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How Cascade Became a Leader in Client Service

Learn how Cascade, a leading Denver-based investment management firm, created top-notch client service processes for these key client service areas:

• Client Onboarding – This is critical since it can set the tone for the life of the entire relationship

• Service Requests – Timely and pertinent resolution of any client services request increases client satisfaction with your firm

• Client Meetings – Well organized client meetings reassure your clients and emphasize your commitment to them

===Transcript below===

Allan Siegert: John is going to walk us through Cascades onboarding client and advisor servicing processes. Specifically he is going to tell us how he used Navatar to build the implementation and the tracking of onboarding client meetings and also of service requests.

John will also provide some insights on Cascade specific structure and some background on how they approached and how they leveraged Navatar technology for their processes. We’re also joined by Navatar’s Ketan Khandkar, Ketan leads all Navatar products and services and he’s here to address any technical questions or product questions that you ask during today’s session. At any time if you want to raise a question you can enter the questions in the Go To Webinar panel on your screen and we’re going to answer them all at the end of the webinar. So we’re coming to you today from Navatar headquarters in New York’s financial district although John is in Denver so let’s start off. John, who do you think has more snow today? Are you in New York or in Denver?

John Van Sant: I’m going with you guys because it’s nice and sunny here.

Allan: Alright, do you want to share your screen and kick off this webinar?

John: Yes, are you able to see everything? Yes we can. Ok, great.

Welcome everyone! I’ll just give kind of a quick run through on today’s agenda and then kind of dive right in. As Allan mention we’re going to go through a kind of managing the client service process. For us it’s kind of soup to nuts starting from onboarding, incorporating obviously the new account process is the important part of everything that we do from day-to-day, let’s talk a little bit about what we are doing from a client meeting, from the implementation and tracking prospective and then what we have built out utilizing Navatar service request system in process and then we open it up for question after a little bit after that.

A little bit about who we are, we were founded in 1994 we’re a boutique wealth management firm. So most of what we’re doing is really working with high-net-worth individuals Family, Business Foundation, mostly on the retail side, we don’t do too much from the institutional perspective and I wouldn’t really classify us as asset management firm either. We have ten advisors and most of our advisors are employees for providing full service and support. We have six offices and everything but with everything centralized out of the downtown Denver office currently managed just under 500 million in assets, we have an eight person client service team, one full time chief compliance officer and then myself as dedicated management overseeing day to day.

One of the other unique things about Cascade is we are both a broker-dealer and an investment advisory firm. We’re really an investment advisory firm that just happens to own our broker-dealer but we do have that platform and that is certainly an important piece as well and part of the reason why we had to spend so much time and energy really building out the client service piece because we are from a back office operations perspective, managing everything through the broker-dealer as well.

Moving on, I want talk a little bit about the client service process and build-out and give you a little bit of background as far as what we went through and in order to really build everything out. Like most small mid-size firms that are in the industry, we have five-plus different functional areas, marketing business development, investment management, client service and advisory service. Accounting and payroll each are in compliance and like most small medium-sized businesses we’re obviously limited on resources when it comes to personnel and technology versus some of the larger firms. So in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency most firms like us are looking to integrate as much as possible. First at the platform level and then at the process level, so our goal and what we’ve really been working on and building out of the last three years is really looking to build a fully integrated turnkey platform that integrates all of the different functional areas at some former level for us. The hub is really Navatar and will hopefully be the starting point for everything we do with integration top the other systems to help streamline and manage those processes. What makes Navatar so powerful is the ability and the functionality provided more integrated platform.

Why Navatar versus just going with Salesforce directly? If Navatar is the overlay utilizing Salesforce technology or anyone that has worked with Salesforce knows how complex the system actually is and for us we don’t have the technical expertise in house in order to be able to build out what we need. We utilize Navatar to do that build out, in addition there is a combination of industry complexes along with different complexities, provide being that even a more of a significant to overcome. Especially the uniqueness of each firm in our industry really compound that complexity and make it even more difficult to obtain, even kind of partial integration as far as when you’re looking at integrating all of the different functional areas across the business.

