What is a client?
In PractiFI, a client is simply an entity with whom your practice does business. Commonly, the client will be a household, often comprising a primary contact person, their partner and perhaps some dependant children. Or it may be a business client, comprising directors or staff that you deal with. It may also be an individual person. Whatever the type of entity, they’re all clients and they’re all represented by the icon.
What makes household clients different in PractiFI?
Many financial advice CRMs don’t treat the family or household as a client, only the individuals within it. For example, if you deal with Mr John Elliott and Mrs Jean Elliott in one household, many systems will store those as two clients. Further, if you also record details of their children Rose and James, you can end up with four supposed “clients” in your system.
In PractiFI, we see the household unit as your client, because you’re often aiming to manage a broad range of the family’s financial matters spanning several family members over an extended time. Using the previous example, PractiFI sees the Elliott Household as one client, comprising Mr John Elliott as the primary contact person, Mrs Jean Elliott as the partner and Rose and James as dependant children. One client household, with four client people.
What are people?
People are individual human beings. They are represented by the icon and they can be members of multiple clients.
Using our earlier example of the Elliott Household, let’s say Mrs Jean Elliott is impressed with your company's services and asks you for financial advice for the software company of which she’s a board member, Smart Systems Ltd. You’ll create Smart Systems Ltd as a business client, then add Jean as the primary contact at that client. Jean is thus a client person within the Elliott Household and also a client person (specifically the primary contact) at Smart Systems Ltd.
What are relationships?
A relationship can be established between any pair of organisations (clients, providers or divisions of your business), people (client or provider people) or team members. Each relationship is defined by a relationship type that's represented as a phrase, such as "a Primary Contact at", "a Partner Contact at", "a Solicitor for" or "the Referrer of".
Relationship types can be configured by your PractiFI System Administrator.
Who is the client owner?
The client owner is the team member in your advice business who has overall responsibility for the satisfaction of the client and the success of the relationship. It's commonly the client's financial adviser, but may sometimes be a client service representative or the practice manager.
In very large practices or institutions, client ownership can be used to control data sharing, where your team is set up with a role hierarchy and access to client information is restricted based on each team member’s role and the ownership of each client.
Client stages, segments and sources
Three simple ways to organise and categorise your client base are to use client stages, segments and sources.
- Client stage is a high level indication of where the client sits in your company's customer lifecycle. Typical client stages include prospect, client, inactive and for sale.
- Client segment symbolises the lifetime value of the client to your advice business. A typical set of client segments might be A, B, C and D, or platinum, gold, silver and bronze.
- Client source denotes the origination of the client relationship, such as through referral, a bought list, an event or a website enquiry.
Client stages, segment and sources are examples of categories and can be configured by your PractiFI system administrator.