I know mobile technology is big in the advisor industry right now. But, if there was any doubt in my mind about the sheer reach of this trend, it was put to bed at this years T3 Conference (See: The 15 Smartest Things Heard (and Tweeted) at Technology Tools for Today). Its clear that mobile is everywhere. Its no longer enough for tech vendors to offer great technology, they need to offer it in a mobile-compatible format as well.
Mobile usage by consumers is growing rapidly as more and more people buy tablets and smartphones. Here are just a few statistics:
- According to eMarketer, mobile is the only media whose share of consumption has steadily grown over the past four years.
- The Financial Planning 2012 TECH SURVEY shows that half of all advisors now own a tablet.
Its clear that mobile is a growing force advisors cant afford to ignore. So how can you leverage mobile to its full potential to grow your business and communicate with clients in new ways? Here are a few things you should be doing:
Differentiate your firm with a custom branded app
Do you have a branded app for your firm? For example, we offer all clients the opportunity to get a private-labeled app in the app store. A custom app gives your clients convenient, anytime access to their account information while reinforcing your brand. It also demonstrates to clients and prospects that you are tech savvy and on top of current trends. And, in case youre wondering, consumers are actively using apps. According to Business Insider, smartphone owners now spend 127 minutes per day in mobile apps. Theres no reason your private-labeled app shouldnt be one of their regular go-tos.
Optimize your website for mobile devices
With consumers increasingly using their mobile devices for search, its imperative that your website be optimized for mobile devices. Otherwise, a prospect searching for an advisor on their smartphone might pass over your not-so-stellar website in favor of one that apppears more polished. Take a look at your website from a tablet and smartphone and note the usability, appearance, and functionality. If your sites performance is less than ideal, talk to your web developer about optimizing your site.
Take your business on the go
Mobile devices give you the ability to meet with clients in their home, at a coffee shop, or wherever they prefer, while you give them the rundown of their accounts on your tablet. At the same time, you have the ability to travel while easily keeping in touch with clients and staying connected with your office and the market if needed. While initially it may seem like the ability to be connected all the time means you never stop working, mobile technology actually increases your work-life balance by giving you the flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime.
Improve efficiency with a mobile CRM
If youre looking to save time, cut down on information errors, and enhance the client experience, integrate your current CRM with your mobile device. Mobile CRM capabilities enable you to duplicate the processes you perform in the office to save time and enhance the customer experience. For example, sitting down with a client to fill out forms and enter data into your CRM on your tablet can help you make the most of your in-person meetings. Your CRM should also integrate social media, helping you stay connected when youre on the go.
Make life easier with apps
There are several great apps that can make your life easier. There are stock market apps, research apps, scheduling apps, you name it theres an app for that. Video conferencing apps such as GoToMeeting, Skype, and Facetime can be particularly useful for advisors. These apps give you the opportunity to connect regularly with clients who live in other states, or who may be too busy to schedule a face-to-face meeting. Its also a great way to connect with younger clients who may prefer online meetings. Using apps to help you manage your time/content/relationships better gives you the ability to be more efficient.
Andrea Collatz is Communications Manager at Trust Company of America. She blogs on topics including practice management, marketing, social media, and digital strategies for advisors.