Sean Moshir: Compliant mobile communications: The next phase in the advisor-client relationship

Technology innovation is happening quickly. Career-long financial advisors can tell you stories of how they created and updated financial plans using the stock market data page of the Wall Street Journal when they were starting out. They had to rely on their fax machine to quickly transfer data to clients and speaking on the phone to multiple clients a day – as that was the only way to communicate – was a regular occurrence. 

But times have changed. Advisors can run their practice from anywhere in the world, and many advisors have not met all of their clients in person. Calling on the phone can be seen as an inconvenience and conversations can happen via email and text. All that’s needed to run a practice is a laptop and cell phone, as technological advancements allow everything to be stored in the cloud and run through apps.

But herein lies a problem – where business operations were once tied to an office location, it enabled computer and phone systems to be hardwired. Compliance protocols were put in place that enabled Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) to manage employees at their work station and tap into a mainframe network to review employee activity. But with advisors carrying out business away from the office and using mobile devices for these purposes, compliance protocols have had to be updated. Instead of a phone and fax machine for client communications, it’s now become phone, email, text and multiple social media channels on various devices that have to be monitored and archived. The method of client communications has become more diverse, but for CCOs, a lot more work to manage.

One major advantage has come to light with the technological changes – communication has become more customized. Some clients like phone calls still, while others only like email, and others will only converse via text messages. Customizing client communication has enabled financial advisors to adjust the way they interact with every client and making sure each client is able to communicate in a way that suits them. It helps clients feel that their preferences are being adhered to, and their advisor wants to communicate in the way that fits their lifestyle.

Many advisors that I’ve spoken to have clients who only want to communicate via text. Every year, they’ll have a video or in person meeting, but for the remainder of their time, they only want text communication. And who’s to blame them – the rest of their daily communication is done via text, so why should it be any different with their advisor?

In the last few years, this is where a difficult crossroad has been encountered. How do advisors and CCOs make a customized communication plan with clients, but have it remain compliant and not burdensome? Can an advisor have a text message based communication with a client and still have it be a compliant method of communication? How can a team of advisors and support staff talk about client situations in an internal text messaging environment, and have all communications archived? What if an advisor calls a client from the office but then calls them again from the road to adjust some trading decisions?

For advisors who want the option of carrying out business on a mobile device, CellTrust’s SL2 solution has been addressing these issues. By having a separate work number on a mobile device, and providing a compliant archiving solution to recording calls, voicemails and text messages, SL2 has been able to relieve many headaches in which RIA CCO’s find themselves. Whether it’s one advisor who needs this compliance support or an advisor team located in various locations around the country, CellTrust’s SL2 solution is able to meet everyone’s needs.

As this technology for advisors has been implemented, the knock-on effects are surprising. With a compliant communication solution comes increased client interactions – on their terms. This has increased client satisfaction as they can communicate with their advisor in a way that’s native to them. It strengthens the relationship between the client and the advisor. With a stronger relationship comes the potential to win more business – not just from this current client, but from the positive stories they will tell their peers about how effectively their advisor communicates with them. With all of these factors aligned, it allows advisors to increase the size of their practice, AUM and client roster, and overall revenue.

Who wouldn’t want this? A compliant communication solution – that is convenient for both advisors and CCOs – that strengthens client relationships and opens the door to new business. That’s what CellTrust SL2 offers.