IFAs could be missing out on business opportunities because providers are putting customer relationship management projects on hold to focus on IT spending essential to meet new regulatory requirements, suggests new research.
Software and services firm Dunstan Thomas says there are huge amounts of client data already sitting on IFAs’ books, but without proper CRM new business opportunities may be missed.
41% of financial services providers surveyed said they put CRM on the back-burner to focus on issues such as building extranets, IFA portals, and point of sales systems, the survey says.
Other reasons cited include the need to prepare for new business from mortgages and general insurance.
Despite the poor outlook for CRM this year, the survey also reveals that most providers also recognise the value the technology can add to their businesses.
About half those questioned said CRM would enable faster responses to customer needs, about a third said it would enable them to bring all customer information together in one place, and about 20% said it could be used to make new sales.
Dunstan Thomas cites all of these as reasons why it has just dropped a CRM module into its Imago suite.
DT chairman Chris Read says the new module has been built on technology that can handle any changes that might be driven by new regulations.
Also, by making it .NET compatible, it should be useable across a variety of hardware, such as tablet PCs and PDAs, apart from the ubiquitous laptop PC.
"The are a lot of changes going on, which means you need to be nimble. You can’t bet on regulations remaining unchanged," he says.
In addition DT will be promoting CRM in association with Microsoft in the near future, including publishing a booklet focused on being "closer to customers".
This information will include Microsoft’s comments on its experiences with CRM in other sectors such as retail and utilities, and suggestions on how business practices in financial services can reflect the lessons learned elsewhere.IFAonline
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