Saturday night in the city and need a ride? Uber.
Weekend getaway and need a place to stay? Airbnb.
Long drive to visit a client and need some entertainment? Spotify.
It’s not too difficult to come up with a list of companies that you go to for easy and excellent client experiences. So why should your firm offer your clients anything less?
Financial technology (a.k.a “fintech”) has revolutionized the client experience in the financial services industry much like the companies mentioned above have completely transformed their respective industries.
At this point you may be wondering, “What I’m doing is working. Why fix something that’s not broken?”
And you’re right. What your firm is doing may be getting you by, but there’s a huge opportunity knocking at your door. In fact, an independent survey confirmed that firms that have rolled out a client website using eMoney attracted new clients at a higher rate, increased their net new assets, and increased their client retention rate.
Acknowledging that the experience you provide to your clients can be improved is just the first step. Below, you’ll find five other ways you can strengthen your firms’ client experience.
1. Power Up Your Digital Brand
If your firms’ digital presence (website, mobile, software) doesn’t match the digital experience you expect as a consumer in this day and age, it may be time to rethink your digital identity. Establishing credibility online is essential and it all starts with your website, typically the first touchpoint for clients and prospects to gain a better understanding of your firm.
When it comes to your website, make sure that the top half of your homepage clearly communicates your value, presents your firms’ process, and offers on-demand opportunities to engage with learning tools and simulation calculators. It’s also important when designing your website to always keep the mobile user in mind, especially considering mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches.
2. Make Onboarding the Ultimate First Impression
Onboarding is the “meet the parents” of financial advice, so it’s critical that you make a good first impression with new or potential clients. Time is more valuable than ever, so ditch the stacks of paper statements, the endless fact-finding questions, and the form overload. Implement an online onboarding workflow, where clients can input their personal data and choose their financial priorities on their own time and on-demand. Not only will an online onboarding process provide a convenient solution to a tedious process, but it will save you time to address other business needs.
3. Evolve Your Planning Process
Empowering clients to plan their financial futures through an interactive experience, by using technology that your firm provides, instantly sets you apart. It not only allows your clients to feel like they’re helping drive the conversation, but makes them feel invested in the process. Collaboration is the ultimate key to interactive planning: collect data together, build plans online together, and display and discuss their goals together. All the while you can make your professional recommendations.
Your clients will be at ease knowing their financial plans will update automatically and they can simulate different scenarios using their own numbers as market conditions shift, priorities change, or their goals become realities.
4. Breathe Life into Your Communications Strategy
The new and effective approach to communicating with clients is all about being proactive. Does your client have a child preparing to go college? Send them an email with a resource to show how college choices affect their finances and invite them to a meeting or call so that you can discuss budgeting. It’s important to show you care and can consistently keep clients informed and on track with their financial plans.
Not all clients are the same though, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your clients on what methods and frequency they prefer in their communications. Making clients feel like a priority using effective communication tactics produces satisfied clients, and in return can lead to more referrals.
5. Take Service to Another Level
Let’s be real, it’s impossible for advisors to be available 24/7. But the services you provide – an online presence, a knowledgeable staff, a client portal – certainly help fill in the gaps. An effective service model incorporates digital brand, onboarding, planning, and communications to deliver a positive and consistent client experience.
Be sure that you, and your entire staff, are aware of all the services your firm provides so clients know they can go to anyone in your firm if they have a quick question or a larger support request.
Evaluate your current offering
When it comes down to it, what differentiates you from other firms is the experience you offer. Does your firm provide some of the services above, but not all? Make sure to download our free Experience Matters eBook to learn more about improving your client experience and use the checklist to evaluate your firm against our grade scale.