The Opt-in process, just like Annual Fee Disclosure Statements (AFDS), continue to be a source of ongoing discussion. The key themes?
- "Have we approached it the right way?"
- Is there a more efficient way to do this?"
- "What can we automate?"
If you share these concerns the following is an approach that warrants consideration:
- Establish an Alert that automatically notifies the client of the need to Opt-In, and
- Establish a secondary Alert which acts as your 'safety-net' and will kick-off a follow up process (ie. Thread) if the client fails to respond to your initial Opt-in request.
Beyond the features already detailed, this strategy also utilises a component known as Subscription Links for Email which permits the email recipient (in this case your client) to seamlessly 'interact' with XPLAN. Simply by including some basic Xmerge syntax, the email will incorporate a link which, if clicked, updates the client's Opt-In status to 'yes' and sets their 'next Opt-In date' forward two years (or three if applicable - refer Client Opt-in for Financial Advice).
"So what happens if the client forgets to respond to this email?" This is the safety net that Alert No.2 provides (hopefully these are rare cases). The 'activated' Thread (an Alert 'Outcome') will initiate one or more steps to help mitigate the risk of the client having not Opted-In. Those steps could include an SMS reminder or another email (both automated). Eventually, you may need to schedule a call (if you have such recalcitrants in your client base) which loops back onto itself if contact isn't made.
The steps taken within this 'Follow up' Thread and the timings employed will most likely be influenced by a number of factors including the depth of your relationships, the nature of the services provided and the type of clients that your practice serves, however consider:
- 14 days prior to the 'due date': send your Opt-In email.
- 7 days later (and the client hasn't opted-in): send a reminder email.
- Three days later (still no response): send a reminder SMS.
- Two days later: the client adviser is tasked with calling the client.
Other ideas or matters to consider:
- Add video to your email to provide a more engaging explanation of Opt-In (and your thoughts concerning same).
- Naturally this process is very dependant upon technology and your client's adoption of these communication channels. Consider the use of SMS reminders for clients without email addresses, or revert to the Print-to-Post feature to automate the generation, printing, enveloping and sending of snail-mail. Use barcodes/ActionManager to automatically file the clients response and set the 'next opt-in date'.
- Clients with COA/Touch logins could also undertake the Opt-In exercise via that channel (a conditioned Wizard or a To-Do item to ensure it only appears when required).
No doubt the above would benefit from some real-life 'war-stories'. Please feel free to share your feedback or experiences in the comments below.