Financial advisers can’t afford to ignore the power of social media if they are going to make the most of business conditions in the twenty-first century.
According to IRESS, keeping abreast of your clients’ circumstances via social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can lead to better outcomes for clients and greater efficiencies for practices.
David Rae, a Canberra-based financial adviser and director of Beames and Associates, for example, found out via Twitter that his client’s three-year-old daughter had a life-threatening disease – and was then able to provide some vital advice.
“I have social media relationships with lots of my clients and happened to see a tweet from a client talking about his daughter’s illness,” said Rae. “I then learnt a little more from a link to his Tumblr account. What’s significant is he had not notified me of the child’s illness. He didn’t realise that when we reviewed and updated his policies last year, we included some child trauma cover for his daughter.”
After contacting the client to let him know his insurance cover situation and get the claims process started, Rae noted that he “would not have known so quickly and therefore would not have been able to start the claims process so quickly, if not for social media”.
Social media specialist, and former financial adviser, Baz Gardner from The Social Adviser noted that Rae’s case was a perfect example of how advisers, via social media, “can learn of and respond to a change in client circumstances well ahead of review time”.
“These responses not only help relieve a client’s pain and stress, they also help ensure that the advice is timely and truly appropriate to the client’s needs and current situation.”
Jumping on the social media bandwagon, IRESS has now social media widget in its December 2011, XPLAN 2.1 update, which is aimed at helping advisers to keep abreast of their clients’ social media activity.
According to IRESS senior business development executive Michael Kinens, the widget, which has been further enhanced in the release of XPLAN 2.2, allows advisers to see a complete history of everything their clients have tweeted, posted or blogged via various social media networks in XPLAN.
The client’s social media history sits inside XPLAN alongside other key information on the ‘Client Dashboard’, which can be tailored for each client by each user. An adviser must have a social media relationship with a client before any of the client’s social media activity can be included in XPLAN.
Advisers can also post to various social media sites directly from XPLAN, rather than having to go to each individual social media outlet.
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