How To: Create a Household Client


PractiFI’s Create a Household Client wizard does what it says on the tin: it allows you to easily create new household clients as you meet them in your practice.

But it does much more. It takes the variability out of data entry, so you get  greater control over the quality of information your staff enter. Plus we make sure the wizard thinks like a real person, so it captures the primary contact first, then the household, then any other details (such as the partner’s details and any tasks to be completed).

We put some simple smarts in there, too. We guess that if your primary contact is called Francis Underwood, then you might want to call the household Underwood Household, so we do that for you. And we take a punt and guess that if you enter the details of Francis’s partner Claire, that her last name might be Underwood too. I know, these are little things, and you can override them easily if you need to, but we hope they just simplify the day to day a little.

But we put some heftier smarts in there too. The Create a Household Client wizard uses PractiFI’s process engine. It checks your practice’s predefined setup and allocates follow up tasks to ensure that the new client is handled with care and attention. Task assignee, due date and details can be adjusted in the wizard to handle absent staff, or changed priorities, etc.

How To?

Here’s a quick run-through of how to create a household client using the Create a Household Client wizard.

  1. From the Practice View, go to the Launcher menu in the top nav bar and select Create a Household Client.

    Practice View - Create a Household Client From Launcher

    Practice View – Create a Household Client From Launcher

  2. You’ll arrive at step 1 of the Create a Household Client wizard.
    Create Household Client - Step 1

    Create Household Client – Step 1

    Enter the name and basic contact information of your primary contact person for the household. Click Next. (NB: if you need to abort the wizard at any point, just click Cancel & Finish. This will end the wizard without creating anything and navigate you back to the Practice View.)

  3. You’ll arrive at step 2, where you’ll enter the details of the household who’ll become your client.
    Create Household Client - Step 2

    Create Household Client – Step 2

    • Enter the client name.PractiFI creates a household name for you, but you may choose to edit it according to your practice’s naming convention.
    • Set a team member as the owner of the client relationship.
    • Choose the stage at which the client is at in your client lifecycle (typically a prospecting stage early on).
    • Select the client segment.
    • Select the source of this client record, e.g. a referral, a website enquiry or an event attendance.
    • Enter the physical location address of the household. If they also have a separate postal address, expand the postal address section and add details there.
    • Click Next.
  4. You’ll arrive at step 3, where you’ll enter the details of the primary contact’s partner (if you have them) and set any follow up tasks.
    Create Household Client - Step 3

    Create Household Client – Step 3

    • Click the plus symbol to add a row for the partner contact person and complete the fields.
    • If your practice has configured predefined tasks to be completed for every new household created, those tasks will appear in the follow up tasks table. You can also add additional tasks using the plus symbol.
    • All done? If you need to adjust anything, you can click Prev to return to previous steps in the wizard (don’t worry, you won’t lose any information). Otherwise, click Save & Finish to wrap things up. PractiFI will create your new client household, create the primary and partner contact person records for the household, plus it’ll create the follow up tasks you specified and assign the to the appropriate team members.
  5. You’ll arrive at your newly created household record, ready for you to add further information when you’re ready.

    Client View - New Household Client

    Client View – New Household Client

Great work! You’ve just created a new household client. Simple, eh?

Concept Dive: Clients & People

As you may have seen in our Key Concepts slide deck, the concepts of clients and people are pretty critical in PractiFI. Here we take a deeper dive to explain why PractiFI handles clients and people a little differently to other systems you’ve used. We like to think it’ll all be second nature to you in no time.

What’s a client?

In PractiFI, a client is simply an entity with whom you’ll do business in your practice. 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. Or it may be an individual person. Whatever the type of entity, they’re all clients and they’re all represented with the heart icon, because you love your clients, eh?

What makes household clients different in PractiFI?

Many wealth management 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 Ms 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. Thinking again of the previous example, PractiFI sees the Elliott Household as one client, comprising Mr John Elliott as the primary contact person, Ms Jean Elliott as the partner and Rose and James as dependant children. One client household, four client people.

Can people be part of multiple clients?

They certainly can. In fact, there’s great flexibility in separating households from individuals, and that flexibility makes for better CRM.

For example, let’s say Ms Jean Elliott (from the Elliott Household client above) is so enamoured with your practice’s services that she 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 of the practice, then add Jean as the primary contact at that client (using the Add Existing Person option, under the Client People section). Jean is thus a client person within the Elliott Household and also a client person (specifically the primary contact) at Smart Systems Ltd.

In many other systems, you’d have to create two records for Jean to achieve this, which is obviously crappy. Plus, in PractiFI, you can see Jean’s client relationships clearly under the Relationships tab in her PersonView page and get a real sense of just how important she is to your practice. We think this makes a whole lot more sense.

How do I create a client?

It’s really easy. Take a look at our quick guide on creating household clients and you’ll be an expert in no time.

How do I find my clients in PractiFI?

Easy. Here are two simple ways.

  1. Search for any client using the search box in the top nav bar. Just start typing the name of the client and the list will filter down as you type. Then just click to select and PractiFI will take you straight through to the ClientView for that client.

    PractiFI - Top Nav Search

    PractiFI – Top Nav Search

  2. From the PracticeView, select the Clients tab in the side nav bar (using the heart icon that we learnt before). You’ll find a table of the clients in your practice. You can then filter the table using the filters above, applying them separately or in tandem to refine your filter. You can sort the table using the arrow icons next to the field names. You can also search within the table using the search box above. (It’s worth noting that filters and search work together so that you can get very specific. If no records are returned, try removing a filter or removing the search term you’ve entered.)

    Practice View - Client Tab, Client Table

    Practice View – Client Tab, Client Table

Who’s the client owner?

The client owner is the team member in your practice who has overall responsibility for the satisfaction of the client and the success of the relationship. In some practices, this may be the principal or adviser who is the main professional the client relies upon. In other practices, it may be a client service representative or the practice manager. In most practices, it’s a handy way to separate clients into broad areas of responsibility.

In very large practices or wealth institutions, client ownership can be used to control data sharing, where the 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. Feel free to give us a shout if you’d like more info on this.

What are client stages?

At the time of setting up PractiFI for your practice, you’ll have agreed your client stages amongst all of the other configurable categories in the system (learn more on categories). They are the stages your client moves through as you manage them over the course of your business relationship with them. A couple of examples:

  • A pure financial advice firm might manage its clients through typical stages in the advice process, such as Prospect, Initial Meeting, Needs Analysis, Advice Preparation, Strategy Presentation, Implementation, Review and Inactive.
  • A multi-discipline wealth firm offering financial advice, mortgage broking and life insurance might manage its client stages at a summary level, such as Prospect, Client, Advocate and Inactive. This works because multi-discipline firms typically track their more detailed stages on the services that are performed within each discipline. (Learn more on services and services stages.)
What are client segments?

Like stages, client segments are a configurable category and offer another way to make a distinction between the various clients in your practice. Segments typically symbolise the lifetime value of the client relationship to the practice. You can keep your segments really simple, such as A, B, C and D. Or you might opt for Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Whatever the terms you use, segments should have a clear and agreed meaning amongst your team members, so that when you (for example) want to send an event invitation to your Platinum clients, you’re inviting exactly who you intend to.