Your clients will be happy for you when you tell them about your new technology tools. Your clients will be happier when you show them your new tools.
Congratulations! You just implemented a new ______________ (insert CRM, portfolio reporting, re-balancer, client portal, etc.) and you see an immediate improvement in the efficiency of your back-office. These sophisticated tools can store more client data, automate the consolidation of client assets, and streamline the reporting process to shorten the delivery time.
What did your clients see? Do client reports reflect information that the new tools provide or are you showing your clients the same reports that you have previously shown them?
What about client services? Are your services beyond the basic happy birthday wishes and classifying your clients as “A”, “B”, and “C”?
One mistake advisors make upon upgrading their technology is not fully utilizing the features of the new system. For example, advisors want the same reports - in some cases in the same format - as what they currently receive. Clients may not notice your upgrade because they don’t see any change in the services they receive and the reports look the same.
Show your clients what your back-office investment means for them.
Beyond the “birthday wishes”
Your CRM is able to store additional information that allows you to provide personalized services to your clients. Whether it is related to investments, future goals, retirement wishes, or other personal interests, use the information to enhance client services.
Example: Create a group consisting of young adults (children of clients) who just entered the work force or are about to enter. Consider ways to communicate with them to discuss budgeting, saving in the early years, or other relevant goals they may have. Show them how they can reach those goals and that you understand their needs as well as their parents.
Portfolio accounting and reporting software allow you to consolidate client assets, analyze client data in the format you choose, and customize the reporting packet to highlight specific areas of the portfolio. This enables you to move away from a standardized set of reports for all clients to a packet tailored to each client’s needs, issues, or investment goals. It doesn’t have to be a major overhaul. You can begin by adding a report that would be of interest to each client.
Think outside the box
Other technology solutions - software, hardware, tools provided by outsourcing firms- have features that enable you to enhance client services. As a firm (administrative staff included), take a look at the features provided by these tools and brainstorm how they can be used to your firm’s advantage. Utilize the custom field, report writing, data analytic, and dashboard capabilities to keep track of and provide you with new and better client information.
Think about the services you would like to provide to your clients – the ones you haven’t because you didn’t have the right systems in place. Your new tools can change that.
Make it your goal that your clients see your back-office investment as money well spent.
Susan Glover is President of Susan Glover & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in operating solutions for new and growing advisory firms. With over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, she assists advisors in the areas of transition, operations and technology management, and business support. Visit her website at: www.susangloverassociates.com. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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