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Safeguarding Social during COVID-19

We’ve all seen the myths – many of us (author included) have fallen for them. Hold your breath for 10 seconds and you don’t have the coronavirus. Hand dryers kill the virus… garlic kills the virus. So many that the WHO has a dedicated myth-busting page.

In highly fluid, turbulent times, the risk of misinformation is heightened. We’re increasingly susceptible to both consuming and spreading content with misinformation. Social media and other client engagement channels are the front lines of this issue. For our customers, it’s critical to be proactive and provide a steady drip of updates to keep clients continuously informed. However, financial institutions need to ensure what goes out is both accurate and representative of a firm’s view.

To address these challenges, Hearsay’s compliance team has proactively built protective measures. For one, we’ve built a lexicon designed to identify, prevent and track particularly sensitive communications related to COVID-19. This offers a scalable, intelligent defence layer for your teams on the front lines of compliance, so your supervisors can focus on the highest-risk violations. And by capturing this information, business and compliance leaders can better understand how their field is operating amidst the pandemic and better assess the overall impact their efforts may have on policies, accounts, holdings and more.

Beyond suffering reputational and firm risk, spreading misinformation can put your clients and professionals at risk and contribute to broad hysteria. So how can we defend against this while keeping critical channels like social open to engaging clients and prospects?

  • Implement Safeguards. Leverage a dedicated lexicon in your supervision process to quickly identify and review client engagements that focus on COVID-19. This will help surface the most sensitive of communications, and offer your compliance teams the chance to review and remediate if necessary. We’ve built a COVID-19 lexicon that amplifies our Risk Meter and AI-powered alert system to surface and remediate risky posts for our customers. Together these tools offer better coverage and defense against digital risk while reducing the risk of misinformation on social, websites, and texting by focusing supervision on the most critical areas.
  • Stay on Top of the Data. By tracking COVID-19 communications, leadership has a direct view into field engagement insights in this environment. The information being shared can have material impact on their business going forward – it could impact renewal rates, coverage terms, portfolios, and client satisfaction. This is a time to dig deeper into the data to facilitate best behaviors and practices that drive loyalty.
  • Promote Trusted Sources. In addition, we recommend organizations build out their social content libraries with easy-to-share, trusted content with messaging from the corporate team or from a trusted senior official. Since this is the primary news topic, it’s also a great time to source third-party content from trusted industry sources. Hearsay offers curated content to our customers as well as offers the ability to “whitelist” – or trust – specific domains so you can more effectively source accurate, reliable content.
  • Adapt Quickly. Developments – both market and cultural – are extremely fluid during these times. Content that was suitable yesterday may not be today, and may even appear out of touch or insensitive. For instance, customers of ours had March Madness and spring break vacation posts planned. Hearsay’s Dynamic Campaigns allow for content to be quickly removed, affecting all subscribers and ensuring inappropriate content is removed.

Overall, encourage your teams to communicate openly with clients. It’s critical for advisors to proactively and immediately reach out to reassure clients that they have a firm grasp on their financial goals and are monitoring the situation. But protect them and your firm – ensure you have the tools and processes in place to quickly identify and effectively remediate any problematic communications.

Hearsay expands Advisor Cloud to partner with the critical systems you rely on

New integrations allow advisor firms and insurance companies to leverage Adobe Experience Manager, Sitecore, DocuSign and more, to make high-quality social publishing, client engagement and field insights easier than ever

It’s no surprise that enterprises use a variety of tools in support of data-driven sales and marketing. No one platform can do everything you need. In theory, all of these tools make life easier and improve outcomes. But who among us hasn’t experienced the complexity of manually integrating data from two, three or more systems and putting it all together in Excel? Improving results and saving time with today’s software is only possible when systems talk to each other. At Hearsay, we’re doing our part by aligning our product and integration strategy alongside our customers needs.

System integration is nothing new to Hearsay; for years our customers have been able to sync Salesforce, Microsoft, or any other CRM they may be using, as well as their existing archiving vendor, using our compliant digital communications platform. Now, we have extended the Advisor Cloud platform further to integrate with other core systems, notably content management systems, e-signature, business intelligence, data visualization and more.

