Think Outside the Onboarding Box to Drive Value for Clients

Wealth Dynamix CEO Gary Linieres recently asked me, what one piece of advice would you give to a wealth manager for 2020 success? The article below is my response, which features in the latest e-book by Wealth Dynamix. Click here to get your copy of the full e-book. Hope you enjoy the article!

Think Outside the Onboarding Box to Drive Value for Clients

While onboarding remains top of the wealth management priority list, failure to address pre- and post-onboarding processes is putting many firms at risk. In 2020, winning wealth managers will remove their onboarding blinkers and see client lifecycle management (CLM) for what it is – an end-to-end process that must be addressed in entirety to remain competitive and drive value for clients.

The world of wealth management is changing. Competition for AUM has never been greater. And the evolving demographic of the world’s wealthiest individuals requires a broader outlook, and a more agile and tech-savvy approach – bottom line, it requires world class client centricity and service.

With the (U)HNW population becoming ever-younger, wealth managers need to up their game in terms of communications and client servicing. Clients now have ever increasing wealth management services available to them, they are heavily influenced by the experience of their peers, they have access to a vast array of information, and they are willing to switch provider if their servicing is sub-standard. There is no loyalty to poor client service.

Unlike many other industry verticals, wealth managers have been slow to respond to the servicing needs of millennial clients, which centre around efficient interactions and competitive performance. Wealth managers who fail to meet expectations, cost-effectively throughout the entire client lifecycle, are at risk. And even though world class solutions exist to bring all elements of the full client lifecycle together, wealth managers still often choose to focus primarily on onboarding, not yielding the expected outcomes.

In 2020, winning wealth managers will think outside the onboarding box to maximise operational efficiency and enrich client experience throughout the client lifecycle. They will recognise that there are three vital CLM phases, just one of which is onboarding, and that there is an inextricable correlation between how clients are serviced before and after onboarding, and your ability to efficiently engage and retain them into the future.

1. Engagement: The client lifecycle begins at your very first contact with a prospect. Winning wealth managers will capture and structure as much data as possible from the outset, use it to customise marketing campaigns and other client communications, and then seamlessly re-use and update it throughout the client lifecycle to ensure ongoing personalisation and exemplary service. Privacy-aware clients expect to see safeguarding measures that ensure transparency and regulatory compliance.

Winning wealth managers will define end to end digital processes and enable these by leveraging technology to integrate symbiotic cross-functional systems and processes across the client lifecycle. Too often, prospects and clients are repeatedly asked to provide the same data during different phases of the lifecycle. Disconcerted prospects may believe you have lost data previously provided, begin to question your competence and fail to become clients.

2. Onboarding: Only after a well-executed and efficient marketing and sales engagement will the client enter the “onboarding” phase, which has been too inefficient for too long, and has remained manual and attracted the majority of wealth management technology spend to date. “The key is to automate as much as possible without becoming impersonal,” according to Vanessa Oligino, director of business performance solutions at TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Winning wealth managers will need to improve their full client lifecycle process in 2020, where they connect their marketing and sales engagement with their onboarding process, aiming to make it as easy and frictionless as possible. They will also recognise that the client experience doesn’t end there and will focus on onward processes to maximise client retention.

3. Relationship management: If a wealthy person’s first experience as a client is a month-long delay before their account is active, your reputation will soon be tarnished among their peer network. Furthermore, research indicating that 81% of cross-selling occurs within 90 days of onboarding – 60% within a month – demonstrates how vital it is for clients to enjoy great client service immediately, rather than entering a standard, impersonal and slow post-onboarding process. And finally, if a relationship manager fears answering calls from clients because they know they are unable to provide world-class service without foraging for data and making multiple callbacks, they will not approach engagements with a positive outlook.

Winning wealth managers will promote an organisational culture and deploy technological infrastructure that spans the entire lifecycle, not individual stages and provides a contextual presentation layer. Only then can you deliver consistent, world-class client service that is engaging, profitable and enduring.

By Niklas Lindberg, Chief Revenue Officer, Wealth Dynamix

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