A growing business is hardly a bad thing, but financial advisors whose services are expanding face a catch-22: The larger an organization grows, the harder it is to provide the personalized communications that played a role in its initial success.
Technology (a meeting reminder SMS, for example) can enable scalable communication, but financial advisors can't risk sending messages that will sound too impersonal. When it comes to something as critical as a client's finances, anything an advisor says should imply an appropriate degree of either personal knowledge or attentiveness. Everything from appointment reminders to status updates require some level of context to be effective.
Given this, how do you decide what tech-infused communications clients would be most open to seeing? Which provide an adequate mix of client convenience and organization utility? Most importantly, with so many options out there, which are best suited to a financial advisor's unique needs?
Respect Clients' Time with a Meeting Reminder SMS
Of course, not every message an advisor sends needs to contain specific financial information. Nor does it always need to be highly personal. Sometimes, all it takes is a reminder to make a customer feel valued.
Enter the appointment reminder SMS, a tool designed to make life easier for both the advisor and the client by eliminating missed appointments, last-minute reschedules, and complete no-shows.
Anyone who has received SMS alerts from their healthcare provider will understand the gist. Instead of wasting staff hours emailing every client with appointment reminders or expecting those clients to remember the date and time themselves, an automated tool texts the client a reminder at a predetermined interval. Clients who can meet the initial commitment simply reply "YES" to confirm. Those who can't, meanwhile, simply reply with "CHANGE" or call the embedded phone number to find a time that works better for them.
Missed appointments and no-shows are both highly common and a substantial drain on a financial advisor's time. Meanwhile, clients who have forgotten about an appointment scheduled months ago may become frustrated when they need to reschedule. A meeting reminder SMS can solve both these issues, saving time for the advisor while giving the client a more positive experience. It helps clients and advisors alike make the best possible use of their time — all from a bit of contextual information as simple as an appointment date.
There's little doubt technology can both enable and encourage substantial growth within a financial advisory service. The trick is in finding the right technology.
Scale Communication with a CRM System
In an industry beset by hard numbers and quantifiable figures, interpersonal trust is still the single most important quality a financial advisor can cultivate. The business grows according to the level of personalized care it provides. But, as mentioned above, this can create a sort of "gotcha" situation for successful advisors, as their growing client list makes it harder and harder to provide the necessary level of personalization.
This conundrum also explains the industry's ongoing migration from contact management systems to customer relationship management (CRM) platforms. CRM software can help all sorts of advisors — from planners to wealth managers and beyond — maintain a robust base of client knowledge that would be impossible to keep track of otherwise.
Consider the number of financial goals a planner helps meet in a given day, week, or month. Combined with a growing base of customers and the sacrosanct need for trust, this all but invites bad luck for the unprepared planner. Imagine mistakenly mentioning wealth management goals to a client who is visiting to discuss certain financial challenges — or worse, referencing the wrong account — and it's easy to see how trust deflates when there's an inadequate level of personal knowledge.
Among other uses, CRMs combat this by encouraging in-depth intelligence gathering from the smallest interactions. For example, the planner could note in the system when any outbound communications with a given client occurred, giving them a point of reference and an easy way to establish competence — and thus trust — during the next visit (i.e., "Did you see that article on effective record-keeping I sent? I thought you'd find it useful."). From detailed financial information to endearing personal flourishes ("How are Brenda and the kids?"), CRMs can help the savvy financial planner to know just what to say.
These are just a few examples of a CRM's transformative utility for growing financial advisors. In addition to the above, most CRMs can even be integrated with many of your other communication technologies, making nurturing client relationships easier across the board.
The Right Technology for Long-Term Growth
There's little doubt technology can both enable and encourage substantial growth within a financial advisory service. The trick is in finding the right technology. For organizations beginning to see the downsides of growth, the answer could be as simple as a meeting reminder SMS. In these and countless other cases, finding smarter ways to maintain customer-centric communication is the key to sustained, long-term growth.