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How U.S. Advisors Can Drum Up Business by Texting [Infographic]

Considering 90 percent of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery, texting represents one of the most powerful communication channels today. For advisors and agents, it can be a powerful tool for converting prospects into clients and strengthening ties with existing clients to grow business.
Take a look at the following infographic for important stats on advisor-client text messaging, and the benefits that can’t be ignored.

Learn more about compliant-controlled text messaging for advisors.

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l'intermédiaire d'assurance du futur sera digital ou ne sera pas

shutterstock_363775298Associés à Molitor Consult, nous avons eu le plaisir d’accueillir une quarantaine de professionnels de l’assurance à la Maison du Danemark, à l’occasion de la présentation de l’étude « La Transformation digitale de l’intermédiaire d’assurance du futur », 1ère étude réalisée en France pour comprendre l’usage des outils digitaux par les intermédiaires d’assurance.
A l’heure où beaucoup opposent digital et distribution physique, voire prédisent que l’intermédiaire est amené à disparaître dans ce monde numérique, il nous semblait fondamental de comprendre comment les agents et courtiers abordent cette digitalisation ! Pour réagir aux résultats de l’étude, nous avions réuni un panel de 4 professionnels : Hedwige Carré-Fiessinger, Directrice des ventes et de la distribution régionale chez AXA Prévoyance & Patrimoine, Karine Lazimi, Agent général Allianz France, Bruno Olivier Bayle, Agent général GeneraliFrance, membre du groupe de travail Digital de l’AGEA, et Eymard de Charry, Directeur digital et multicanal de GAN Assurances.
Le panel n’a pas été surpris par l’utilisation massive, à 92%, des outils  par les intermédiaires. Le chiffre est venu confirmer les efforts importants de formation et de communication entrepris depuis plusieurs années par les réseaux pour inciter les intermédiaires à se digitaliser. Des exemples ont été donnés sur l’utilisation « au quotidien » de ces outils digitaux, par exemple l’envoi de SMS pour prévenir directement les clients en situation d’impayé et éviter ainsi une rupture de leur couverture. De manière plus générale, l’accent a ainsi été mis par certains membres du panel sur le digital au service du client ou de l’intermédiaire, avant même la dimension commerciale, d’autres faisant remarquer que cette dimension commerciale est souvent privilégiée pour justifier un financement et un investissement par l’entreprise. D’ailleurs 13% des intermédiaires estiment que les outils digitaux contribuent à leur performance opérationnelle.
La discussion a ensuite porté sur les conditions du succès pour que les intermédiaires tirent profit des outils digitaux. 49% des intermédiaires considèrent que les outils digitaux contribuent à leur performance commerciale, avec les mots clés sur Google (50%) et le site agence (42%) comme les 2 outils les plus efficaces pour gagner de nouveaux clients, et l’emailing local (82%) et le SMS local (77%) comme les 2 outils les plus efficaces pour fidéliser les clients. Tous les membres du panel ont insisté sur le facteur clé de succès de l’accompagnement, certains citant l’exemple d’apps clients dont les agents n’ont aucune idée du contenu et dont ils font du coup mal la promotion. D’ailleurs seulement 35% des intermédiaires sont satisfaits par les outils que les marques et réseaux leur mettent à disposition, le chiffre tombant à 27% pour le site web d’agence. Mais ils reconnaissent aussi que l’efficacité de ces outils digitaux pourrait s’améliorer très fortement avec le support approprié (de 34% à 58% pour le site web d’agence pour gagner de nouveaux clients, de 13% à 24% pour les réseaux sociaux).
Enfin, la situation spécifique des courtiers a été discutée, car la digitalisation de la relation client pose la question de l’affichage de leur marque vs la marque de l’assureur qui couvre le risque. Les courtiers ont estimé être moins avancés sur la voie de la digitalisation que les réseaux d’agents du fait notamment de leur moindre capacité d’investissement. Les opérations de sensibilisation ont été démarrées il y a 6 mois – 1 an.