The way that we approach the problem was to really break out the different functional areas into different phases and then prioritize those phases, so we looked at current systems processes, determine what options we have available, if any. If we are not able to integrate, we will evaluate what options are available in order to integrate or we simply build the process to accommodate. So for us client service and advisor service process are really the most complex portion and really one of the most important pieces of what we do on a day-to-day basis, from the complexity standpoint or formal process workflow and then it’s also obviously one of the most time sensitive parts of our business as well, and also for us it’s a huge part of our value proposition as far as working with the advisors. Specifically what I’m referring to is the client onboarding, the ongoing client reviews and then obviously just managing the day to day client and advisor service and support. So with significant help from Navatar, we’ve been able to build out our first major phase of our integrated platform, which is the client and advisor service and support.

Now getting into doing a demo around that, before diving and I want to give just a little bit of an outline as far as our service model and structure just to provide a little bit more context. As far as how we built it, specifically for us our goal is really to build a centralized business model. And what we did was we developed a client service team so I refer to it as a functional design and functional client service design versus a Siloam model and what I mean by a Siloam Model is kind of more of the traditional model in our industry where you have a sales system, that sales system is responsible for one or more advertisers depending on the size of the advisors the complexity, and that Sales system is also responsible for wearing multiple hats sometimes, up to fifteen or twenty different hats right. They’re doing everything maybe from training, to scheduling, to setting up new accounts etc. What we did was developed a client service team and then we broke out all of those different functional areas within client service too for us. For our structure it’s roughly six different areas, we have asset movement, account maintenance and processing, new account setup, scheduling advisory service etc. And then we had each person on Client Service team has primary, secondary roles and responsibilities, within each of these areas and this is a way for us to really expand out our model from a capacity to work load perspective and also not overload anyone on the client service team, also allows the client service team to be a little bit more specialized in their specific area and not have to be wearing multiple hats at any one time. The goal around this was to build a process centric model, where we are utilizing the system to integrate workflows to hopefully improved efficiency in execution and it’s really kind of two go two.

The main focus is on the list and really more of a customer-centric model so we want something that gives us the ability to provide capacity and capability, provide a more consistent and standardized service level across all of our clients, and then an advisor centric model that allows us to provide more additional services to the advisor rather than and focus on the hype activities rather than dealing with managerial administration operational compliance related activities. And then as you can see on the screen obviously the goals kind of in order and of importance. Goals really provide more consistent level for us. The focus is really on accuracy, obviously we’re looking to gain certain efficiency as well but our biggest goal is making sure that we get it right the first time, especially when it comes to asset movement and it’s the little things right. Those things that when those go wrong with the thing that really upset clients and advisors obviously expanding capacity by utilizing workflows. Let’s get into a little bit of demo as far as what we have done with that with Navatar and then obviously standardized process, more that you can standardize across the business the higher likelihood you’ll see that that consistency and higher level of service that you are looking for.

Ok, moving into the demo, pulling up my Salesforce here. So first Navatar overlay. So I’ve got a test client here and I’m just going to dive into kind of starting with the onboarding process, and what that looks like, and how we utilize and process that from a back end. So we have everything built into service request and so what we’ve done is within service request we have two record types, we have client meeting and service request. What we’ve done within client meeting for this screen really accomplishes two things. As you can see we have two different meeting stages here we have onboarding client reviews, so this one screen you depending on what is chosen allows us to utilize the appropriate workflows and then depending on what’s chosen here, the stage subtype comes up and these are the different options that are available within here. So these are from a process standpoint when a client is coming and going through the onboarding process this is what this is and of each stage of the process.

The other thing that we’ve been able to do within the system is provide some level of flexibility as well for each of these advisors. So we know that not all advisors do everything the exact same way, so while the process is standardized from a subtype perspective, having this advisor subtype allows us the ability to provide some additional flexibility and customization within there, and another thing that Navatar was also able to build out for us was this auto Create update event field, so if this box is checked depending on the meeting date and time this will automatically be added to the calendar, so rather than the person that’s running the client service team member that’s running through this, having to then also going added the event to calendar this is just one more click and also by having it auto added, obviously eliminate the era that maybe forgetting to just added to the calendar etc.

