What All Asset Managers Need to Know About the New Customer Experience Landscape

Changes in the wealth management industry are redefining customer expectations and putting pressure on Asset Managers to radically rethink their approach to the entire client journey. But many organizations are struggling to transform their digital customer experiences.

Industry changes are disrupting client expectations

Customer experience challenges are threatening many asset managers place in the competitive landscape:

The emergence of robo-advisors and born-digital competition has drawn clients away from traditional wealth management relationships. Not only do these data-driven technology solutions provide quicker service, they can often construct more optimized portfolios and personalize customer interactions in real-time.

If a robo-advisor is able to provide more personalized service to a client than an advisor because it has real-time access to their data—you have a problem.

Passive investment products like ETFs offer low-cost alternatives to managed, structured products so Asset Managers have to work harder to attract and retain customers. They are looking for ways to offer more value and enhance the client experience at a time when margins are shrinking and investment in new initiatives is carefully controlled.

At the same time, client expectations have been ratcheted up by regulatory pressure to create greater fee transparency. Customers increasingly want to know what they are getting for the fees the pay. They expect more than past generations did—especially if product performance is not as strong as they hoped for.

Overall, customers are frustrated by companies that still follow an old-generation client journey model that is largely manual, often paper-based, and asks a lot of customers in terms of time and effort.

When a client can get a mortgage approved online in under 30 seconds—what does that do to their appetite for the meetings, calls, forms and weeks required to on-board with a financial advisor?

Defining a new customer journey—from their POV

Traditional on-boarding, data discovery, portfolio analysis and service is broken. The processes are too slow. Too manual. A new, next-gen vision of the client journey is needed—one that is built on experiences the client desires, not the activities companies require because of their legacy technology and workflows. Only by adding value and removing friction throughout the client journey will companies be able to deliver class-leading digital customer experiences.

If your customer experience isn’t designed from a customer POV—it’s costing you clients.

Forward-thing asset managers and wholesalers re-evaluate each step in their workflows to ensure they are client-centric. The central question they ask is always, “Is this meeting or exceeding customer expectations?” If not, the step should be automated or eliminated entirely—and that requires implementing the right technology solutions. Ultimately, these solutions provide an integrated and streamlined, customer-centric journey from on-boarding to data discovery to portfolio analysis to service.

Digitization of the customer journey creates superior customer experiences

To implement a customer-driven workflow Asset Managers can provide their advisors with a suite of integrated tools to automate and accelerate every stage in the wealth planning process, reducing friction for the client and advisor all along the journey.

Advisor Solution

Ultimately the best solution would include a comprehensive asset allocation and wealth analysis tool for advisors, with flexible data aggregation and automated recommendations, specifically designed to enable advisors to deliver enhanced service to their clients. It also would include digital client self-serve portals that automate many onboarding and service functions, removing client headaches and speeding the client journey.

Key features of a platform that helps streamline the end-to-end client journey include:

Client Onboarding

Desirable features include things like intelligent forms bundling and auto completion, as well as electronic signatures.

Digital Discovery

The right solution should be able to efficiently assess a client’s current situation and future financial needs. It is able to efficiently collect client financial information, set client goals, and create investor profiles. It would include the ability to quickly capture client data and feature automated data aggregation of all investment products.

Analysis and Recommendations

Platforms that deliver world-class customer experience include data-driven, fully-automated financial and insurance planning tools that access all client data and all available fact sheets on all funds – aggregated and accessible in real-time. They are able to easily generate fund comparisons, and create clear benefit statements and presentations, based on the analytics, that demonstrate why each product is the best fit for the portfolio

Client service

The advisor solution should automate many of the time-consuming prospecting, data capture and servicing tasks usually performed by financial professionals and support staff. Like: easily view portfolio overviews, activity, performance and financial goal status.

Wrap up

Being able to create world-class digital customer experiences differentiates advisors from their competition. End-to-end integrated technology solutions enable faster, less frustrating on-boarding, better investment performance through portfolio optimization, streamlined data discovery and world-class digital customer support. Re-evaluating and modernizing your wealth planning process from the point-of-view of the customer will reduce the mounting pressures from fee transparency, increased client expectations and competition from low-cost alternative products.

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