As we continue to expand the Hearsay platform to become a core component of our customers’ respective ecosystems, we are laser-focused on delivering solutions and workflows that complement and add to the systems our customers rely on every day.

Hearsay Integration Use Cases

The leading financial services firms leverage the Hearsay platform and our extensible APIs to solve critical challenges facing their businesses.

Share all content with Content Management Systems integration

By integrating with content management systems such as Adobe Experience Manager or Sitecore, your best-in-class corporate content can now be shared seamlessly with field advisors and agents with a single click.  Your field can now easily access your highest quality marketing content for quick and simple compliant distribution to their networks via social and personal websites. Firms can significantly expand the reach of marketing efforts, provide agents and advisors with the most engaging content, and more accurately measure content performance and the impact that content has in delivering results for the field. It saves marketers valuable time too, by eliminating the need to enter content into two different systems and syncing advisor/agent-client interactions back for tracking.

Enhance critical data points for Business Intelligence and Data Visualization

Hearsay already provides embedded analytics, powered by Looker. But for customers using other business intelligence and data visualization platforms such as Tableau, Power BI or SAP BI, integrating Hearsay can help surface critical new data points. For instance, Hearsay Relate offers metadata that has been missing from customers’ core systems (texts, call data, etc.). By combining this with a tool like Tableau, sales leaders glean actionable insights, i.e. engagement data that can help identify gaps in coverage where reps are under-resourced. As a result, teams can operate far more efficiently.

Compliant document execution over any channel

Hearsay APIs also help automate and facilitate the timely execution of critical client documents. Hearsay integrates with Docusign, for instance, to deliver paperwork on the client’s preferred channel to advance advisor/agent productivity — all while remaining compliant. Then with Hearsay Relate, any questions about documents can be answered immediately. All of these activities are automatically logged into core systems so agents and advisors, as well as leadership, get a clear picture of the status of critical documents.

Is there something you want to integrate with Hearsay that’s not outlined here? We’d love to talk about it to see how we can support you.
While Hearsay APIs may be the most noteworthy release, we’ve made several other updates and upgrades since the year began. Customers can see them here.

Hearsay’s December Product Release is Here

The holidays are upon us and with them comes our final product release of the year!

This release is packed with presents for admins, field leaders, agents and advisors to drive more value from your programs next year. You’ll find brand-new features for the Hearsay Platform, and new and improved functionality in Hearsay Social and Hearsay Relate.
What’s new?

For the Hearsay Platform:

Introducing Insights: A brand new reporting and analytics experience
Insights is the first important step to transforming the way you visualize and analyze the performance of your Hearsay programs. All clients are now able to benefit from this new reporting and analytics experience across the Hearsay Platform.

Insights provides robust dashboards and real-time reports to quickly assess program performance and take a proactive, data-driven approach toward optimizing results. Your data is surfaced in a highly visual, easy-to-consume format. It’s simple to see what’s working well, where there’s opportunity and to easily share findings with your colleagues. You can begin to deliver the data you demand, laying the groundwork for more impactful BI, CRM, and core systems integrations.

Improved Desktop User Experience
We’ve released a completely refreshed interface for a simpler and more intuitive desktop user experience. With a modern design, enhanced findability and a streamlined experience for multi-product clients, it’s easy to navigate between solutions.

For Hearsay Social:

Drive Campaign Subscriptions from the Action List  
Campaigns – both Dynamic and Relative – automate publishing to ensure even the busiest agents and advisors can still generate awareness on social media and publish fresh content to their websites. Agents and advisors can save more time by subscribing to campaigns directly from the Action List with a single click, increasing campaign subscription rates and growing the reach of home office content.

