Being in the wealth management business makes forging a mobile strategy a bit more complex due to the nature of the data we handle. Primarily this is our client information, which includes highly confidential information.
Not that any business does not focus on security, however, not every business has the layers of federal and state regulation. This can impact the type of equipment and applications chosen for mobile access and efficiency. The good news is this is accomplished every day with some protections and common sense. Some tips in this area:
- Pick a smart phone that enables start-up password protection and set it with a password
- Get a service like SmrtGuard or use MobileMe for your iPhone (backs up, finds and erases lost phones). Palm Pre and Windows smart phones also offer services (this article has some helpful information from USA Today.
- Be careful with the belt holsters - easy to lose in taxis or in airports
- Choose to work with vendors that support integration to smart phones and your computer - makes staying in sync less challenging
- In my opinion - mobile support from desktop and web applications should be included at no additional cost
- Never use your phone's WiFi in on public connections to access sensitive data. Stay on the cellular connection and insure your mobile browser is connecting securely
The key components necessary to remain effective on the road are related to your client relationships and their accounts.
The straightforward layer is ensuring your mobile tools include your contact data and your calendar. A vast universe of public and proprietary sync tools exist to connect your smart phone to your desktop and web-based applications - be they Google Apps, Salesforce or vertical tools like Redtail CRM, Ebix CRM or Junxure (check with vendors for costs to add mobile support). This establishes the baseline of activity, contact and task information you need at your fingertips online and offline.
If you have selected a CRM solution that tracks or integrates your client accounts - the luxury here is you have the first two steps covered with one sync process. If not - you can consider CRM alternatives (not an easy task to undertake unless you are currently unsatisfied with your CRM) or look at other sources to sync or acquire online access through. These can be your custodian and/or aggregation and reporting platforms. A caveat here - if you using online access from the smart phone - take a critical look at the security details around accessing this data over your cellular connection.
The final level of broadening your mobile efficiency is leveraging tools friendly to your smart phone to automate capturing some or all of your note-taking and communications while on the run. Look at tools like:
- Evernote (with computer and mobile apps) to capture free form text, audio, images and photographs
- Copytalk or Jott - solutions like these enable you to call from your phone and dictate notes that can integrate or be copied into CRM (messages are transcribed voice to text and emailed)