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Advisors Are Texting, But Are They Compliant?

shutterstock_268912451Text messaging. We’re all doing it. In a recent Pew Research Center study, researchers found that 97% of smartphone owners send text messages. Not only is text messaging easy to do from a mobile phone, it’s a highly effective and efficient way to communicate — and financial services companies can’t ignore it.

But opening up a new communication channel for financial advisors isn’t easy, especially from a compliance standpoint. With regulators paying closer attention to compliance infractions via text messaging, firms need to have the proper supervision over their advisers’ activities on this channel.
What the Law Says
Regulations issued by the FINRA and the SEC require that all electronic communications sent from advisers, including text messages, be supervised and recorded for compliance. Specifically, Finra Rule 3110 requires member firms to have a system to supervise the activities of each registered representative, registered principal and other associated person, and that the system must be reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations and with applicable Finra rules.
Additionally, Finra Rule 3110 requires a broker-dealer to retain e-communications made by the firm and associated persons who relate to the firm’s business as such. Finra is increasingly bringing disciplinary actions against firms that fail to enforce supervisory oversight over e-communications in violation of Finra Rule 3110.
Compliance Challenges
Until now, comprehensive compliance solutions for text messaging did not exist in the market and firms have tried to address the compliance requirements in a variety of ways that have exposed some of the unique challenges of managing text message communication. For example, some advisors are prohibited outright from text messaging for work purposes, while others use cellular carrier-based systems to capture text messages. Still others have company-issued devices like BlackBerrys that not only have controls which limit the ability to text, but often burdens advisors with having to operate and carry two separate devices.
As mobile devices become an essential part of daily life, there’s now a growing trend toward having a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, even at the big wirehouses. BYOD policies can further blur the lines because advisors are able to conduct both personal and business communications from a single device, further opening up the risk for crossing the line and breaking policy. This year alone, there have been a number of disciplinary actions for failure to supervise e-communications.
Addressing Risk
If there’s a failure to appropriately supervise company-issued devices, the frequency of violations will only increase as more companies migrate toward BYOD policies. It is not a matter of if, but when. Enforcement actions will be taken for text messaging violations either against the company, an employee or both.
In this digital age, advisors need to have as many tools and communication channels as possible to build and deepen relationships with clients and prospects — including text messaging. Companies must be able to provide this technology with the right controls in place. How can they bridge the gap?
It starts with employee education. Representatives of the firms must understand the appropriate use of text messages and when to use another communication method (i.e., in person). Employees should also be educated on policy and process early and often, and companies should include attestation from these employees that they understand the rules and company policies.
Companies must also supervise communications and keep complete records. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines and policy changes that have a significant impact on the business. There are a variety of ways in which organizations can not only manage, supervise and control adviser text messaging but also provide the ability to archive activity; they include third-party technology platforms that enable them to do all this within one dashboard.
Text messaging also poses some consumer privacy risks. Companies should consider monitoring text messages for personally identifiable information communicated via text message to ensure security of all parties’ private information. For example, an organization may want to monitor lexicon terms so they can set up controls and alerts based on the types of messages advisers are sending.
As regulators increasingly crack down on e-communication infractions, the onus is on firms to educate the field about relevant rules and regulations for new channels. Firms must take the appropriate measures to control and supervise texting and still enable advisors to grow their businesses.
This article originally appeared in InvestmentNews.
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Announcing the Predictive Omnichannel Suite in Europe

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 6.05.58 AMWe’re thrilled to announce our new email solution, Hearsay Mail™, and text messaging solution, Hearsay Messages™, in Europe! Our European customers will have access to the full Predictive Omnichannel Suite™ (#omnichanneladvisor), empowering their advisors and agents to build, deepen and grow relationships with their clients and prospects across multiple digital channels.
According to Forrester Research, European adults regularly research online and are comfortable with managing their financial and insurance matters across multiple digital properties. Additionally, as organizations in countries such as the UK (Financial Conduct Authority) and France (Autorité des marchés financiers) are paying increasing attention to the development of industry regulations, the need for a solution such as Hearsay Social to address both the new digital-first consumer and compliance in financial services is clear.
Whether on social media, a local advisor website, personalized email or text message, advisors can leverage the suite’s Predictive Content Library, which recommends pre-approved, compliant content – in their local language – based on client interests and interactions to share, making it easy for them to offer the personalized, omnichannel experience their customers and prospects demand.
At the firm level, corporate marketing teams gain deep insights on what content is resonating at the local level within these different channels, so they can optimize their content efforts. Compliance teams, too, benefit from a 360-degree view of advisor activity across social, Web, email and text from a single Universal Supervision dashboard, increasing efficiency and productivity.
Read the UK press release and French version for more details. We’re excited to continue helping shape the digital transformation of the financial services industry in Europe, and for the Predictive Omnichannel Suite to accelerate our growth abroad!
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Transforming Traditional Advisor Channels: Announcing Hearsay Messages and the Predictive Omnichannel Suite


