Building healthy client relationships takes time and shouldn’t be rushed. The way that those relationships are developed separates the average advisors from the highly successful ones.
In an attempt to remain competitive and attract new clients, and hold onto the ones they already have, modern advisors are under increasing pressure to improve client experience. There are many ways in which brokers can do that, but one specific first step is essential: embracing technology.
“Clients across all segments are more digitally savvy than ever before and all investment professionals are under pressure to enhance the existing client experience with the resources that are available,” says
Tony Maiorino, Vice President and Head, RBC Wealth Planning Services, RBC Wealth Management. “Clients experience digital interactions in every other part of their life so embracing technology is key, especially in a firm like ours.”
Although most wealth professionals are either interested in, or actively utilizing, digital technology to improve client experience, there remains a reluctance, or a lack of awareness, among many. Maiorino believes that doubts around how to best deploy a digital infrastructure within the advisor framework prevents investment firms from digitizing their business.
Maiorino sees three specific areas in which digital resources should be deployed: the onboarding experience; the planning experience, which includes, tax, estate, wealth planning, business succession, investment; and reporting.
“Those three aspects become the three key touchpoints for deploying digital in a way that will support advisors and create a meaningful experience for clients,” he says. “It starts from the lead generation stage: the idea that we should only be inputting data once and utilizing it consistently. That becomes the bedrock foundation. All client information should flow downstream as the client goes from being a prospect to opening accounts and building relationships. Advisors shouldn’t have to input that data multiple times and clients shouldn’t have to give it multiple times.”
If an advisor’s business is effectively digitized, the gap between onboarding, planning and reporting is narrowed and these three import factors will become more interconnected than before. “It streamlines the conversation for clients and allows advisors to focus on the important parts, which is interpreting and providing guidance around the data,” Maiorino says.
“Three of four years ago the majority of an advisor’s time was spent gathering and inputting data onto systems. In the digitized environment, data can flow freely into planning tools which streamlines processes and allows advisors to quickly jump into the conversations that the client is excited about.”
We’d like to hear your experiences. Has you or your firm implemented digital technology in an attempt to streamline the client experience? Has it worked? Let us know below.