1-to-1 Outreach Enhancements
A number of new 1-to-1 Outreach features help users unlock more valuable interactions with clients and prospects:

  • Seamless Onboarding: A new quick and easy onboarding experience for 1-to-1 Outreach guides advisors and agents through critical in-app features to drive adoption and long-term product use.
  • Email Nurture Campaigns: Advisors and agents can now leverage email campaigns to automatically share content to better nurture their clients and prospects.
  • Email Campaign Starter Pack: Your field now has an easy way to launch email campaigns with pre-built starter packs that are specifically tailored to your industry.

For Hearsay Relate:

Send MMS Text Messages with Hearsay Relate
Advisors using the Relate web application can now attach files or photos (known as MMS messages) to their text messages. Advisors and agents can now communicate with clients in other ways through text, such as ensuring documents are received in good order or highlighting important information for clients.
As you engage clients and prospects with these new features, we look forward to hearing your feedback. Our next product release will be in January – see you in the new year!

Hearsay Triggers the Media with Smart Triggers and More

Hearsay made a huge announcement last week — on Wednesday, we announced the availability of Hearsay Advisor Actions.
Advisor Actions will change the way your field works, taking mobile productivity to the next level with smart triggers, artificial intelligence and turnkey financial services workflows. Lead conversion, cross-selling, document execution or any other challenge you’re facing can be solved with Hearsay’s patented technology, prompting advisors to compliantly text and make calls in the moments that matter.
Our announcement has generated some buzz in the industry and we’re proud to be featured in the following publications:
Barron’s: Fintech firm Hearsay launches a productivity tool for advisors
ThinkAdvisor: Hearsay’s New Tool Boosts Texting, Mobile Capabilities for Advisors
Wealth Management: Advisor Actions on a Hearsay Trigger
Wall Street Journal Wealth Adviser Briefing: Adviser Efficiency (etc.)
FA Magazine: Hearsay Launches Mobile Phone Solution for Advisors
Financial Advisor IQ: Fintech Firm Unveils Tool for FAs to “Combat Robo Advisor Threat”
Insurance Innovation Reporter: Hearsay Systems Debuts Triggered Advisor Actions for Mobile Work Environment
InsuranceNews: Hearsay Systems Creates Mobile Solution For Advisors
Advisor Actions is completely customizable and drives the outcomes that are critical to taking on some of the biggest challenges you are facing. We’re excited about what this solution means for the future of advisor productivity, increasing revenues and improving the client experience.
Click here to schedule a conversation about how Advisor Actions can start working for you.

Hearsay’s October Product Release is Here

We’re excited to announce that our latest product release is now generally available!
Our 7th release of the year includes brand-new features for the Hearsay Platform, as well as new and improved functionality inside Hearsay Social, Hearsay Sites, and Hearsay Relate. As always, many of our updates to the platform work seamlessly across products. This makes it easy for you to help advisors use multiple digital channels — all from one place.
What’s new?

For the Hearsay Platform:

Advisor Actions
Advisors waste over two-thirds of their day on manual processes, leaving less time for actual value-added client interactions. With Advisor Actions we can help you solve this challenge.
Enabled by our new Action Card API, custom action cards with prescriptive next steps are created that can guide advisors and agents on how and when to reach out to clients and prospects during moments that matter.
What are some of these moments? Advisor Actions are fully customizable, allowing YOU to define moments of value sourced from any core system. We’ve started to work with customers and identify workflows integral to financial services firms such as:

  • Lead Conversion
  • Cross-selling activities
  • Document execution
  • And more

And with every Hearsay activity included in any Advisor Actions workflow featuring built-in compliance and automatically tracked and captured for reporting and analytics, Hearsay is bringing unprecedented transparency and real-time insights into advisors’ activities. Marketing and digital teams can now measure field performance such as advisors’ response times, frequency of touch and channel performance.
Want to learn more? Schedule time with our team to see how Advisor Actions can drive critical outcomes for your business.
Insights (Beta)
Insights is Hearsay’s new reporting and analytics experience. Through robust dashboards and real-time reports, you can quickly quantify program performance and take a data-driven approach to optimizing it. Insights presents your data in a highly visual, easy-to-consume format so that it’s simple for you to see what’s working well, where there’s opportunity to improve and, of course, share these insights with your colleagues.
Ahead of a broad release in December of this year, today’s beta launch gives admins at participating organizations access to a subset of Insights functionality.

