What do you know about your clients beyond the data you collect to meet your compliance obligations, create accounts and file returns?
Will you remember that their eldest daughter was recently married or that they are struggling to cope with cancer in the family?
What should our relationship with our clients look like?
Memory may not be your most reliable source
There are certain facts about your clients that are easy to remember; their name, face, business interests and so on. But even those facts are subject to the flawed process we rely on, our memories.
The grey matter between our ears enables countless billions of connections. In memory terms, what we remember as fact can be a collection of random thoughts that bear some, but not an accurate, representation of past events.
For that, we need to resort to the written word.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Most advisers store basic data about their clients in their choice of accounts, tax or similar software. Some of these options accommodate CRM, many do not.
It is possible to adapt Outlook or your preferred email provider as a way to record and recall past email conversations with clients. Unless you are rigorous in filing data, finding past conversations can be rather like recalling a client’s name when you bump into them in Sainsburys…
Even if you have a formal CRM system for your practice its effectiveness will depend on usage.
Personally, I am always amazed when a business contact remembers some long-past incident. It feels good to be remembered in this way. Your clients and other contacts will appreciate you recalling these details.
The way in which you recall is very much dependent on your memory or on the way you can access notes from previous conversations. In my opinion, it is well worth the effort.