So when I click save here, what happened is we have depending on the adviser, depending on the meeting stage, the subtypes and then the advisor subtypes based on what’s chosen then kicks off. We utilize Navatar’s workflow engine they refer to it as auto plan, so what this does is as you can see there’s an auto planning process, so this kicks off work flow in here is the associated tasks that we have with the discovery meeting and who its assigned to on the client service team so chilling would have just received an email outlining these different tasks and then walk through the process and then as you can see down here in activity history this is the event that was added to the calendar. So the team would walk through and the advisor will walk through obviously once these are closed out then would come back in and adjust the page to the next round and or what’s next decision on this will go through the same process again etc. Not going to go through reach when I think that that gives a kind of an overview. If there’s any specific questions at the end I’d be happy to go through this. The other component, the other custom component that we had built out prior to touch on prior to getting into the client meeting process is NAF which stands for a new account for so this is my specific wizard that we had built out utilizing a different workflow technology so it’s a more robust workflow technology within Navatar. What this allows us to do and what we did was we basically outlined every possible scenario when it comes to a new account perspective, and we were able to build this wizard utilizing all of those different components so it kind of starts with the custodian based on the custodian how the account is going to be funded that really then drives the rest of the process kind of quickly. Run through here and show you what that looks like and so as we go through what you can see I chose Purging so all these questions are going to be specific to purging, and also the asset movement. Let’s quickly go through just to dump in all the account type so it’s based on each different account type in the component obviously if it’s an IRA, there’s going to be specific paperwork associated with that as well as obviously there’s no beneficiaries.

We also thought we’d also built-in different R&D components that way as we’re getting accounts set up whether we need to review you, whether we need to review whether and R&D is taken Etc. Asking which of the different funding as I had originally put in that transfer so the system knows to ask, ok how is that going to be funded? Just additional questions we’ve also built in work flows on the backend and so if these boxes are checked it will generate individual tasks for either the advisor or a person on the team in order to accomplish, in order to complete what we need from the account prospective and then here is kind of our different options, so these are from our platform perspective. Some of the different things that we have whether it’s going to be brokerage, whether it’s going to be an alternative investment, or one of our managers accounts and then you are kind of the different models that we utilize to this is an advisory program so we know that opposite sides need to know if there is a fee whether there needs to be that is built to etc.

Let’s quickly click through some of these additional questions. So what it does, it comes up to the screen this is kind of a this is basically total of all the information that is entered the click through and finished and what happened is, as soon as I clicked finish the client service team was just notified that basically a new account form was entered so it’s the advisors responsibility to go for, go through and enter the new account form. Ill click in here and this is what the client service team gets, basically all of assuming that everything was completed as part of the NAF wizard. Now they have all the information that they need in order to complete that new account form, you could see lots of different fields and then if you’re utilizing a laser-App or docu-paste you have the ability to push this data into a lazer-app or docu-past, repopulate the forms that are required around that going back to service request.

Let’s talk a little bit about what we are doing from a client meeting, so once again back to the screen and you could see two stages, onboarding and the client review. So you have for most firms advisors, they have some type of ongoing client review in place I know for us, prior to really implementing anything with Navatar it was very ad hoc nature or it was something that was being tracked via excel and may be implemented in Outlook or may be implemented in some type of CRM. The goal of this was to really create a very full and robust client meeting process that both, where we can implement client meeting and review along, with tracking client meeting and review as well once again we have some additional customization functionality.

So for us, we really just broke into two categories get the Client Review which is really more of the formal review, which happens maybe quarterly or semi-annually or annually, and then we have non review which is really more of the touch point. I have a client or an ideal client and I don’t have a review with them every month or formal review every month that you want to reach out to give us the ability to track and once again. We have additional customization and function functionality at the adviser level as well. So once again, once I click save this will then kick off the appropriate auto plans and Auto plan tasks that are associated with this and as you can see here there’s some additional fields. As you can see we have a client, we have a frequency field, and then we have the date and time of class field. So assuming that these deals are completed, with this, allows us to do is run reports on a weekly basis to see who we have upcoming so this would be that the tracking component is based on what’s in here. We know that this is set up for review for the formal review biannually, non-review monthly what we’re running those reports. We have someone on the team that it’s just fully dedicated to managing the scheduling in a client meeting process. She’s running those reports and managing all of this on behalf of the advisors, so all of this is being done through the client service team. The advisors will come in here if they end up having a non-review meeting that wasn’t scheduled, they can then come in here an update. That way, we can frequency on track with that the meeting date and times. Lastly we want to show what we are doing from a service request perspective.

