In today’s competitive advisory environment, advisors need to have their best foot forward at all times. Advisors can hope to hold a competitive advantage by giving an enhanced client experience.
One way to do so is by maintaining a comprehensive client database that can help advisors give their clients an enhanced and personalised service experience, believes Amol Joshi of Plan Rupee.
Today, when people can get financial advice on social media and internet, an advisor has to add value to his clients to stand out from the crowd, points out Suresh Sadagopan of Ladder7 Financial Advisories. “This is where an extensive client database forms a strong foundation to a client centric practice,” he says.
Here are few pointers that can help you make an extensive client database:
This includes name, date of birth, age and gender. An advisor needs to take these details of not just the client, but also his or her family. “Often most families are run on single or dual income. By knowing who the immediate family of a client are, an advisor can plan his client’s goals more accurately,” says Ritesh Sheth of Tejas Consultancy.
This must be made an important part of your client communication says Amol. “Knowing how a client’s parents are placed financially is really important. Many clients might not have financially dependent parents when they come to you. However, if their parents do not have proper insurance cover or retirement plans in place, it is possible they will be financially dependent on your client in the future. The same holds true for your client’s extended family like brothers, sister or spouse’s extended family. Knowing these details will help you plan for future contingencies early in a client’s financial journey,” he says.
Knowing the health condition of all your client’s family members can prove to be a game changer, says Suresh. “Often parents of a client might not be financially dependent on him, but might need his help for medical contingencies. The same might be the case for the extended family. Therefore, it is always wise to know the medical condition of family members. This way you can help your client plan for emergencies. Also today, most parents take care of their financial needs and do not depend on kids for their medical needs. This information will help in making a better financial plan,” he says.
“Most advisors maintain a record of all the transactions, but other than this a comprehensive database will have the financial history and medical history of the clients and their immediate family members,” says Ritesh.
Amol Joshi insists on the need to note the interests and hobbies of a client. “If your client mentions he enjoys watching plays or dance performances, just informing about a show nearby will go a long way in building a good rapport with the client,” says Amol.
Suresh points out that a person’s hobby can also have a financial implication that an advisor needs to look into. “Many of my clients are interested in cycling or biking; while on the face of it this might seem as mere hobbies, but my clients spend close to Rs25,000 on a bicycle. A client whose hobby is photography spends more than Rs1 lakh each year on equipment. Knowing my client’s hobbies helps me provide for them financially. The same is the case for the family,” he says.