Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors


Improving Efficiency Of Client Intake

The first time I saw a ticket kiosk at the airport, I was indignant. “How dare they make me ticket myself,” I thought. “Next thing you know, they’ll ask me to fly the damn plane!"

Soon enough, however, I tried the self-service ticketing machine. And guess what? I loved it! Now, when I walk into an airport without a self-service kiosk, I’m indignant. How dare they make me wait on a long line just to be ticketed!

The reason I’m telling you about this is because we just added a self-service option to our client portal platform. It enables advisor clients to fill in forms that until now had to be filled in by you or your staff.

On a day when the U.S. auto industry has been pushed closer to the edge of disaster by the Senate, I am not expecting this news to get much coverage. But it is a significant step toward making client intake more efficient by using the Web, a new trend that must continue.

For more people to gain access to professional financial advice, the Web must be used to increase efficiency at advisory firms. Since clients must collect all their demographic data anyway, allowing them to fill it in on their own makes sense, and it is unlikely they will mind doing it. Just as airline passengers no longer find self-service ticketing a hassle, advisor clients will come appreciate not having to come to your office to give you this data. Doing it online is convenient, time saving, and efficient.

To create our customer-driven form-filling machine, we’ve partnered with Laser App, a leading form-filling application. When your clients fill in their data at your website, you can review it. Then, you import it into Laser App, which feeds 21,536 at about 300 brokerages, clearing firms, and other institutions.

Laser App provided us a list of 135 data fields commonly used in the forms it supports. We created an online form with those 135 fields. When a new client signs on with you, you ask him to fill in his personal data. After reviewing the data, importing directly into the Laser App’s desktop application is simple.

In addition, you can also import the data filled in by a client into a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) spreadsheet in Excel. Many CRM, financial planning, and portfolio accounting systems accept data from a CSV file, and you can thus import the personal data filled in by a client’s into these applications.

Clients no longer have come to your office to provide all this data piecemeal, and your staff will no longer spend as much time on this chore.

To learn more about our form filling tool, please view a video about our portal system and click on "Form Filling" in the index of the video.

One Response to “Improving Efficiency Of Client Intake”

  1. December 12th, 2008 at 1:55 am

    Bill Winterberg says:

    Here’s an expansion on your client data intake streamlining.

    Theoretically, LaserApp knows what tens of thousands of brokerage forms look like. Why not scan and OCR the client forms, have LaserApp perform zonal matching of data fields (since they technically do this in reverse when inserting data INTO the forms) and generate the data to be imported?

    No typing by clients, no mistakes from typos (unless the scan is poor quality and the OCR goofs on some characters), and potentially hundreds of data fields populated in about 5 minutes.

    One last thing: clients might not like the idea of filling in their own data. That’s one of the reasons they’re hiring an adviser, so they don’t have to do it themselves!

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