Maintaining a real balance between work and one’s personal life provides real benefits for both employer and employee. For most individuals, some portion of the balance is achieved by taking vacations from work, which means granting time off requests is important for your employees’ overall satisfaction. However, it’s important to also keep in mind the importance of balancing requests against your organization’s needs. How will a given employee’s absence during a specific time frame affect your business? Will tasks and projects fall through the cracks? Will client information, which should have been known, be missed because they weren’t in the office to share it?
The solution is a combination of systematized process management and the preservation of institutional memory, each easily manageable through your CRM.
Clearly Defined Processes Don’t Care Who Performs Them
You may have clients who deal exclusively with you or another team member on most matters, and it’s natural for your team to form bonds with clients. Times will arise, however, when a client reaches out and their favorite staff member is not in the office. These can be make-or-break moments if your processes aren’t clearly defined to provide the client the experience they’re accustomed to. Trust is accrued over time, and if it’s weakened or destroyed over an avoidable service issue, clients are less likely to recommend your firm to family or friends. Even worse, they may be more likely to end the relationship altogether. It’s worth remembering that on average, more than half of a company’s business comes from its existing clients.
It isn’t only in these situations where having your processes systematized for others to easily follow is critical to your business. Think carefully about your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and you’ll likely find a large percentage of these involve some degree of systemization. Because most processes aren’t one-off affairs, it’s important not to waste time by reinventing the wheel every time they’re needed. While you can update your processes over time as you and your team understand what works best, start by systematizing them from the very beginning. This will prevent a headache later down the road and create a blueprint that’s easy for others to follow. You’ll find that most of these tasks can be delegated to other team members, which is why it’s important they’re clearly defined as processes for others in your office to follow and later perform in your absence.
Most modern CRMs for financial advisors offer tools to allow you to map out your processes, with due dates, assignments, etc. Although their names may differ across CRMs, their primary purpose is consistent: making processes clear to everyone on staff who may have a hand in ensuring they’re completed within a specified time frame.
Meeting client expectations is what’s at stake here, and you don’t want that to be forgotten simply because a key staff member is taking a well-deserved vacation. Replacing clients is far more expensive than keeping them.