We have two record types here service request, ok I’m going back to what I had talked about in regards to that of the different functional areas in breaking out the different functionaries of client service. What we’ve done is broke out obviously asset management client account and then within here we have a sub types of user, all of the associated task and request that we could think of. So what we did initially to create this was put together a spreadsheet we call the client service standards and outlined every possible task and then kind of categorized and put them into these different functional areas, and then we also have a standard on there’s. If a request or if they have a specific request or request was received at the time of day, you need this to be processed at this point or the team has the day to get it done or whatever it is up to. The most asset movement it’s going to be more time sensitive and immediate in nature, obviously the advisor will come in here and enter the request, or if client call the service team directly they will enter the request.

The one rule that we have anything client related must go into the system. It’s the only way for us to ensure that we have a complete and accurate record of the client. So this tool was really created for the advisor, so they have a quick ability to go in and enter this. As you can see over here, we have different status updates every time, the status changed. The advisor automatically receive an email notifying them of the status change, and then anything entered into this text box is included in that email. So what we did with Navatar the service request custom object was just kind of basically a baseline custom object within Navatar. We really worked closely with them to help us build out so that this was as specific to our needs. If you we don’t currently have any kind of auto plans or workflow functionality. I put this as most of these requests are fairly simple but you certainly could have auto plans or some type of workflow functionality connected with this.

What we do have is an approval process that Navatar built out for us, so what this does is creates a queue though so by clicking that, the client service team just received an email saying that they had a new service request available, and then what they’ll do is they will go to here and as soon as it’s done they’ll utilize this approval history and approval process functionality, and this provides basically a full audit trail or maybe they need to update the status to waiting on someone else. It could save that, will then be the approval history, basically this provides that nice audit trail for everything that’s going on and then once again once the status is changed the advisor automatically receives an email updating them on the progress of the service question. What’s going on in addition, the email also provides a link so they want to click back to its service request to get a little bit more information about what’s going on. They can do that as well and with that bring back the PowerPoint, it was great to go back to the process, and we’re still able to utilize the technology for that.

Allan: Question from Andrew. What were you using to do all this before Navatar? Sure, so originally we started, we were actually utilizing a different Salesforce system, we started using that system about three years ago and we just we were not able to build out functionality that we were looking for, we kind of had in our minds what we wanted to do but Salesforce is a very very difficult open architecture platform that provides a lot of the ability to customize a lot of flexibility but that’s also the problem. Is that with the ability to customize with enough flexibility you need to have a really strong technical background in order to really be able to customize and implement at the level that we were looking to do. So we’ve been with Navatar about six or seven months so we were able to really build all of this out in kind of a three or four month period.

Allan: Another question from James. How long it took which was a question we also want to know, is if this was sort of open-ended consulting project that you were paying for or how did it all work is included with a service. Maybe Ketan who is also on can you say here.

John: So I believe what it’s called, we were utilizing the Navatar Concierge service, so all of this was all included and then any time a time I obviously need to make a change or do anything, I contact them obviously client service and support people at Navatar that I just reach out and normally hear back very timely.

Ketan: That is a standard part of the Navatar Service, along with the Product. It also includes the concierge service that allows for any kind of customizations, training and support. All of that is included, so there is no consulting fees or consulting projects that the customer has to do.

John: The other thing I will add on when I first started going through the diligence of reviewing CRM’s, Salesforce wasn’t actually one of the CRM’s I was looking at because I knew in order to implement you really need it have, you have to hire people that have a technical expertise in-house or you work with the consulting kind of on a one off basis, which it’s really expensive upfront and an ongoing basis. From a Logistics perspective it becomes I think more difficult to manage and deal with so I like this. Obviously that’s what I like about Navatar ability to kind of have an all-in-one service and not have to work or be worried about what the billable hours are going to be associated with that.

Allan: Another question from another Andrew. Hello, wondering how you guys handle multiple operational requests for the same client at the same time?

