Wealth advisors are constantly looking for new ways to grow their business, which means not just finding new clients but also holding on to the existing ones. Sadly, a lot of advisors take their existing clients for granted leaving them to a strong portfolio performance. The surprising truth is that it takes more than just financial results to keep wealth management clients happy. Research shows that with competition intensifying in the wealth management market, clients are more likely to leave their advisor due to a bad experience. That’s why wealth advisors need to be constantly thinking about how to improve the customer experience, with a particular focus on effective communication and employing modern digital technology.
Here are some suggestions that will help advisors deliver the superior levels of customer service that HNWIs demand:
Keep the offerings current
Wealth management firms must continually update their services to meet changing investor expectations because a vanilla portfolio management offering may no longer cut it. Advisors should understand what their customers are looking for and either build that capability or rope in a strategic partner. Advisors also need to critically think about what new services could keep an investor happy and not throw everything but the kitchen sink at them. Which brings us to the next aspect.
Personalize the service
Increasing the service portfolio will not be enough. Advisors need to understand how to personalize and communicate these offerings for each investor. For example, when speaking to HNWIs, the offerings can be customized to reflect tax management and estate planning needs. Or it could be as simple as recognizing if a client likes to meet over lunch informally, or prefers formal meetings in the conference room complete with detailed slide decks.
Check in more often
It’s surprising how many advisors lose their clients just because they were not talking to them enough. While we don’t need to inundate clients with phone calls or emails, an effective communication model and scheduling regular client check-ins go a long way in building loyalty. Advisors can share presentations, simple emails with information nuggets, regular follow-up meetings, client appreciation lunches etc.
Build great experiences intentionally
Leaving good customer experience to chance is never a good idea. That’s why each touchpoint must be considered vital to customer experience and should be choreographed intentionally. Wealth managers should aim to address their client’s rational expectations as well as emotional aspirations.
Technology for differentiated services
Wealth management clients want anytime access to their portfolio, with real-time updates and an integrated view of their overall financial picture. Digital technology advances core client proposition by providing an extensive range of available data, helps advisors find new growth avenues. Also, Gamification – non-serious it may sound – is fast catching on as a ‘fun’ way for advisors and investors to manage investment risks.
Some other points to consider
- Executive leadership must be convinced and committed to a customer-centric strategy
- Prioritize client journeys and determine transformation approach through redesign and digitization
- Rewire the organization to integrate disparate journeys and drive transformation
- Establish a feedback loop to continuously refine customer journeys
- Engage all cross-functional teams to integrate and streamline journeys across silos
- Focus on upskilling, training, and building capabilities
- Track KPIs and performance levels for continuous improvement and achieving desired business outcomes
- Personalize customer experiences through data, insights and AI
As Wealth Management becomes more competitive, advisors need to work harder to use customer experience to set themselves apart. A high quality customer experience combined with high performing service offerings will bring in more success and will keep clients on board.
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