Using CRM to attract and service clients
Rosie Jackson, head of Product Proposition at Outsourcery, identifies how CRM can help advisers retain clients and grow their businesses
Technology is moving at such a fast pace but how do you get to grips with it when it isn’t your core business or your number one priority? Moving to a service-orientated approach from a transaction model means that there is real competition to retain and manage your existing client relationships, before someone else manages to get a foot in the door.
Identifying the right product to fit the right client, working harder for the same fee and obtaining organic growth are all real challenges. There is an immediate need for advisers to invest in nurturing client opportunities, in order to grow their business and there are solutions available to allow you to succeed in this area, without too much technological disruption.
There are many challenges facing advisers currently:
• Relationship building for long-term client servicing. How do you retain large amounts of information on your growing client base? Remembering the simple facts about clients really builds trust and loyalty.
• Client retention and generating repeat business. With so much competition how do you keep in touch with your clients on a regular basis so they don’t forget you and the additional services you can offer?
• Referrals – How do you keep a track of referred business and who referred it? Could you encourage more of this type of activity?
• Turning potential business into actual client meetings. How do you identify prospective clients with the most potential? Where do you keep a record of business cards you have picked up whilst networking? When business is slow, whom do you target to obtain new opportunities whilst remaining compliant?
• Identifying your high net worth clients. How do you spend less time with the time wasters and more time with the clients with growing business? Can you even identify which those are? Sometimes the clients that you spend the most time with are not necessarily the most profitable for you.
• Future/Additional opportunities – How do you monitor any future needs recognised in the client review to ensure clients receive the best possible service and opportunities are maximised?
• Compliance. How do you ensure individual advisers remain competent and the business remains compliant?
• Completing review documents and sending to clients. How do you ensure these documents are sent to clients at the correct point of sale? How are regular reviews diarised in line with your procedures?
• Being able to work and access your systems from anywhere. Only being able to access business systems containing client information when in the office means you duplicate work when having to update a high amount of client records later.
• Technology. Not being your core business, how can you keep at the forefront of technology whilst ensuring your data is secure?
How CRM can help
CRM helps you better understand your clients and their behaviour; so you can sell to them more successfully, maintain on-going relationships with improved customer service and create more effective marketing campaigns.
CRM gives you a familiar interface accessible on your desktop, laptop or mobile device, making it easy to adopt and use within your business. It gives a 360-degree view of all your existing and prospective clients, the interactions you have had with them and the future interactions you would like to have with them in order that you can create service propositions to meet their needs. CRM can be delivered via the cloud on a monthly rental per user, accessed with a simple internet connection from any location or device. You log in via a URL on your web browser and your data is stored in the cloud for added security and backup. You can also access it via your Outlook email account within the typical Outlook toolbar. And, importantly, it can be developed and configured to meet your specific needs.
Alternatively CRM can be delivered as software than can sit on a server situated in your offices.
Benefits for adviser businesses
The benefits for financial advisers in using CRM now are numerous.
• Relationship building for long-term client servicing. You can access all the information about a client in one place so that you can recall facts very simply for each appointment. This helps develop trust and shows you deeply understand their situation.
• Client retention. CRM can diarise call back requests, you can schedule e-shots to keep in touch with your clients and make them feel valued and remembered. All without too much effort as this functionality can be automated for a low touch response.
• Referrals. You can identify referred business enabling you to carry out specific marketing campaigns to encourage more or to automate a thank you response without too much time or effort.
• Identifying your high net worth clients. Managing prospects and categorising them at different stages of your business cycle will help you to move your business along and also identify which clients are bringing you the most revenue. You can then ensure you are socialising and investing your time with the most worthy qualified clients.
• Uncovering additional value added service opportunities. Being able to run a report on prospects at different stages will help you renew existing policies or identify when specifically that client wants to be contacted again.
• Compliance. Workflows can be developed in CRM to prompt the adviser to issue documents at set points in the sale, and restrictions applied if they are not completed.
• Completing review documents and sending to clients. Automate the workflow within CRM to ensure documents are completed at the correct time and sent to clients within permitted time scales. Additional documents and quotes can be attached to the record.
• Being able to work and access your systems from anywhere. CRM delivered from the cloud can be accessed anywhere with a simple internet connection so you can update records in real time and avoid duplication on your return to the office.
• Technology. CRM in the cloud is managed by the cloud provider so as new technology is introduced you can take advantage and upgrade as required without needing the expertise to run and manage the application on equipment in your office.
• Turning potential business into actual client meetings. Leads and referrals can be categorised in CRM to help you identify and market more efficiently. Sending nurturing emails at different stages without too much effort to enable you to generate new business in a responsive way. You can turn data into actionable insight that enable end users to create sophisticated reports.