Charles Schwab Report Addresses CRM Systems

Charles Schwab released a report outlining best practices for planning, selecting, and implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems for independent investment advisers.

“Getting the Most out of your CRM Investment” also offers tips for getting the most out of these tools and successfully navigating the implementation process, according to a news release.

Charles Schwab said that while most independent investment advisers use some type of client tracking system, many could do more to realize the full business benefits of these systems to increase their productivity and profitability.

“One of the most common conversations Schwab Technology Consultants are having with advisers right now is about how to maximize existing technology given the pressures firms are facing in this environment,” said Trish Cox, chief operating officer of Schwab’s Advisor Services division. “A good CRM system can serve as the productivity hub of an advisory firm—improving workflow, creating efficiencies, and maximizing the client experience.”

The report provides investment advisers with a three-step approach for selecting a CRM system, which includes defining the firm’s business goals and how a CRM system can help achieve them; assessing the specific CRM features and functionality necessary to meet a firm’s needs; and establishing objectives for the system following implementation.

To help advisory firms select the right CRM system for their specific needs, the report reviews the three major categories of CRM solutions for the registered investment adviser (RIA) industry, including general solutions, RIA-specific solutions, and custom-built solutions, and also examines the most common CRM applications and features, including:

  • contact management
  • client communications
  • workflow automation
  • document management
  • marketing and business development.

The report is part of The Schwab Market Knowledge Tools series, an ongoing program of industry research reports offered exclusively to Charles Schwab’s investment adviser clients (see “Schwab Announces Papers for Independent Advisers).