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CRM as the Center of a Proactive Client Service Strategy

The degree or extent of CRM (customer relationship management) software usage varies among advisor practices.  Some advisors may simply use CRM to record notes from client conversations, effectively not using the CRM features to their fullest.  This may affect the efficiency of your practice when it comes to delivering outstanding service to your clients.  One sign this might be the case is if most clients call you instead of you first reaching out to them.


Central to a proactive strategy is a CRM system that is the dashboard for all client data, interactions, tasks and reports.  Staff should utilize CRM as the center of a client service strategy to reach out to clients at regular intervals.


Incorporate these steps to use CRM as a proactive client service tool:


Get to really know clients.  Take notes on their interests.  By knowing their likes and dislikes, advisors can offer better events, give better gifts and make better connections.  If the CRM is used to its fullest, it should bring advisors and clients closer together.  Enter reminders for life milestones, birthdays and more to create several extra opportunities to reach out to clients throughout the year.


Capture all correspondence with clients.  All phone call and emails should be entered into the CRM.  Sometimes functionality exists to send emails from within the CRM so they are recorded automatically.  Other CRMs allow integration with email software allowing emails to synch to client pages within CRM.  The key is to capture client emails with minimal effort.


Input your client service tasks.  Utilize a client service matrix that defines services offered to clients at varying levels. (See my RIA Central article on creating a client service matrix.)  Take the time to integrate the activities and tasks from the matrix into the CRM.  By assigning tasks, owners and due dates, staff can receive reminders and work can be completed before deadlines unexpectedly come up.


Monitor tasks to increase efficiency.  Most CRM systems have the capability of generating reports.  Advisors can use this functionality to create a weekly report of client service activities.  This allows managers to track actions and allocate resources where they are most needed.


Be a step ahead of your clients.  By noting the patterns of clients who may call for information at a certain time of year, tasks can be anticipated with reminders popping up on calendars.  That way the advisor and staff will be the one calling the client to provide that needed information, not the other way around.  This proactive service will lead to strengthened relationships as clients value advisors who listen to their needs.


By utilizing the full functionality that your CRM offers, advisors and staff will be more efficient in delivering consistent client service that is valued by clients.  CRM is an indispensible tool for advisors who wish to improve client relationships and run a better business.


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