As well as enabling advisors to improve communication and offer an increased level of service to their clients, CRM tools play a crucial role in helping financial professionals adhere to the latest industry regulations. Rules and guidelines are changing constantly and it can be an uphill struggle to keep up as the industry evolves. But when you consider that an advisor in breach of a regulation may face a heavy fine or even criminal proceedings, adherence is a necessity.
“By tracking all interactions with clients and prospects, CRM software is helping advisors to minimize regulatory risk,” Karen Maguire, CEO and Founder of Satuit Technologies, says. “When an advisor is audited they can get the auditor to log into their CRM and then walk them through the client history, contact points and the information they’ve sent out to the client. It makes auditing much easier for financial professionals.”
In addition to helping advisors get instant access to client information, modern CRM tools share client changes throughout the organization. If an advisor has a client’s old phone number in their address book, the CRM will have the correct information. “CRMs increase an advisor’s ability to know the complete history with the client, even if there’s a high turnover of staff within an organization,” Maguire says. “If a manager or client manager leaves, you lose that client history if it’s not in the CRM. History and transparency are so important.”
Even in a small organization of 8 – 10 employees, there is still the potential for client information to fall through the gaps if it’s stored on spreadsheets. “Having all of that information centralized and knowing the history, no matter who picks up the phone, is extremely importantly – not just to the business but to the client too,” Maguire says. “They want to feel that you know them and that you’re paying attention to their accounts.”
The most innovative CRM tools include databases that are organized around the business, family or entity with which an advisor is engaged. This makes the CRM easier to use and more efficient than less modern versions. “The contact centric models of most generic CRMs often require heavy customization by third parties in order to get the CRM to work in the way an advisory firms needs it to,” says Maguire.