While email still has the lion’s share of a financial firm’s business communications, social media and text messaging are growing in importance to both advisors and investors in how they conduct business. This shouldn’t be surprising given that 30% of financial advisors are Millennials, while another 44% belong to Generation X.
It’s not just your advisors who are getting younger, it’s also your clients and investors. This shift has pushed new communication channels into preference. It’s time for financial firms to take on modern communication channels, such as SMS text messaging, without concerns about compliance risk. And considering that 39% of financial firm employees are asking for SMS/text messaging, it’s likely because their clients are asking for this channel to be used.
The problems with compliance begin when you rely on a policy prohibiting your advisors from using their personal smartphones for firm communications. Recent research found that 56% of finance compliance professionals lack the confidence that they can prove their prohibition policy is working.
Instead, consider what an Intelligent Text Messaging Platform brings to help you painlessly evolve your communications channels. After all, mobile device usage in the workplace will only continue to grow. Financial firms need to rise to the challenge to address retention and oversight challenges.
Archival: Know what’s been sent and received
An Intelligent Text Messaging Platform automatically records all messaging conversations – including incoming and outgoing text messages. These messages are archived to your lead or contact record in your Salesforce CRM, providing a complete audit trail should you ever need to retrieve and present a message during an examination.
According to the 2018 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey, 48% of firms that allow text messaging lack an archiving system. Don’t just think “archival,” think about a complete conversational messaging platform with native integration with your Salesforce CRM.
Incorporating a comprehensive messaging platform mitigates risk and empowers internal and external communications by providing the following:
Context: Know what’s been said
Because all messages are archived, the context of the conversation is clear to the examiner or to your supervisory personnel, ensuring appropriate oversight. For the 29% of financial firms that have no written policy in place to govern text messaging, access to context can help you develop one.
Mobile: Know you’re in compliance
With a mobile app and automated alerts that let an advisor or broker know when a client has reached out, they can respond no matter where they are through the messaging platform by using the mobile app. This relieves both your concern that messaging is happening on personal devices that’s untracked, as well as to provide protection to your advisors by helping them follow policy.
The same survey found that 50% of finance compliance professionals expressed concern about non-email communications, including social media and text messaging. And 42% expressed concern about managing the use of mobile devices. Intelligent Text Messaging Platforms can help to close this gap between compliance and risk.
Oversight: Know how messaging is used
Dashboards enable easier oversight by showing compliance professionals the volume of messaging, the types of messages sent and the number of conversations that take place within your firm. If you see the volume of messaging escalate for an advisor, you can easily step in to apply oversight to ensure that the conversations follow policy.
The Bottom Line
Your clients and investors want to use text messaging to converse with your brokers and advisors. Your brokers and advisors are adept at using text messaging to communicate and prefer it for efficiency and matching communication preferences for conducting business.
Text messaging is growing as a preferred channel. Clients and investors want questions answered quickly and to exchange information in the way they prefer. There’s no reason that your firm can’t adopt text messaging to satisfy both internal and external needs. Just make sure you choose an Intelligent Messaging Platform like Converse to give you a leg up on addressing compliance risks.