your Dashboard and Customize Settings
Financial advisors use a number of software platforms to analyze accounts and serve their clients.
Not having customized views and settings for your CRM is going to slow your day-to-day workflow. Decide which components of your client profile are most useful to have up front and set up your dashboard accordingly.
There are many CRM platforms out there, so review the settings that are available. Some examples include settings for client profiles, account information, balances and “not in good order,” or NIGO, alerts from custodians. Ask your team for feedback on your selections.
Commit to Creating Transparency and Eiminating Silos
CRM functionality promotes better collaboration between employees in different departments, with remote workers and among in-office teams. Everyone using the same tool in a similar fashion allows more efficient and consistent data retrieval. Having a centralized database that is viewed in real time helps create a single source of “truth” for each customer.
When a client calls to speak with one department or team member, everyone who has access to the CRM will see what transpired. As teams continue to work remotely post-pandemic, that transparency will become even more important.
Integrate Your Scheduling Tools
In sales and marketing, even the smallest task can be time-consuming. If you still book client appointments manually, a CRM integrated with a scheduling tool such as Calendly can help you automate the task. This will let you email clients directly from the client record and document the conversation.
Emails and text reminders, depending on the scheduling platform, can save your staff even more time. The process will reduce errors and free up your team to focus on priorities.
Lay Down Some Ground Rules for Using the CRM
If your team is not using the CRM to its full potential, it won’t have the desired impact on your business. So that everyone who works with it is on the same page, establish a list of rules and make it company policy that every new lead must be processed through the CRM. In the absence of a definitive process, people will create their own rules, so enforce the correct use of the CRM right off the bat.
A CRM system that is used efficiently will keep your firm on top of the myriad small details that can make or break a client relationship. Making every meeting relevant, by tracking all the details as your client base increases, will help you serve your clients better in the short and long term. Trying to track these details manually can lead to costly mistakes and compliance problems.
In the end, failing to understand your clients’ priorities may cause you to lose them as customers. Instead, maximize your CRM’s potential to build client relationships more effectively and provide an ideal customer experience from the start.
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