Most advisers think their firm's customer relationship management systems aren't being used to their fullest potential.
About 72% of advisers graded their firm's use of CRM as B or C in a Schwab Advisor Services poll of 1,608 independent advisers. The other 18% gave themselves an A.
Just 6% said they are satisfied with how their CRM systems are employed.
About 98% said that they store client contact information in their CRM software. About 61% of advisers said that they use CRM to prepare and send client communication, and 58% said that they use it to assign tasks and track completion.
The biggest barrier to using CRM systems more thoroughly is the difficulty of getting employees on board with the systems, at least according to 43% of those surveyed. About 33% said that they think that there are higher priorities for time and money than effectively using CRM, and 16% said employees aren't seeing the value of CRM.
Advisers don't seem to be unhappy with their firm's technology, as 84% said that the right system is in place, according to the survey of advisers who were registered for the Schwab Solutions 2012 conferences held in July and August.
“We've heard for a long time anecdotally and now the survey shows that advisers take the time to evaluate and buy a CRM system, but then they don't really figure out how to effectively implement and adopt it,” said Neesha Hathi, Schwab's senior vice president of technology solutions.
Most are using it to store client data, but they aren't using it to deliver better service, she said.
Few advisers use the business analytics in CRM software that can generate information about the most profitable clients or ascertain which clients the firm is spending the most time servicing, Ms. Hathi said.
It is important that advisers' staff members complete the training offered with these systems so that the technology can be used most effectively, she said.
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