Being able to text clients is an essential tool that helps maximize efficiency for your business and streamlines your communications. In a recent Hearsay Systems study, results show that 98% of texts from advisors are opened and 90% are read within the first three minutes. As successful as texting has become, it’s also essential to make sure all texting is done securely and compliantly. Here are a few key factors to building a compliant texting program:
- Ensure message capture and retention. Per FINRA SEA Rule 17a-4, all texts with clients and prospects should be captured, time-stamped, logged, and archived for e-discovery. Any activity by assistants, admins, and supervision teams, such as message deletion, should also be logged.
- Keep communications “fair and balanced.” Any information sent should follow this rule to prevent unsuitable or questionable messages from being sent. Having an up-to-date lexicon of restricted keywords can help flag possible issues and reduce the amount of time spent manually reviewing messages. Smart blocking is another preventative measure that can help stop the transmission of critical or sensitive information.
- Separate work and personal phone numbers. Use a business-dedicated number that can be encrypted and secured for all client and prospect communications. Another reason to keep personal and work numbers separated is to avoid the possibility of an audit that would subject sent messages to a regulatory review.
- Turnkey CRM integration is a compliant time saver. With compliant software, advisors can gain back as much as an hour a day that would otherwise be spent on manual data entry. When looking for a CRM solution, look for ones that work with Microsoft and Salesforce, as well as other CRMs, for seamless data capture.