Do you know why most investors fire their advisors? According to a Morningstar survey, poor performance is not the top reason. Instead, it’s personal. Thirty-two percent of respondents cited sub-par financial advice and services as a reason to leave, while 21% pointed to the quality of the advisor-client relationship.¹
If the top drivers of client retention are related to your relationship-building skills, investing in tools that help you strengthen ties is a wise strategic move.
Enter client relationship management, or CRM, technology. A CRM can help you provide clients with the kind of personalized, meaningful advice and connection they seek.
And the support a CRM offers runs deep. It doesn’t only store contact information and financial vitals for your customers — a CRM can help you accrue a wealth of valuable personal information. As you learn and record more about each client’s life, you can uncover more creative and bespoke ways to engage with clients individually and as a group.
Let’s take a closer look at CRM capabilities and how you can put them to use for your advisory firm.
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Understand What Your CRM Can Do
If you want to make the most of any technological tool, you first have to understand the range of its capabilities. Your CRM is designed to be way more than a glorified address book. When used to its full potential, it becomes like an in-depth biography of your client’s life and your relationship together.
Yes, your CRM will hold your client’s contact information, financial data, and account information, but it doesn’t stop there. Use your CRM to:
- Link users in your system. Knowing how a family’s accounts interact and overlap is relevant for planning and tax purposes, plus it helps you understand your clients’ closest interpersonal relationships.
- Track each client conversation with detailed notes. Then, create follow-up tasks that link to those notes to ensure you tackle any to-dos promptly.
- Manage your client tasks from within your CRM, so your entire team can see what’s happening with each client and account.
- Create a multifaceted client profile. You can fill out standard fields or draft your own. Financial information is relevant, but recording more personal details — anything from a client’s alma mater to their favorite food — can help you build deeper connections.
How exactly do these CRM features enable better client service?
Customize Your CRM To Your Needs
Building a personal connection or offering meaningful advice is challenging if you don’t have a complete picture of your client.
The numbers on a page will only get you so far, so the ability to customize your CRM fields is a game-changer for savvy advisors. Your relationship-building style is unique, and you can customize your CRM to support the way you work.
Perhaps you’re a big college sports fan, and one way you like to connect with clients is by talking about their alma mater’s team. Add a custom field to your CRM so you can note where each client attended college or university.
When you call up your UConn grad client, you can begin your chat by comparing your March Madness brackets. This personal, detail-oriented conversation starter goes a long way toward building trust and rapport.
Use CRM Data To Fuel Regular One-on-One Connection
Once you’ve started gathering personal information on your clients, ensure you’re using it to its full potential.
Keep an eye on your reminders tab for clients’ birthdays and wedding anniversaries so you can reach out on their special day. Creating additional touchpoints throughout the year signals to your client that they’re always on your radar.
Your customized fields can also play a role in strengthening those one-on-one interactions.
If you’re the kind of advisor who likes to take clients out for meals, create a custom field where you can track each client’s favorite restaurant, menu item, and drink order. Then, reach out with a customized invitation: “Let’s catch up over some Barolo and chicken picatta at your favorite spot.”
This personalized outreach is the type of next-level client service that fuels long-term relationships.
Sometimes, personal details inform more financially-focused conversations. When you note the names and birthdays of family members in your CRM, this information helps spark friendly conversation at the start of every call. But it’s also an opportunity for you to make more meaningful financial suggestions.
For example, suppose you inquire about your client’s kids, and your client shares that their first grandbaby is on the way! This happy news is the perfect springboard for a conversation about 529 plans. Your client may wish to establish a new account to save for their grandchild’s education, or it may lead them to refer their child to your firm.
Use CRM Segmentation To Develop Better Outreach
Gathering personal information not only fuels more nuanced and meaningful one-on-one conversations but also serves your firm in aggregate.
Head into your CRM and look at your audience’s demographic breakdown. Finding points of commonality among your prospects and clients can help you uncover new strategies for outreach and education.
For example, let’s say you notice that many of your clients are single women in their 50s and 60s. With the significant gender gap around retirement contributions, savings, and confidence, you might create a webinar that helps women understand what they can do to best position themselves for a financially-sound retirement.
You may also search for similarities in notes and tags within your CRM. If you see that 100 notes from recent client calls contain questions about cryptocurrency, you might create a Crypto 101 fact sheet to distribute to those individuals.
Leverage Automation To Improve Engagement
Once you’ve built out your CRM to house all the information you need to foster healthy client relationships, you can take things to the next level using CRM automations.
Configuring your system to trigger specific actions based on activities within the CRM can improve your client engagement without increasing your team’s workload.
For example, you can create a drip email campaign that goes out to all prospects automatically and on a schedule. This helps ensure consistent outreach and keeps the sales cycle moving, even if you get bogged down with other work.
After you’ve converted those prospects into clients, you may employ a series of automations to help streamline the client onboarding process. Perhaps you set your CRM to automatically send a confirmation email once your team opens the necessary client accounts. Alternatively, you may create a welcome email series that provides new clients essential education about how to use your client portal.
Best Practice Reminder: Keep CRM Data Accurate and Complete
As you can see, there’s so much you can accomplish when you use your CRM to its full potential. The more data you store within it, the better your results, with one caveat: Incorrect or outdated information can cause more harm than good.
If you call a client and ask about the spouse listed under their profile, only to be told that they went through a bitter divorce five years ago, your CRM is not serving you.
Get your team into the habit of treating your CRM like the source of truth for all client interactions. Encourage them to start and end their day in the CRM so everything runs smoothly and no old or incorrect data is left unaddressed.
Selecting a CRM that integrates seamlessly with the rest of your advisor tech stack — so your team can easily navigate from account information to trading platform and back again — encourages your team to treat the CRM as the go-to resource fueling your business relationships.
One integrated UX. One agreement. All the power of Orion.