Ask any investor what the predominant factor is in choosing a wealth management firm, they will be quick to respond with ‘investment performance’. It is undeniable that investment performance is key in the decision whether to continue with a wealth management firm, however, what is often overlooked is that Client Experience comes a close second.
Though, when we use a term as broad as Client Experience, it is very easy to get misled. We borrow on Deloitte’s pioneering framework on Client Experience in Wealth Management to power our insights on what the future holds for Wealth Management customers.
7 Key Drivers of Client Experience: How can Wealth Management Firms Power Advantage?
Reporting and Transparency:
The client must always have a clear picture of their finances. There must be no delay or turnaround in providing accurate information to the customer. Timeliness, accuracy, and accessibility of data are important to all customers. The way firms can drive better reporting and transparency is to onboard customers onto a digital wealth management platform with a customer-facing app or portal. This allows customers to get access to their portfolio data 24X7 at a moment’s notice. Any kind of errors in reporting or even delays in delivering reports can seriously erode the credibility of the firm. It is frustrating if the customer has to go to extraordinary lengths to retrieve their own data. It should be available at the click of a button and completely accurate.
Timeliness and Clarity in Communication:
The client is looking for wealth managers to provide data-driven insights quickly and briskly. There is no space for guesses. Portfolio data and investment strategy must be clear. A wealth management platform gives wealth managers the ability to identify opportunities in a timely fashion and convey it to their clients clearly. They follow the 5 keys to successful investment portfolio management. If the wealth manager is more forthcoming in communicating the exact expectations from the investment, it is less likely that the client feels duped or cheated.
Whether it’s getting a customer on board or the speed and accuracy of data, the client expects customer experience to be top-notch. There is no time for any kind of sluggishness in the processes. Automation of the entire process from KYC to onboarding can prevent the risk of clerical errors/human errors that can hold up the entire process. When it comes to operations, clients don’t want any surprises they just want it to work. The more predictable and automated it is, the better it is viewed to be.
It’s all about being quick and right in today’s world. Wealth managers must be available on-demand and proactively share strategies with clients. Any data or information that is requested by the client must be quickly turned around. With the obsession towards exceptional customer service, only the most digitally savvy wealth manager can manage to meet client expectations. The automation of mundane tasks such as portfolio attribution, data integration, reporting, rebalancing and more gives wealth managers the free time to focus on providing a stellar customer experience.
Long Term Approach:
Rather than trying a short-term approach to client relationships, customer preferred a relationship where the wealth manager builds trust over time. An indiscriminate attempt to upsell to customers and strain relationships will not be appreciated by the customer and will breed mistrust. Wealth Management Firms that can identify the right offerings for the investor’s portfolio and back it up with strong data are the ones that retain clients in the long run.
Only the wealth managers that demonstrated a keen understanding of the client’s needs, business, estate, and requirements were retained by HNI clients. Managers must be in tune with the client’s goals for their life, whether it is buying a car, a house, a second farmhouse, saving up for children’s education or funding a vacation in the Bahamas. Nowadays, clients look at goal-based investing and unless this resonates with the investment manager, it’s difficult for the relationship to click. Wealth Management Platforms that allow wealth managers to input client goals and understand the right funds or strategies will help engender trust as there’s a lower risk of mis-spelling the wrong fund.
Clients seek wealth managers that can manage their money but also those that take their inputs seriously. A wealth manager must be able to transfer their own knowledge to the client in the right way and also consider the concerns and ideas of the client. Clients are looking for someone who can work with them as a partner rather than dismiss all their ideas. They are looking for human beings with whom they can build an actual partnership based on shared goals. Wealth managers have technology as their best partner. For Example – AI has helped wealth manager save up to 20% of their time. The wealth manager is expected to use technology to build a custom investment management solution for the client if a suitable one does not exist in the market. Dealing with a manager who does not engage with the customer and offers cookie-cutter solutions can grow tiring very quickly.
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