Charles Schwab’s Neesha Hathi says that CRM is the brains, and not just the repository for all your knowledge about your clients. It can be the system that helps you deliver a “Know Me” experience to your clients. But if this is the case, why are so few RIA firms using their CRM to its fullest potential?

This summer, Schwab Advisor Services polled 1,608 independent advisors on their use of customer relationship management (CRM) technology. The poll participants were registrants for Schwab SOLUTIONS® 2012, a multi-city conference tour that we host every year, focused on helping independent investment advisors get the most out of the technology in their offices. In our poll, we wanted to find out exactly how firms are using CRM in their businesses, their perceptions of CRM as a tool and what they see as the biggest barriers to effective usage.


RIAs aren’t using CRM to its fullest potential

When asked to grade their firm’s use of CRM, 72% of respondents gave their firm either a B or a C, indicating that there is quite a bit of room to grow when it comes to using CRM effectively. And while an overwhelming majority of advisors (84%) agreed that the right technology was in place to make effective use of their CRM, only 6% believed that they were using their firm’s CRM data to its fullest potential, which we might reasonably conclude is the reason for their self-assessed B and C grades.

In terms of what they are doing, the most-used function of CRM is the storage of client contact information (98%), followed by preparing/sending client communication (61%) and assigning tasks to others in the firm/tracking completion (58%). This means advisors are barely scratching the surface when it comes to putting CRM to work for their businesses to streamline processes, increase efficiencies and deliver higher levels of client service and satisfaction.

So what is the top barrier to effectively using CRM within a RIA firm? According to 43% of those surveyed, it is the challenge of getting their employees on board with the CRM systems.

Neesha Hathi, SVP of Technology Solutions, will share her perspectives on this and other topics related to CRM implementation in a TweetUp tomorrow (9/26). You can join the conversation or just follow it on @Schwab4RIAs between 11am and 12pm PT using the hashtag #TechTalk.

In the meantime, check out the results of our CRM poll below and bring your questions to the TweetUp. 


RIA use of CRM Infographic

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