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Taming Advisors' Time Crunch With Speech Recognition, Dictation

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A 2014 FPA report found that only 13% of 750 advisors surveyed felt in complete control of their time, and tellingly if not surprisingly, only 10% felt they were in complete control of their businesses.

In Investment Advisor’s seventh annual broker-dealer Presidents Poll in May, the 44 presidents of independent BDs said the cost and scope of compliance and regulatory pressures was their top long-term concern. In the 2017 poll, 71% of the presidents cited compliance issues as their top concern.

Maybe those advisors and BD presidents should buy Dragon Professional, the speech recognition and dictation software designed for financial services professionals like advisors.

Why? Because Dragon gives advisors more control over their time—particularly when it comes to documenting recurring events, like client meetings. It can also help with compliance. It can be customized using voice macros to integrate with your CRM software of choice. Finally, because it is speech recognition and dictation software, the reports an advisor can create of client phone calls or in-person meetings is specific and comprehensive.

Mark Geremia, VP & general manager of the Dragon division of Nuance Communications (NUAN), said that instead of the “five bullet points” that an advisor might create after a client meeting using hand-written notes typed into a CRM system, the Dragon software creates “five paragraphs” documenting that client meeting.

So it doesn’t just save time, but the reports created are also more detailed, describing not just the investment decisions made during a meeting, for example, but the context of the conversation between client and advisor that preceded the decision. In other words, a compliance lock box.

That context of the meeting also provides a running narrative of the relationship between the client and the advisor—giving the advisor the opportunity to review a detailed “story” of the last meeting and what she learned of the client’s concerns and life events before the next meeting.

And since Dragon Professional has a cloud-based mobile application, advisors can record meetings at client homes or other venues and still produce those comprehensive narratives when they return to their offices.

The first iteration of Dragon Naturally Speaking software for the PC was in 1997. After several corporate mergers and much improvement of the product, particularly harnessing artificial intelligence, it has since found widespread acceptance in areas like health care and law enforcement. Geremia said “more than 50% of physicians in the U.S. are using Dragon” in their practices.

Acceptance of Dragon has occurred in lockstep with the general acceptance by consumers of voice-driven applications on their phones, computer systems, televisions and other home devices.

When considering whether to enter the advisor market, Nuance conducted a survey of 45,000 financial services professionals which found that 37% were spending more than three hours a day writing client meeting reports.

The survey further found that 48% had to create at least one full page of notes documenting what was said after meeting with a client, while 89% said those heavy documentation demands were “limiting the amount of valuable ‘face time’ with their clients.”

What kind of firms are using the software? Geremia says there are two large firms he’s not at liberty to name that have more than 500 individual current users each; he said the company is also selling to individual advisors.

The cost is $600/user—you own the software—along with an annual maintenance and support fee. Dragon Anywhere—the mobile app—has a monthly fee. There are volume discounts for enterprises.

Geremia points out that “you can talk three times faster than you can type,” and that “anyone can use it; Dragon sits on top of your system,” allowing you to use it “where you want it; when you want it.”


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