Today, there are millions of financial advisors and insurance agents worldwide, including more than 500,000 in the U.S. alone. And while technology is rapidly changing consumer behavior, preferences, and expectations, the way a typical advisor engages with customers has largely remained unchanged. What once worked before – cold calling, Yellow Pages, static advisor websites – no longer have a place in today’s digital world. A recent study confirmed 83 percent of consumers prefer communication via email, text and/or social.
Customers are now omnichannel: researching online, reaching out to connections via social and mobile for recommendations, and making purchase decisions long before interacting with a single sales professional. In fact, the average consumer spends six hours every day online – on social, mobile, and digital.
Add to this the onslaught of robo-advisors, self-service consumer e-commerce sites, and anticipated regulatory rulings, and advisors have even more pressure to deliver more to clients while charging less. Confronted with this reality, advisors must fundamentally change the way they do business in order to stay relevant and survive.
Advisors know they need to adapt; they know they need to deliver more value and be accessible across all the channels their clients and prospects are engaging on. But advisors aren’t marketing or compliance experts. And asking advisors to figure out how to do it themselves – or barring them from using these channels due to compliance concerns – has proven to be both inefficient and ineffective.
Six years ago, we saw an opportunity to leverage technology to begin addressing these inefficiencies and the need for change through social selling. Since then, more than 115,000 advisors and agents are using our platform to connect with today’s social, mobile, digital consumer. Today, I’m thrilled to announce our Predictive Omnichannel Suite (#omnichanneladvisor), a full set of integrated apps purpose-built for advisors to save time, stay relevant, and deliver more personalized service to their clients.

Hearsay MessagesWe’re also announcing a new product: Hearsay Messages. Many of you have told us that clients and advisors want to text each other, but compliance requirements got in the way. Hearsay Messages is our answer to your call – a compliance-enabled text messaging application that will allow advisors to send and receive business-related texts with customers using the mobile device they already have.
What is a predictive omnichannel suite?
Our four integrated apps (Hearsay Social, Hearsay Sites, Hearsay Mail, and Hearsay Messages) will help advisors engage across channels with their clients. Each app will have built-in predictive analytics to help advisors save time – everything from auto-suggesting meeting reminders to suggesting the “next best action,” i.e., who to reach out to, when to reach out, and what to say.
All four apps are built on the same single, unified platform so advisors don’t have to log in to four different systems, and compliance supervision teams don’t have to approve the same action four times.
Why are we doing this?
The world has changed. Clients expect and demand engagement on their terms any time, anywhere, and on every channel. Traditional field organizations have no choice but to adapt. It’s become our mission to help with this field transformation.
Looking back, it’s been an incredible year at Hearsay Social – thanks to your trust and confidence as well as to our second engineering office, which we recently opened in Seattle. It’s been an amazing journey to go from a single social media platform to a full omnichannel suite in less than 12 months.
Social selling, beautiful and modern SEO-optimized advisor websites, personalized email at scale that doesn’t feel like spam, and text messaging – all have become table stakes in today’s buyer journey and client experience.
We couldn’t have accomplished all this without your support. Here’s to many more milestones ahead together and to helping equip your field organization to succeed now and into the future.
For more details, contact your customer success manager and check out our new executive playbook, The Omnichannel Advisor. Also take a look at my keynote, “The Age of the Trusted Advisor,” from our Innovation Summit in June.