XPLAN's Campaign feature provides a quick and simple method of managing an 'exercise' across a number of clients. To highlight this, and provide some insights into how you might determine suitable candidates, we are going to examine the 'annual client survey' activity.
The steps and outcomes can be summarised as:
- Identify the clients that should participate,
- Forward an email invitation to participating clients,
- Send a reminder email to participating clients on a pre-determined date (as the survey is anonymous, we won't know who has, or hasn't responded to date), and, to conclude,
- Forward 'high level results' of the survey findings to participating clients (you're looking to ensure that clients feel appreciated for their time/input, and are engaged with the findings).
Before You Begin
To make this process 'sing' it's important to have a couple of key artefacts available before you start the 'build' phase, namely:
- email templates - what are you sending out in the first instance, as a follow up, and at the conclusion of the exercise? In this example we will be sending out a link to Business Health's CATScan. If you're not utilising this service, you may wish to attach a document outlining your own questions or utilise Client Online Access (COA).
- which clients - It's also key that you are positioned to identify which clients will be involved. In this particular instance we might want to focus on clients that are either:
- engaged with our service model - there isn't much to gain from asking a client that refuses to attend regular reviews/client meetings if they value the service provided (you may have exceptions for this rule however);
- valuable to the practice - ie. highly profitable clients, or 'full' service clients;
- good networkers or are 'well connected' - a key outcome from any campaign should be to achieve growth; and/or
- recently 'implemented' clients - feedback from new clients is invaluable (ie. did you deliver upon your promises and did the experience move them to refer your services?).
If you haven't been provided with, or have access to, 'well-formed' email templates, chances are you're unlikely to be satisfied with what you're sending out. While coding a HTML email uses the same technologies as websites, it requires a very specific set of skills to do well. Many web designers try to force web standards on email, resulting in emails that render horribly across email clients. To build a 'sturdy' email template you need to code 'like it’s 1999'. That means using tables, HTML attributes, and in-line styles. If, like me, you are about to open a new tab and 'Google' what has just been covered, consider getting some professional assistance. Alternatively, consider 'a crash course in remodelling an email template'.
- outline when you'd like the survey completed by - to do this the Template employs the Campaign 'End Date', and
- provide a questionnaire which is tailored to the client type (Category) - you will find logic within the email specifically dealing with this.
Typically, client Categories are used to segment your clients and for the purposes of this exercise, this is exactly how we will identify who should be included in our campaign and which questionnaire they will be asked to complete. Whilst this will provide you with both a quick and efficient mechanism to locate your 'A' clients, the broader question may well be: how well understood is the criteria that determines an 'A' client (or a 'B' or a 'C'), and further, how well maintained is this categorisation process? Further, If we consider the client criteria outlined earlier, it highlights the possibility of introducing additional categories to cater for those occasions where identifying clients beyond traditional segmentation is important. As the creation of new categories isn't a capability that most users will have access to, further discussion is warranted and will be addressed in a separate Best Practice post.
Regardless of the categorisation method adopted, there may be occasions where we may wish to further refine those participating in our campaign based on other data criteria, for example, date based (recently implemented clients) or FUM based (clients with portfolios exceeding $X in value). Utilising the Advanced Search feature will ensure that you can refine your criteria accordingly.
Do married minds always think alike?
Is it your expectation that your client and their partner will complete the questionnaire as 'one', or do you believe it is important to let each voice their opinion independently? The choice is yours, but consider the impact of your decision. Some thought also needs to be given to the management of trusts, SMSFs, and companies.
Jointly completed questionnaires require:
1. email Templates to include both the client and partner in the salutation logic, and
2. That you ONLY include the client in the campaign.
Individually completed questionnaires require:
1. email Templates include only the client in the salutation logic, and
2. That you add BOTH the client and the partner to the campaign (recognising that they will both appear under the client entry).
So Walk Me Through This
Whilst performing the annual survey is somewhat straight-forward, ensuring that all the necessary ground-work has been completed requires a little more planning. To assist, a guide outlining the steps that you should follow has been developed and can be found here. Whilst this will provide the you with the technical details required, the above discussion should highlight the importance of giving some consideration to the strategy be being adopted before you start setting up a Campaign. Further information will also be added to the FAQs below as they arise.
Can I send out the invitation via mail?
Technically you could, but there are likely to be greater challenges with client's trying to manually type the URL required to reach the survey. It therefore isn't recommended.
Why use a Campaign, isn't it easier and more straight-forward to just directly send the invites from a client search result list?
Whilst the extra 5 minutes to create a Campaign may, on the surface, be for little added benefit consider the following:
a) A Campaign provides the business with a centralised, accurate and readily accessible list of everyone that was invited to participate in the survey. Those viewing the client can also readily and efficiently establish if the client was invited.
b) You have the ability to readily exclude or include those added to the Campaign in subsequent activities (including subsequent surveys). Importantly, the most efficient and accurate method of sending the survey reminder is via the Campaign's 'Email Invitees' option (it is worth noting that the Search process is dynamic, therefore there is a risk that information may have been updated and your results could differ).
c) A Campaign provides greater flexibility with better 'error prevention'. Specifically:
- clients can be added as, and when needed, but never twice; and
- users need only add a client to the Campaign to ensure the correct email is sent (automatically!).