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How uncertainty and support drive customer success

Jennifer Sawan, December 16, 2020

A computer monitor behind a tablet device with a question mark in a quote bubble at left and a syncing icon at right.

The importance of having the right service support systems in place

Our ability to adapt. It’s critical, especially in times like these when we’re faced with a pandemic, political instability, and social challenges. Our lives have been turned upside down, and individuals, families—and companies—are faced with a whole new set of challenges and problems to tackle.

Through all this uncertainty, how is your business adapting to make things work?

To answer that question, we must look around us at our enterprise support systems and assess whether these systems (platforms) can deliver the level of support your company requires (this has never been more vital than for the advisor-client relationship). If you have the right support systems in place, you can quickly rally for your clients’ urgent needs.

Never forgetting the second “s” in SaaS

The key to support during uncertainty is communication. Here at Advisor360°, we want to be the partner you can always count on and trust, especially now. To get there, our foundation is built upon an obsession with service. This flows through our entire organization, and we continue to refine our methods of providing high-value extraordinary systematic care to clients and employees alike.

We have worked hard to cultivate true partnerships with our clients so that we can understand their paths—their needs—and adapt right along with them. The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on this mission.

Urgency gets it done

Behind the scenes, we made sure a strong foundation of communication and delivery was in place for our clients. Work from home (WFH) protocols—which were already deeply tested prior to COVID times—efficiently set our employees up for success so they could be of the highest value to clients; most of our staff already worked from home either occasionally or weekly, and therefore our support was more about making refinements. Plans were implemented to provide all employees with the necessary equipment to ensure longer-term WFH productivity.

We adapted immediately—because our clients’ businesses depend on our technology.

Our networking team instantly jumped into action, partnering with our clients’ engineering teams to make sure they were prepared for high volumes of VPN use. We adjusted our processes to ensure that our operations continued to progress with zero impact.

Innovation: adapting and evolving

The configurability of the Advisor360° wealth management platform is most important when it comes to supporting our clients’ businesses. We must be able to respond when our clients have a need that impacts any part of our platform. Not only is the technology itself constantly improving to support our clients’ evolving needs, but our team and processes behind the platform are as well.

We were able to see this value earlier this month, when Commonwealth Financial Network (CFN) approached us regarding their rebranding effort which recently went live. Having built our platform with the flexibility to adjust to client-specific configurations, we were ready to update the platform to reflect CFN’s new brand in the advisor and client experience. Recognizing the importance of key configurations, we were easily able to swap out logos, mobile apps, brand names, disclosures, and DBAs.

This “bespoke” approach to our software is what our clients require, so we keep tailoring to the enterprise’s needs.

Our responsiveness helps clients succeed, and I’m grateful the efforts of the team were recognized by our partners at Commonwealth. Hilary Soltz Short, VP of Brand Development and Experience at Commonwealth, talked about our partnership:

“Orchestrating this launch was no small feat, and the effort everyone (at Advisor360°) put in to create this successful launch is seen, appreciated, and applauded. Thanks also for the Saturday effort and the amazing communication. This team rocks.”

Compliance (Reg BI) support

Another component of the ongoing advisor and broker-dealer support is the regulatory environment, a constantly changing behemoth. When the DOL fiduciary rule and ultimately Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) were first introduced, Advisor360° was ready to help keep clients compliant. Teams were quickly spun up, both internally and engaged with existing and prospective clients, to ensure that our platform could help broker-dealers be compliant with the new regulations. We adapted our platform for compliance adherence by:

  • Supporting the delivery and monitoring of corporate Reg BI training 
  • Incorporating the required Form CRS and other disclosures into the account opening process 
  • Implementing a process to identify rollover transactions that trigger Reg BI risk disclosures
  • Improving monitoring to identify new direct sponsor accounts requiring further supervisory documentation

All these features were built flexibly—so they can adapt to your firm’s own business model and rule interpretation.

Feedback: our DNA

What hasn’t changed through these challenging times is our focus on the needs of our business partners. To best understand advisors and home office staff, we have always kept a close eye and ear to feedback. While many companies say they listen to customers, we put our listening where our technology is: with our Feedback tool for advisors.

In July, we announced the availability of our newest version of the Advisor360° Feedback tool, which is an enhanced platform that allows us to hear directly from end users of each broker-dealer/RIA leveraging our software. Our Feedback tool slices and dices that feedback so that we can keep aware of what new pains advisors are facing, and find opportunities to help relieve some of those pressures. Advisors can also vote on peer suggestions, and broker-dealers can now more efficiently respond to advisor feedback.

Feedback is how you make the product better. At the end of the day, it’s all about the product and making sure it works for the users and not against them.

The bottom line for Advisor360° is helping broker-dealers and advisors run efficient businesses and have outstanding client relationships. Not only do we support you with the power of our platform, but it’s the power of our people that make it all work.

Jennifer Sawan focuses on leading platform engagement inside of and outside of Advisor360°, helping employees better understand our platform and leveraging tools and data to enable those outside of Advisor360° to do the same.