For Hearsay Social & Hearsay Sites:

New Hearsay Content Campaign – Millennials & Money
One of our most popular Hearsay Content Channels, Millennials & Money, is now available as a dynamic campaign. Hearsay automatically creates this campaign for you to review in draft mode, and includes 1 new post per week designed to help your advisors attract and retain millennial clients. Hearsay now offers three Hearsay Content Campaigns including Tech Trends, Healthy Living and, of course, Millennials & Money.
Note: To review available or discuss potential new Hearsay Content Campaigns, please engage with your Customer Success Manager.

For Hearsay Social:

1-to-1 Outreach – Click Through Tracking for Non-Showcase URLs
1-to-1 Outreach now captures more engagement data than ever before. With this release, Hearsay now tracks clicks on links in the email body AND the showcase link of 1-to-1 Outreach. This makes it easy for advisors to reach out to the right person at the right time, and it helps you improve your content strategy over time. It even provides CRM admins and field leaders deeper insight into the effectiveness of their advisor-client outreach strategy.

For Hearsay Relate:

Multi-ring helps advisory teams make sure client calls don’t go unanswered — without a complicated staffing plan. The feature allows multiple phone numbers to be added to an advisor’s workspace, so when a client calls the advisor, each phone number rings simultaneously. Once someone (the advisor, the assistant, etc) answers the call, the call is connected and no one else is able to answer it.
Contact Uploader
The Contact Uploader makes it easier than ever for advisors to import business contacts in Hearsay Relate. Simply “drag and drop” a spreadsheet (using the template provided) and Hearsay instantly imports each of the contacts and syncs it with the web and mobile app.

How to Apply AI to Drive Sales & Loyalty in Financial Services

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has arrived in financial services. In fact, in a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) over half of the executives surveyed report they have already implemented AI into some aspect of their business. But after a few days at Dreamforce listening to financial services firms, it’s clear much of the AI implemented so far is experimentation. And while there’s a long way to go to uncover its full potential, the appetite for using AI to grow client relationships — and revenue — is huge.

AI-Driven Smart Workflows

During their session “Beyond CRM, how AI is changing selling forever”, PwC partner Darshan Chandarana identified a few AI technologies that are being used in the market right now to drive growth — Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Smart Workflows.
AI-driven Smart Workflows, in particular, were highlighted in various sessions throughout the Financial Services-focused Dreamforce track. Workflows are designed to integrate tasks performed by groups of humans and machines (e.g., key business process such as cross-selling) and, as with Salesforce’s newly unveiled Action Plans for Financial Services Cloud, they are built to trigger alerts to advisors that it’s time to take recommended next-best actions to grow client relationships. Companies like Wells Fargo and Transamerica discussed plans to use the Salesforce Action Plans workflows with the goal of reducing the administrative burden on their advisors and agents.
Hearsay introduced our own complementary Smart Workflow solution at Dreamforce too, Advisor Actions, which drive outcomes critical to our customers’ businesses through prescriptive guidance, automation and tracking. By triggering any workflow from any core system, Advisor Actions enables us to partner with our customers to take on the biggest challenges facing their businesses. Every advisor-client activity is captured for full transparency and accountability, giving leadership real-time insight into their field’s activities within their CRM, marketing technology, or any core system.

