In a series of blogs in December we’ve been discussing some new initiatives, sources of information and new technologies I’ve incorporated into my practice. In this post, we’ll continue with a few additional items which may be of interest to you. We’ll begin with surveys, move to online meetings and conclude with a solution to the problem of tracking a client’s progress as they implement recommendations resulting from a financial plan. 

Client Surveys

We all want to know what our clients think. We can certainly ask them face to face. However, surveys add a dynamic which allows clients to speak with anonymity. There are several good options such as Survey Monkey, Client Heartbeat, and others. I’ve decided on Typeform is an intuitive, cloud-based platform which allows you to create some very unique surveys, launch them and analyze the data as it returns. Typeform is in Beta mode and it’s free. To learn more, go to typeform 

Online Meetings

I’m confident most of you have attended an online webinar at some point. If not, perhaps you’ve had a meeting with another person via the cloud. There are a number of good solutions for this. We’ve decided to use is easy to use and they offer a free version which limits the number of attendees. Therefore, if you’d like to conduct online meetings with groups, you will want to upgrade. Even then, the cost is minimal, around $150-$200 per year. To learn more, go to

Planning Follow-Through

Do you feel like you have an efficient method for tracking the progress of each recommendation you make for every client? Well, here’s what I plan to do. 

From now on all recommendations will be listed on a Gantt Chart (Click Here for More). The Gantt Chart is a great way to illustrate a series of tasks which may or may not run concurrently. In addition to the Gantt Chart, each recommendation will be tracked by opening a “Ticket” in my contact management software. To clarify, a ticket is simply a task or a to-do. Here’s an example.

I use ACT! as my contact management tool. First, I’ll create a task for each recommendation and select “Ticket-FP” from the dropdown list. Then, at the end of “FP” I will type the specific task, such as, “Have wills reviewed.” There is also a “Details” tab in the task window which will allow me to type any notes I may have and date them. Finally, I will set a reminder for when to begin, keep notes in the Details tab along the way, with dates, and when the task is complete, I will check complete which will close the ticket.

Actually, I plan to use a “ticket system” for every task within my practice. All tasks will be categorized as PM (for portfolio management), FP (for financial planning) or Service. Each “ticket” will include an alarm and will be delegated to myself or my assistant, depending on the specific issue. The bottom line is to open a ticket whenever we need to act and close it when it’s been completed. Then, nothing will fall ever through the cracks.

Let’s make 2014 the “Year of the Client!” Excellent service is what clients want. Let’s give it to them! 

Thanks for reading and have a great week!