14th June 2019

Having a good customer relationship management (CRM) system is a simple way to improve the way a business operates, enabling brokers to collect, access, and use client data effectively in a post-GDPR world.

A CRM system captures and digitises client data, turning it into useful, actionable insights that can improve a broker’s business and reveal where value is being generated.

However, with a variety of systems available, it can often be hard for brokers to know which one is right for them and their business.

Each firm has different requirements and understanding a business’ needs can help narrow down the options.

The choice will depend on what is already in place, what is needed, and how those requirements may change in the future.

So, here are some key questions brokers need to ask when considering which system is right for them:

Individual functions and features, or end-to-end?

While cherry-picking means new systems can be easily slotted into a brokerage’s current setup, in the long run this may not be the most effective solution for a business.

End-to-end platform solutions require more front-end change, but their integration and cost-saving benefits make them the best option in the long term.

They tend to be the best way to deliver a smoother experience for clients and mean that brokers do not have to switch between different systems, saving time and giving them more hours to spend on advice rather than admin.

These platforms also give the best access to data and analytics, available for the whole process.

The biggest benefit of end-to-end platforms is that they provide CRM functionality alongside everything else an adviser needs.

How is the system accessed? Is it only onsite, or can it be accessed anywhere through cloud-integration?

For some brokers, choosing a CRM system based in the office is the best fit, but for most, flexibility is an important consideration, especially as flexible and remote working becomes more popular.

Cloud-based systems let brokers access the information they need from anywhere, at any time.

They are just as secure as those reliant on physical servers, and have the added benefit of constant and retrievable back-ups.

Cloud systems also make integration of third-party services easier, an important consideration given the increasing information sharing that is happening across the mortgage process, and a key step if an end-to-end platform solution is required.

How much value does it add to improving client relationships and generating new business?

Most brokers spend more time than is necessary, and more time than they can spare, on maintaining client relationships.

Renewal reminders, meeting organisation, information sharing, and document transferral all take up too much time.

Some CRM systems can automate these processes to take the burden away from brokers.

Intelligent systems which can read and act upon data are able to execute processes automatically, giving brokers back an incredibly valuable commodity – time.

CRM systems are designed to help improve customer relationships – knowing the answers to these questions can help brokers understand exactly what they need.