From checklists to surveys, automating processes helps ensure accuracy and efficiency
There are many moving parts to running any business, and when it comes to managing clients’ money, there’s little room for errors or missed opportunities. It may sound simple, but integrating internal processes like checklists into your customer relationship managementsystem you can keep things running smoothly.
My firm uses about 200 checklists, all customized within our CRM system. Each checklist is based on a template and can be assigned to individual clients or households. Once a checklist is assigned to a client, the CRM automatically creates a copy of the checklist, which becomes a permanent part of the client’s record.
Here are a few examples of how we use checklists to ensure accuracy and efficiency in my firm.
My firm uses the checklist process as clients’ tax returns are reviewed every year. Once the tax returns are received, a junior adviser extracts information from them—such as the client’s adjusted gross income and deduction amounts—and enters everything into the CRM system. When this information is entered, it triggers a to-do list for the client’s primary financial adviser, which includes reviewing the client’s tax return,
The adviser can then see if there are any opportunities to save the client money—for instance, sometimes we’ve found that the tax preparer has made a mistake. The information from the tax returns triggers an email summary to the client that goes over the highlights of their tax returns.
My firm also uses a checklist whenever clients are transferring money. We have a detailed process that includes everything from verifying that the check has been signed and dated to emailing the client when the deposit has been verified.
In addition to maintaining accuracy, having these clear, detailed processes in place helps staff be more efficient. Administrative staff can take care of many of the tasks within the checklists, which frees up advisers to focus on client relationships. And as new staff are hired, these checklists and processes help with training. New employees are able to see exactly what needs to be done in each scenario, whether they’re helping clients fund their individual retirement accounts or designating beneficiaries as part of their estate planning.