I’ve known Bill Tatham, CEO of NexJ Systems, since 2000 when I was first hired into the CRM game as part of Janna Systems. Bill often poses questions which at first seem simple but become very complex as the layers are peeled off. One of the questions that he has posed to me since the early days is: “How do you make a phone call?”

At first, the answer seems simple: Look up the number and make the call. But what if they don’t answer the phone, do you log it? How do you schedule the next one? Where do you log the note? Is it all one task or multiple tasks?

Making a call is the single most repeated task for most advisors and bankers. The resulting call notes are key to improving customer service, increasing share of wallet, and demonstrating compliance to industry regulations. Does your CRM make this easy? If it does, your user adoption will go up. Let’s break this down.

Who to call?

Calls can be proactive or reactive:

  • An external event or news article, such as a dramatic change in a stock price, can cause a wealth manager or a capital markets sales person to call a set of clients. CRM can help here by allowing for a quick segmentation of affected clients which can be quickly turned into a call list.
  • A proactive Customer Loyalty program can recommend calls that should be made. These could appear as a notification or on a dashboard.
  • A predictive model using external information such as social media posts or external news could determine an important customer event such as a wedding, the birth of a grandchild, or a corporate merger and recommend a call using a notification or a dashboard.
  • Finally, an ongoing onboarding process or customer service process could necessitate a call. This would also appear as a notification or on a dashboard.

With the proper CRM, the advisor or banker should be prompted to make calls either through notifications or within a call list. By channeling the calls down these two mechanisms, the system can help to prioritize the work and ensure the right calls are being made.

Making the call

With CTI integration, making the call is easy. Not only does it provide click-to-dial but more advanced systems can automatically leave messages and footprint the call into the customer history.

What to say?

It’s not enough to just recommend who to call. A proper system should also provide information on what to say. I don’t mean call scripts here. Knowledge workers can determine what words to say but still need help surfacing conversation topics. CRM needs to be completely integrated to all information about a customer so that the front line worker can see summaries of the customer journey, assets, transactions, previous calls, external information from news and social media and recommended products from analytics. All of this needs to be available on a dedicated call screen so that users don’t need to navigate to find it.

Logging the Call

Do your sales people log their calls? If your system, like many, has low user adoption, the answer is no. Logging calls is one of the most painful things for any front office worker. I’ve shadowed call center agents that logged calls on yellow stickies because they didn’t trust the system. The information was typically discarded after the call. If call center agents won’t log a call, how can we expect knowledge workers to do it?

NexJ’s mantra around user adoption is to make users net receivers of information. They need to get more out of the system then they put in. By providing a space to log a call surrounded by the customer information they need and one-click access to key functions such as recording a disposition, creating a follow-up or launching a customer process, users are encouraged to log the call.

With the proper combination of integrated systems and data, and a dedicated call logging workspace, you will find that not only does user adoption go up but your customer information will be more complete. Call logs improve your analytics, enable better recommendations and improve compliance with industry regulations.

Does your CRM encourage call logs?