John: So we require each individual requests to be entered individually same with the new account process. So if we have a client coming in that is opening up five or six accounts the advisor needs to go through the wizard five or six times in order to do that. That’s really the only way that we can get the information that we need and then so going back to the service request component so let’s say the advisor enters in three or four different service request everyone on the team knows their primary roles responsibilities and they will all go to that queue and then they will go and manage and facilitate their request from there.

Allan: John this question comes from Vanessa. How do you label the asset movement transactions that are sent to the advisors? How does the system not get clogged by pending tasks?

John: So for the service request, that’s actually one of the nice things about the service request, if that’s not creating tasks, it’s creating a new service requests within the custom objects, so they’re not actually creating a task per say within the system, and then the client service team, what they do if they do receive is an automated email so they know that service request is available, and then what we have set up within Salesforce is each individual has a view within the custom object, and then that’s how they manage the service request from there. We also have another view for service question haven’t been signed so that allows my director of client service to have the appropriate oversight to make sure getting everything you need at least touched in a timely manner.

Allan: Ok Lisa has a question. Do we need to build it or does it come with what you showed us and I think she’s talking probably about some of the processes you showed and maybe you can start with the answer with what you started with from Navatar? And may be Ketan can augment your answer.

John: Sure a lot of what you saw was basically what Navatar provides, really was the baseline template let’s call it, and then you have the ability to then really kind of fully customize from there. There are some Salesforce specific limits limitations by one of that we found as far as working through the process with Navatar, that they were really able to navigate, and even if we did have to implement the work around, the system still really work well for what we tried to accomplish.

One last component of what will end up happening, how do you are what to kind of go through the Initial training in process you will have someone on Navatar team that you’ll be able to go to and kind of walk through. Ok here’s what we’re trying to accomplish, their process how do we build that out and they can walk you through what’s appropriate and they could certainly looking to see what we have done and utilize the functionality as well

Allan: Ketan maybe you want to add to that. I’ve also gotten a few questions here. What’s the difference between Salesforce’s and Navatar?

Ketan: I’ll just had to what John had mentioned there from an Navatar prospective, kind of when we redesigned the product, what we have done is we’ve included is a whole set of tools and workflow components, and John had mentioned auto plan, and the name of the tool we have, and what that allows you to do make it much easier for you to set up your processes in your workflows. We do recognize that each advisor has their own specific ways in which they want to handle their processes so using the Navatar workflows and using the Navatar functionality becomes much easier to specifically build out the processes and that’s covered as part of our service, and our concierge team. This helps with all of that, and John alluded to the entire set of all the different things. Took a couple of months to process going back to your question was Salesforce and Navatar. So Salesforce, obviously we use Salesforce as the underlying infrastructure which is the platform and on top of that platform we have built industry, specific functionality and workflows and tools that we see advisors need on a day-to-day basis. Navatar solution includes all of this including the underlying Salesforce structure.

Allan: Thank you Ketan, now we have another follow-up question from Andrew number two. On my question for multiple requests at the same time if different client service reps need docs signed for a request how is it coordinated in the system to not have multiple specialized reps reaching out to the client at the same time? Did you catch that john should?

John: Ok I’m trying to kind of understanding, I’m not sure if this is coming more from a new account perspective or if it is coming from more of an asset movement or maybe just a normal account servicing related piece. Everyone on the team normally, if you’re going to have kind of specific, if they’re going to be similar, specific request those are probably all being handled or managed by the same primary person on the team. So if that’s the case then obviously they are, they will see all those different requests come through and won’t reach out to the client until all of the appropriate. They’ve completed kind of that that paperwork package from a new account perspective, all of those are going to be entered pretty close and we have our service standard for paperwork is really twenty-four to forty-eight hours and so we don’t, we wouldn’t have the instance where kind of where miscellaneous paper worker request is getting sent out to the client. Hopefully that answer the question.

Allan: We will see again if you have any questions please put them in the go to webinar control panel, and I think we’ve gone through all the questions I don’t see any more coming up. This has been great John, thank you so much for today’s presentation we really appreciate it and it’s great having you on. John Vansant is the president of Cascade Financial Management. We also had Ketan Khandkar who is the Leader of all Navatar products and services. I am Allan Siegert and I want to thank each and every one of you today for joining the webinar. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions that you might have for Cascade or for Navatar, and again thank you all sincerely for joining us today we look forward to talking to you. Hope you have a great day!

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