As tax season winds down, financial advisors are coming off one of their busiest times of the year. Over the past few months, many client meetings and calls have not just been focused on year-end portfolio reviews, but also tax minimization and tax avoidance strategies and fielding numerous cost basis inquiries. Without fail, many clients wait until the last minute to file their taxes. Many are faced with owing Uncle Sam more than they anticipated so they frantically need to meet with their financial advisor to somehow lower their taxable income. As a result of the increase in back-to-back-to-back client meetings during the tax season, it can be very difficult to remember the details from every conversation and keep things straight. Along those lines, the advisor may not have met with the same client since three to six months ago. In either scenario, it is extremely crucial for the advisor to record and recall key facts from client dialogues and interactions, regardless of the vast amount of time in between meetings.
Financial advisors equipped with Microsoft Dynamics CRM will have a significant advantage over the competition, particularly during tax season, for many reasons. First, having a detailed historical log of interactions with clients and prospects allows the advisor to easily retrieve and reference recent and past conversations and pick right up where he left off. Clients value when their advisor remembers discussing important items in their lives. Being able to revisit and reflect on key topics or outcomes from prior informal or formal talks with clients shows that that the advisor really cares. The advisors who can exhibit genuine appreciation for what is going on with their clients’ lives and actually provide solutions to their clients’ problems will generate the most loyalty and repeat business.
Secondly, Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides the advisor with an edge because the historical tracking of client conversations serves an audit log and lessens liability exposure in the case of a potential client dispute over an advisor’s recommended course of action. What was reviewed, what options were presented, and what ultimately was recommended to the client can all be logged under the client’s profile in CRM.
Thirdly, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an effective way for advisors to not let critical follow-up items fall through the cracks. Many onboarding, allocation change, distribution requests, and portfolio or tax review meeting set-up processes can even be automated. Advisors with thorough tracking in CRM can reveal to a client when exactly and how many times they have requested an outstanding document to politely show how the client is dragging his feet.
Fourthly, having such detailed records also covers the advisor if a client ever complains about fees. Being able to quickly pull up in CRM a client profile and rattle off specific dates, what questions were answered, what was modified on an account, what was researched, what was recommended, and what referrals were provided all validate how hard the advisor works on the client’s behalf.
Lastly, Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers the advisory firm the benefit of shared institutional knowledge. Even if the advisor is in another meeting or out of the office, one of his client service team members can jump right into CRM, locate the client profile, get up to speed, properly handle the client request, schedule or confirm the next appropriate face-to-face meeting, and record what took place for future use by a colleague down the road. The open, collaborative nature of CRM eliminates service bottlenecks and provides seamless customer service.
Tax time, though very busy and at times stressful, presents a great opportunity for financial advisors to connect with clients and demonstrate value. To learn more about how Customer Effective has tailored Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to create a central, collaborative, and comprehensive xRM platform and productivity enhancer for wealth management firms and the financial advisor community, please visit:
Post by: Kevin Wessels,