Drive Sales, Customer Loyalty and Advisor Productivity

AI in the form of Smart Workflows can help sales prioritize important tasks that are specialized to the way they operate and how they sell. And thanks to your team’s ability to reach out with consistent messaging at just the right time, in those moments that matter, your customers’ experience is improved too. For example, Hearsay’s Advisor Actions guides agents and advisors through critical workflows, such as how to quickly, efficiently, and effectively follow up on a lead which is great for both advisor productivity and the customer’s experience with your firm.
By automating and guiding your teams through these essential, repeatable tasks, AI and Advisor Actions can reduce the administrative burden on your field. As it stands, only a very small percentage of an advisor’s time is spent in front of clients. If you can save even a fraction of the remaining administrative work by harnessing the power of AI-driven Smart Workflows like Hearsay’s Advisor Actions Lead Conversion Solution, you’ve effectively grown the capacity of your salesforce without spending a penny.
As a sales leader, this impacts not only your revenue number but also where you can focus your time. By eliminating the need to chase your field for data entry (advisor-client interaction data is automatically captured) or reducing the need to manage spreadsheets tracking performance, AI and automation can help you turn into what you’re hired to be: a leader and coach to your field.

Take the First Step

The good news is that you don’t need to start from scratch or overhaul your entire sales process. The first step is coming up with your use case, finding pockets of value in your business that will benefit from the use of AI and automation. At Hearsay, we partner with our customers to discover actionable workflows and then scope and build an implementation plan to automate it out across your field. To see how we’re pushing the boundaries with some of the world’s largest financial services firms, contact us to schedule a demo of Advisor Actions now.


The Financial Advisor’s Challenge: Balancing Relationships and Efficiency

As a former financial advisor, one thing in particular stood out to me at this year’s SIFMA Private Client Conference: No one was talking about investing.
At the heart of the panels, roundtables and discussions I participated in, it was clear that real advisor value was being driven through client intimacy. Whereas 20 years ago, the core responsibility for an advisor was selling mutual funds and bonds, now they set up trusts, consult on real estate portfolios and business transactions, and provide advice on elder care. What rang true across the conference participants was the need to embrace scalable digital tools that enable advisors the capacity to provide all these differentiated, value-add services.

The Longevity Revolution

By 2030, one in five Americans will be in retirement age. As our population gets older, costs associated with longevity can drastically alter a client’s wealth profile, potentially making them susceptible to financial abuse. In response, advisors are now being asked to specialize in complex areas such as elder care, generational wealth transfer, and advising across multiple marriages, according to one of the panel sessions, “The Longevity Revolution: Is Your Firm Invested?”
In order to meet these growing demands, execs from SIFMA, Raymond James Trust, Hilliard Lyons, Wells Fargo Advisors and Northern Trust agreed that advisors must automate where they can to maintain capacity.
To avoid any suggestion of financial abuse of the elderly, there must be a reasonable effort to obtain the name of a trusted contact person. Building artificial intelligence-driven prompts that remind advisors to send a pre-built “trusted contact form” during these situations is precisely the type of workflow that industry-focused technology providers, like Hearsay, look to drive.

Empowering the Advisory Field

As advisors rise to these growing challenges, they also must balance demands from the home office. This year’s conference included a number of regional and complex managers from around the country, many of whom were eager to empower their advisors with the tools they need to be successful.
For this group, a few common pain points emerged:

  • How to recruit and retain top talent
  • How to activate home office programs at scale
  • How to manage compliance risk in their territories

There is a clear appetite for advisor productivity tools and technology that free up advisors’ time so they can focus on what really matters: creating the most value for their clients.

How are Top Advisors Embracing Digital?

With personalized communications tablestakes these days, where are the areas that are ripe for digital transformation?
During her keynote, Hearsay’s founder and CEO, Clara Shih, shared findings from conversations and on-site visits that our team held with thousands of advisors across the country. From those discussions, it was clear that top-performing advisors had four things in common:

  • Automate and delegate 1-to-many: Advisors that “autopilot” their top-of-funnel demand generation – by taking advantage of tools that dynamically post relevant content to business social media profiles and websites – saw meaningful efficiency gains.
  • Facilitate high-value 1-to-1: For conversations that require a deft personal touch, advisors that embrace a variety of digital channels, including social media, text, advisor websites and email, can engage with speed during critical money-in-motion moments.
  • Make compliance built-in: It is critical to integrate new technologies into existing supervision workflows to maximize advisor uptake and avoid unnecessary redundancy.
  • Capture data for actionable analytics: Digital tools that connect to a firm’s CRM or system of record not only increase the quantity and quality of data available, but drive advisor productivity by saving them from nearly one hour a day of manual data entry.

