While January may have ended, and Punxsutawney Phil has already deemed that six more weeks of winter are coming, it’s never too late to set goals and resolutions for the upcoming year. In a previous blog post, Heather Post offered four new habits for developers to adopt in 2022. This time, our suggested resolutions are for those of you on the business side of your organization. We fully expect that by now, you’ve already charted out your list of goals for the year and outlined how to achieve them. And if you’re like most in the wealth management and financial services verticals, then your goals likely relate to improving efficiency and strengthening client relationships.
The team here at DataMotion has over two decades of experience helping others achieve these objectives. With the advice of a couple of our business-side team members, we’ve compiled a list of three resolutions to help you achieve your goals, while reducing the risk of regulatory fines or data exposure.
Without further ado, below are three resolutions to commit to in 2022.
Three Resolutions to Stick to in 2022
Put Yourself in Your Client’s Shoes
Your team spends a lot of time thinking about how to improve your customer/patient experience. Often, so much that as you generate new ideas, it’s easy to get tunnel vision and overlook what is actually best for your clients. As we’re still in the infancy of 2022, it is an excellent time to step back and look at your strategy from your clients’ perspective. In this vein, let’s consider the following scenario:
Your organization has recognized that customer inquiries are not easily submitted, and has addressed this by adding a messaging channel to your existing mobile app. This is a great feature, and your clients will (likely) be thrilled with the new experience. But this feature might not be the silver bullet you think it is, especially if it isn’t secure. If your clients’ main complaint is that it’s difficult to submit and resolve account questions that contain sensitive information, and they’re still required to pick up the phone or log into a separate web portal to get these questions answered, then this simple, unencrypted message channel may be a shiny new feature that quickly loses its luster. Whereas had you added a secure message center that allows for these sensitive exchanges to occur, these complaints would have been addressed and resolved. Thus, increasing client satisfaction and loyalty to your organization.
How can you put yourself in your clients’ shoes to avoid this scenario? One way to better understand the customer process is to study the pain points your clients have, and how they want to see them resolved. If you notice a pattern of a universal grievance and suggested solution, then you’ve likely just discovered two key pieces of information in improving the customer experience: a bona fide customer experience problem, and a potential resolution.
Feedback evaluation is one of the best methods to understand client needs and wants. You can gather this data via various methods, including surveys, face-to-face communications (think advisor to client), focus groups, and even social listening. If you don’t already have any of this data on hand, then as part of this resolution, we recommend developing a plan to begin collecting it. Here are a couple of our favorite sources about how to get started:
- Customer Feedback: What to collect and when (Qualtrics)
- 10 Smart Ways to Collect and Utilize Customer Feedback (Forbes)
- 10 Questions to Ask When Collecting Customer Data (Entrepreneur)
We recognize that even when you’ve done your research to determine your clients’ needs, limited resources and compliance challenges can make it difficult to truly put your clients first and resolve their complaints. While these are all potential hurdles that you’ll need to overcome to accomplish this resolution, none are showstoppers. Here are a few resources, as well as an example of a company overcoming security and compliance challenges, to help you address some of these possible problems:
Keep It Simple
Between managing your career and your personal life, as well as trying to find time for yourself, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Save yourself some time and ease *some* stress by remembering not to overcomplicate things. Make it a point to keep things simple this year, try not to overthink or make easy tasks too complex. Likewise, look at processes that are currently causing you or your team frustrations. Are they more difficult than they need to be? If the answer is yes, determine the cause of the problem, then make a plan to simplify it.
Let’s look at this with a basic example. Your team has a spreadsheet that is updated weekly. Currently, team member A updates their portion of the spreadsheet, then passes it to team member B, who inputs their data. This pattern occurs until every member has done their part. The simple solution is to move the spreadsheet to the cloud so team members can access the document, update their information, and complete their task at their own convenience. You could also consider setting up automated notifications that trigger once the spreadsheet is modified or, if actions need to be completed in a specific order, you may consider automating to do items. Whenever team member A completes their portion, a notification and a new task are automatically created for team member B, and so on. If you’re a Microsoft user, something like this can be done using Power Automate.
A word of caution: let’s say the notification sent in the previous example contains sensitive data. To avoid compromising its security, we’d recommend consulting your team of developers and consider using DataMotion secure message center APIs or our secure message delivery API. Each option will allow you to streamline these processes while tackling potential security vulnerabilities.
Streamlining processes can sometimes be time-consuming and complex. We get it. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself while trying to simplify you and your team’s activities. Consider committing to simplifying at two least two tasks per month that you feel can and should be streamlined. By simplifying tasks (and selecting a small number at a time) you will reduce frustrations amongst your team while opening up bandwidth to focus on other tasks.
Unlock New Knowledge
You’ve probably heard the saying “education is the key to success” countless times, and you’re going to hear it again right now. Education is the key to success. Make a commitment this year to learn something new each day. For example, you may decide to increase your personal knowledge to advance your career by taking an online course (LinkedIn Learning and Harvard Business School Online are two good places for this). Alternatively, you may choose to learn more about your customers or industry by browsing market studies, industry reports, and current industry news. Here are a few good places to do this:
Finally, if you’re in a regulated industry and exchange sensitive data, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the news to learn about newly-discovered device vulnerabilities, vendor data breaches that may impact your enterprise, changes to industry regulations, and more. Speaking of the news, you will also want to keep your organization from ending up in the headlines for the wrong reasons, so stay on top of what you can do to keep your client’s data secure. Here are a few solid resources:
We highly recommend stopping by the DataMotion Blog, where we publish helpful tips and techniques for protecting your data’s security. As a starting point, check out our blog posts on the rise of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), business processes that may be putting your data at risk, and an overview of the zero-trust model and how we use this strategy at DataMotion.
Are You Ready to Take On 2022?
Setting resolutions is easy, but sticking to them is harder. As you embark on your way to adopt one (or all) of these resolutions, set yourself up for success. Start small and set up a plan to act upon your resolutions. Remember, it takes twenty-one days to form a habit. Stay focused, and your resolution will become a natural part of your routine.
If you’re ready to get started on these resolutions, be sure to tour our services or reach out to our team of experts to learn how you can improve your client’s experience and simplify processes, while protecting the integrity of your sensitive communications. Also, for more helpful tips, as well as industry news and views, follow DataMotion on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for monthly insights delivered to your inbox.