In an article for the New York Times, Craig Pfeiffer, CEO of the association representing the investment advisory solutions industry noted that: “the financial advice profession is under pressure to continue to move aggressively from a sales- and product-driven focus to a more comprehensive, advice-driven model delivering a personalized, streamlined experience to investors similar to what is happening in other industries.”
As with disruptive shifts in any field — such as legal, healthcare — some financial advisory firms are successfully navigating this new client-centric landscape, while others are struggling. And it’s not surprising that many firms that see the future as filled with opportunities to embrace vs. obstacles to avoid have made the switch to cloud service.
Here are the key reasons why financial advisory firms of all sizes — from small boutique operations to large enterprises — have switched to a business cloud phone system, and their only regret is that they didn’t do it sooner:
Unlike conventional phone systems that must run on a separate — and costly to maintain — voice network, a business cloud phone system leverages an existing data network. As a result, financial advisors can connect with clients through voice, web chat, video chat, and fax. Clients have the freedom and power to choose the communication channel that suits them best.
It’s common for clients to call one office to speak with an advisor, only to find out that he or she is at another location. With a conventional phone system, clients in this situation are forced to leave a message and wait for a call back, or hang up and dial the other location (and hope that they don’t continue getting bounced around). But with a business cloud phone system, clients can be seamlessly transferred to any other location in a matter of seconds. At first glance this may seem like a minor benefit, but make no mistake: it’s a big deal to clients, and over time can give them ample incentive to either stick with an advisory firm or head to a different — and more accessible — competitor.
Even financial advisory firms with a single location typically have employees roaming across the office throughout the day engaged in meetings, conferences, and so on. A business cloud phone system supports total mobility by enabling employees to receive and send calls (along with instant messages) using their smart phone. What’s more, outgoing calls display the firm’s caller ID, not the employee’s personal information.
Because a cloud phone system is a truly digital solution, it is fundamentally designed to integrate with other solutions in the environment, such as CRMs, billing software, and so on. As such, financial advisors can immediately access a wealth of client-specific information simply based on the incoming call number, and deliver a more personalized and impressive level of service.
Clients expect and demand that financial advisory firms meet all prevailing compliance, record keeping and security requirements. A business cloud phone system helps meet the core objective safeguarding all communications with robust enterprise-grade security, and providing options for recording calls and generating a wealth of analytics data for training, quality assurance and auditing purposes.