by Tony Vidler
In days gone by Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems were used as little more than simple marketing machines. They contained enough information to know who your clients were and how to contact them, and perhaps even had some prospects in there, and be able to produce a mail merge to run a marketing campaign to them.
Over the last few years advice businesses have expanded their use of CRM systems to begin managing advice workflow, with a particular focus on managing their own regulatory risks. That is; the emphasis has shifted to utilising the CRM system as a means of managing the advisers compliance concerns.
The increased expectations around providing written advice and “know your client” rules has meant that advice businesses generally have become more proficient at capturing hard data on clients, such as product or portfolio information. It has become common to rely upon data feeds from their preferred product suppliers to maintain current information in these areas.
So we have evolved in general terms into better use of CRM systems, using them to manage essential advice and client service functions, and ensuring that the essentials are captured or covered.
The really smart businesses are working their CRM systems a lot harder though, and investing a lot more effort into capturing data. They have recognized that the intellectual property, or capitalized value, of their business is a reflection of their organized customer intelligence. In other words a service business is worth a lot more when any new owner or investor can rely upon solid data to gauge the strength and degree of the customer relationships, together with the latent opportunity that lies within the business.
There are 5 key areas where today’s professionals can often strengthen their use of their CRM systems and build further capital value within their business, and they are:
A good CRM system should be way more than a compliance management system or a basic marketing platform. It can be the store of IP for the firm and a key efficiency or cost savings driver.
But the real bottom line is the more you know about your customers, the more valuable you are able to be to them. And therein lies the value FOR you.