6 Factors to Consider when Evaluating Financial Services CRM

Working in the financial sector gives your business the opportunity to provide services to many different types of people on a regular basis. Working with so many people and financial products can become confusing, you need a way to keep track of your interactions and advice offered. Because of this, many financial servcies companies use CRM solutions to avoid chaos and customer churn.

Using CRM solutions is also a good way to help build relationships and promote customer loyalty. If you work in the financial sector, you have many different options to consider when it comes to choosing a CRM solution for your business.

Before deciding which CRM software to implement, consider the size and scope of your business and the six following key factors-
  1. Does the CRM provide a 360 degree view of the customer? 
  2. Can it track buying behaviour? 
  3. Does it have intelligent marketing/ cross selling campaigns? 
  4. Can it generate customized auto alerts and reminders? 
  5. What are its collaboration capabilities? 
  6. Can it integrate with other systems?
360 degree view of customers
One of the first factors to look at is what type of information the CRM software can collect and display for each customers and is it easily accessible around the clock. Can the CRM solution display a holistic view of your customer to all the stakeholders allowing quick respone in crucial situations? When working in the financial sector, you may need to collect a large amount of information about each customer for compliance and also to better serve them. This information should be updated regularly and contain details of their most recent transactions. All CRM systems allow you to track basic personal information such as the customer’s name, phone number and address, but you need to track other vital information and analytics too, if you want to provide the best service. For example, in the financial services sector, you may need to keep track of conversations you have about specific investments, risk appetite and goals. Storing this information in your CRM software allows you to easily refer to it before offering ant advice and it also helps in cross-selling.

Tracking buying behaviour
Another feature that you may want to look for in a CRM solution for the financial sector is the ability to track customer decisions and activities. For example, if you sell investment products to your customers, you need to be able to keep track of what products each customer prefers and purchases. By tracking this information, you can develop a profile of each customer and figure out what types of investments they like. This way, when a new product becomes available, you can easily print out a list of customers that may be interested in it. Tracking the past decisions of your customers will give you an inclination of how they might be willing to invest in the future and the most appropriate product to offer.

Intelligent marketing/cross selling campaigns
Many CRM platforms allow you to customize marketing messages to your customers based on the information collected. For example, if your company is promoting a particular mutual fund, you can easily scan through all of your customers that are interested in bonds and mutual funds. You can also see which customers are looking for more investment opportunities, based on discussions that you have had in the past. At that point, the CRM system may be able to send out customized emails to each customer with the pertinent marketing messages using customized templates. Monthly newsletters related to the stock market and key trends can be sent to specific mailing lists too, using a mail blaster.

After sending out marketing messages, it may also be beneficial to be able to track the recipients' responses to the message and have clarity regarding undelivered ones. Some CRM programs allow you to easily track this information using delivery reports and by generating alerts based on specific filter conditions. By studying this information, you can gauge how much interest the client has in the product that you offered in the marketing message and create follow-up tasks. Text message campaigns for time-bound offers can be created for instantly generating new leads and capturing their details through the CRM solution to ensure effective tracking and optimal conversions.

Auto alerts and reminders
When choosing a CRM solution for your financial services business, you also need to find one that generates reminders on the basis of configurable settings. One of the most important factors of being successful in the financial services industry is developing relationships with your customers. CRM today incorporates impressive social networking features to facilitate viewing profile information, comments and mutual friends. They will also remind you of important dates in the customer’s lives such as birthdays and anniversaries, this can go a long way towards helping you grow your relationships. Most CRM programs even integrate with automated mailing services to send birthday cards or other greetings to leads and customers. Customers like being remembered and enjoy the personalized touch.

Getting reminders from your CRM program can also be beneficial when it comes to selling new products and services to your customers. In some cases, you may approach a customer about a particular product that you want to sell and he will tell you to check back in a month. At that point, you can input this information into your CRM program and set a reminder for the appropriate day and time. An alert can be set for a few hours before the scheduled discussion to ensure all related open activities are completed and you are equipped with up-to-date information to increase your chances of winning an opportunity. Most customers will be impressed that you remembered and are well informed, thereby being more receptive to your proposals.

Collaboration between all stakeholders
Depending on the size of your business, you may also need to be able to collaborate with multiple departments, partners and even customers. If the financial CRM solution offers the ability to allow multiple users to access and input information, this will increase synergy in the business and help to serve the customers in the most effiecient and effective manner.

For instance, when someone from your company talks to a customer, they can take notes on the conversation and input that information into the CRM program. Then when someone else from contacts the same person, he will be able to see the content of the last conversation with that customer. By seeing this, the employee does not have to rehash old information that the customer has already been subjected to in the past. This will please the customer and save the company time overall.

Ideal Business Size
The size of your business also has an impact on what type of financial services CRM solution you should implement. Requirements of large organisations in terms of scalability, integration, processes are more complex and demanding than a small or a medium sized company. These depends on the number of users, products offered, geographic dispersion of teams etc. You should evaluate both cloud CRM (Saas CRM) and on premise CRM with an option to switch when needed based on an organization's needs.

Integration with other systems
Before choosing a financial services CRM solution for your financial services, you may also want to find out if it integrates with other programs that you currently use to store important customer and product related information. For example, if the CRM system allows you to integrate with MS Excel, MS Access, real-time stock market systems, etc. this can increase efficiency. If users have to use completely different programs and re-enter data - adoption will be low, buying the CRM program may not be worth the trouble.

The ultimate goal of using financial services CRM solution is to increase customer loyalty and avoid churn in a competitive and crowded business environment. This software has the potential to improve the user experience by making the marketing and sales processes easier and more efficient. Because of this, it has the potential to keep your customers coming back for more. With most businesses, customers can get the same products you offer from a competitor. The reason they come back to you is because of the service you provide - accurate updates, market insights and timely advice.

Regardless of which financial services CRM solution you choose, make sure the solution provider has good domain knowledge and the past experience of implementing in an organisation similar to yours in size and operations. You should also always check for references and tangible benefits for the CRM implementation.


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