Back-office insight: XPLAN, aligning your service and standards
Sara Row, senior solutions consultant, IRESS, explores how the company’s XPLAN back-office and CRM system can help adviser firms with full client servicing cycle which is aligned with their service standards
Ensuring your clients receive the service they are promised and that you want to deliver is no small feat. Written down processes can help with consistency, but effectively tracking what you are delivering, and how, is quite another challenge. Doing this efficiently and cost-effectively raises the bar still further.
Technology has fundamentally transformed the way financial services are delivered and you’d be hard pushed today to find an advisory firm that didn’t employ some sort of technology to streamline processes and hold client records.
But how many businesses are using all the potential that technology offers? For example, not only can XPLAN help you with the full client servicing cycle, from regular market updates to annual reviews, you can also see at a glance whether these are aligned with the service standards you promised your client.
As the client moves through the servicing cycle, you can set their service category in XPLAN and assign them a ‘Service Benchmark’ set – essentially a menu of pre-determined service deliverables.
For example, if your most important clients should receive an annual review, a quarterly newsletter and an update call every six months, Service Benchmarks will track each of those items and provide delivery analysis, ensuring your advice proposition is meeting client expectations and providing an excellent customer experience at all times.
You can tailor that experience to different service levels from the reports you provide to regular emailed newsletters to booking appointments with automated reminders via SMS or email. These can be auto-saved in the client’s online portal, letting them track the service and keep up-to-date with you, saving you time on unnecessary in-bound calls.
It can sometimes be a challenge with clients’ busy lives to engage with them in a way that feels truly personal and increasingly, we are seeing technology help to bridge that gap. Video conferencing using XPLAN online meetings can cut travel costs and time outside of meetings and still provide that personalised experience in a way that’s more accessible for clients. That could be a quick update chat or sharing your screen to run through a Cashflow Plan.
Not only are you keeping costs and time outside of meetings to a minimum but you are enhancing those all-important ‘proof points’ for compliance. Video recordings can be saved for later review, along with digitally signed documents using XPLAN’s Digital Signature capability. Tracking activity in this way can help mitigate risk within the business. The recordings also provide an internal review mechanism – allowing you to constantly monitor and evolve your digital proposition for clients.
Using the extended reach and flexibility that video provides could also help you to grow your business beyond any natural geographical constraints and reach a much wider audience.
Schedule, complete, repeatThe client review process can be largely automated too, meaning everything runs as it should with little human intervention beyond ensuring that updated policy values align with what is expected. XPLAN can take care of scheduling the review, instigating an appropriate workflow, creating the documentation, auto-completing the review and then activating the next review – which starts the process again.
These reviews, tasks and associated services such as valuation statements, review reports, online review meeting recordings etc. can all be tracked by the service benchmarks.
By taking advantage of the range of XPLAN functionality you can not only fulfil the promise of service standards you make to your clients but also document and audit exactly how you are delivering those services. This latter point is becoming increasingly important as we head into a new chapter of regulatory scrutiny around the way we engage with clients.
Visit the IRESS website