Q: How do you collect information on your clients?
The main source of information has to be the fact find, which clearly provides the basis for financial advice and planning but also has the capacity to contain broader contextual data.
David Shelton, independent consultant and author of The Business of Advice, said there is a strong case for the full completion of fact finds because the more information a business holds on its clients the better it can tailor its services and marketing activity.
It is essential that is keyed into the back office software accurately and consistently, he added.
However, Mr Shelton warned in many cases fact find information was not comprehensive or out of date which meant alternative methods to get the data needed to properly service a client may be required.
Mr Shelton said: “This is particularly the case if the business wishes to profile its existing clients ahead of Retail Distribution Review (RDR) deadlines and the introduction of new services.
“In these circumstances market surveys should be used concentrating on the specific information that is required to enable the profiling to be undertaken.
“This can be a self-completion online or postal questionnaire or telephone-based. The latter is likely to secure a much higher response and can be positioned as a service call to update records.”
For a survey of this nature to be effective, Mr Shelton said advisers should:
1) Include mainly closed questions that require a yes/no or factual answer.
2) Limit the questions to 20 to avoid respondents failing to complete the survey.
3) Explain the purpose of the survey is to make sure your records are up to date and accurate.
4) Offer a donation to charity for each fully completed survey.