It was illuminating to hear leaders in the private client space say that managing portfolios is not where the most value is created for clients. Instead, it is the experiences that a financial advisor makes possible that will prove the difference. Ultimately, technology will play a critical role in transforming the business and how advisors are able to connect clients to what they want.

SIFMA Social 2018 Recap: 3 Ways Digital and Social Are Shaping the Advisory World

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending SIFMA’s Social Media and Digital Marketing Seminar with a group of my Hearsay colleagues.
Hearsay’s founder and CEO, Clara Shih, kicked off the event with a keynote, “Solving the Loyalty Crisis,” on how financial services companies must leverage digital tools to help advisors scale their high-touch practices.

Clara Shih, Hearsay CEO, keynotes SIFMA’s 2018 Social Media and Digital Marketing Seminar

Clara discussed how advisors these days are feeling more pressured than ever – from lower-cost competition, to new regulations, to the greatest generational wealth transfer on the horizon. She then outlined the four requirements that firms must act on in order to increase advisor productivity:

  • Automate/delegate 1-to-many: Advisors need a way to easily automate, delegate and nurture customer engagement until critical 1-to-1 sales conversations
  • Seamlessly drive 1-to-1 workflows: Advisors need efficient hand-off between 1-to-many and high value, 1-to-1 sales conversations like annual review notifications and referral requests
  • Gather actionable analytics: By optimizing and increasing CRM data, sales and marketing leadership can get the visibility and insight they need to drive successful advisor programs
  • Have compliance built in: If the compliance barrier is high, field adoption plummets

The day then featured discussions on the digital transformation of financial services, touching on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to cybersecurity. Over the course of many engaging conversations, a few things in particular stood out.

The Trust Vacuum

Among the topics discussed was the deterioration of trust on a global scale. Highlighted as one of the markets with extreme trust losses over the past year, America and, in particular, its media institutions, have been among the hardest hit. So where is the public turning for trusted sources of information?
They’re turning to subject matter experts within their own networks, and advisors and agents that are actively engaged online are poised to benefit. To capitalize on this opportunity, advisors and agents need to deliver facts, insights and substance … and they need to be timely and relevant.

Shifting Consumption Habits

To remain relevant, advisors and agents need to adapt. During a panel discussing social media trends, Ken Johnston, industry manager for financial services at Facebook, shared that the average consumer scrolls through what amounts to 300 feet of content daily. The expectation across all the panelists – which also included industry representatives from Twitter and LinkedIn – is that 75 percent of all content will be video by 2020. So how can advisors stay top of mind?
Depending on company policies, one option could be Facebook Live video. Imagine the possibility of being able to address your network with timely content as soon as a quickly developing situation is materializing; for instance, sending a reassuring message during a stock market sell-off. As video increasingly becomes the preferred social medium, this is one worth watching.
For more on Facebook Live: “To Stream or Not to Stream? Compliance Considerations for Facebook Live”

Social Media as the Consistent Prospecting Tool

As a former financial advisor myself, I found the “View from the Field” panel – featuring high-performing advisors from Merrill Lynch, Raymond James, Wells Fargo Advisors and Edward Jones – particularly interesting in that each had a distinctly approach to finding new business. One advisor tapped into traditional family networks, while another specialized in 401(k) plans. Another targeted firms with recent layoffs to find people that needed financial assistance during transitional moments.
What is consistent across all of the advisors is their use of social media to initiate contact and nurture warm introductions. They rely on social as a critical validation tool to establish themselves as a thought leader in their unique area of expertise. Each emphasized just how crucial a role social plays in their business development and client retention efforts, and how staying timely and relevant sets them apart.
The event was a great way to bring together leaders across marketing, sales and compliance, and across financial services firms, social media networks, tech startups and academia, for insightful discussions on issues affecting the industry. At the rate at which things are transforming, it will be incredible to see what’s in store for financial services.