But that doesn't mean investors are looking to go it alone. In fact, one-third of investment clients said they still prefer to communicate directly with relationship managers to validate their ideas.
This is where hybrid advisory services—a combination of human and digital capabilities—come into play. For wealth management organizations (and the relationship managers they employ), figuring out how to provide a seamless, consistent digital and adviser-based experience is key.
Let's look at three ways wealth management firms can bring both worlds together and deepen their client relationships.
Customer Intelligence + Personalization For Superior Experiences Online And Offline
Focusing on client experience in financial services is a critical differentiator and translates into strong returns. According to McKinsey, firms with high levels of consumer satisfaction enjoy materially higher wallet share and customer loyalty. As a result, leading firms are making targeted investments in CX initiatives, leaning on AI-powered analytics to personalize online touch points and drive loyalty and engagement.
Wealth management firms have developed a plethora of digital touch points (public websites, client portals, social media channels, email marketing, etc.) to reach their current and prospective clients. The biggest opportunity is to take a comprehensive view of each client across all of the various touch points and use that intelligence to deliver a compelling, personalized, and seamless experience every time.
Technology is key. Building a complete view of wealth management customers requires a platform capable of ingesting data from all touch points and then combining it with other third-party data, such as consumer credit and transaction data sets, property tax records, and land registries. From all of this information in one place comes a living, breathing client profile that updates in real time. The profile empowers your company, and your employees, to deliver intelligently sequenced experiences across devices and channels, with recommendations tailored based on that person's risk appetite, investment preferences, and other attributes. The profile can also be used to create more customized client journeys based on their specific expectations.
In addition, these insights can be used by wealth management advisers to align their offerings with client needs, personalize how they contact current as well as potential clients, differentiate their messages for every individual, and enhance their product scope.
One important point to keep in mind: The perceived trade-off between privacy and personalization is dependent on clients' trust in their wealth management firm. Advanced technologies and best practices can help strike the right balance between the two to create an outstanding client experience.
“COPE” With Content Management
Providing compelling, high-value content continues to be an effective way to educate and engage with clients across all industries, but especially so in financial services, given that many people say they find communications from the industry “opaque” and confusing.
For the most part, wealth management firms still take a channel-centric approach for content creation and dissemination: Content is created with a focus on specific device, operating system, and language, and much effort is needed to redesign the content for other client touch points. This can create risk and compliance issues regarding document access, which has to be granted for each form of content.
A new approach? Wealth management firms can use a create-once, publish-everywhere (COPE) strategy to inject speed and standardization in content management and publishing, while also mitigating compliance risks. A headless content delivery approach, which doesn’t require a front-end system and is capable of pushing content straight to any device, coupled with reusable chunks of content, can be used to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience to existing and prospective clients.
It is important to note that headless content delivery requires the right technology (a hybrid content management system), but that is only one piece of puzzle. It is imperative to have the right capabilities, team structure, and operating model in place to make these content efforts successful at scale.
Digital Assistants Have Their Say
As they are across many different sectors, digital assistants are poised to up the game for wealth management firms and the customer experiences they provide. Powered by artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities, these user interfaces (think: chatbots) are proving to be a cost-efficient method for improving customer service and reducing contact center traffic.
They're also emerging as clients' preferred means of interaction. According to EY research, “Clients are beginning to demand technologies that can listen, learn, process complex language and anticipate needs – not just for basic, transactional activities, but also to manage wealth and receive financial advice.”
Indeed, EY found clients are more frequently turning to chatbots when seeking financial advice (18%) and about products and services (11%), as opposed to making transactions. EY also noted “these preferences increase with the level of investable assets” and “no discernable difference by age, indicating an openness across generations to these new technologies.”
Today digital assistants represent an exciting opportunity for wealth management firms, but tomorrow they will be a competitive necessity and a basic expectation for the digital customer. By leveraging the latest in design and scalebale real-time architecture, digital assistments can evolve customer experience from transactional to an engaging one.
In summary, the wealth management business is going through a radical change. Delivering seamless experiences through AI powered hybrid advisory services is key to unlocking higher wallet share and customer loyalty. These experiences can only be powered by compelling and relevant content, delivered in conjunction with integrated customer profiles that are created by real time advanced technology platforms.