Four ways technology can improve client engagement
By fostering deeper client engagement, you can improve the customer experience while boosting loyalty and trust. In turn, this can help drive revenue growth: a study by consumer intelligence firm Motista(1), found that emotionally involved customers are four times more likely to refer a friend than those who are simply satisfied customers. The relationship you have with your clients is crucial to building close connections, but there are several ways you can use technology to enhance your human interactions.
1. Communicate regularly
The uncertainty of recent months has often meant that, more than anything else, clients just want you to reassure them. Our research found that, during the coronavirus crisis, one in five advisers increased their communications with clients, with 65% sending more emails and 53% making extra phone calls.
Maintaining regular communications post-pandemic can help encourage your clients to stick to the financial plan through periods of volatility and spur them on to get in touch if their circumstances change.
2. Bring the plan to life
Advisers are bound by document heavy regulation, but when faced with reams of paperwork to wade through, most of us switch off. Bringing the information you give clients to life through calculators and personalised illustrations can enrich your offering and make a huge difference to their understanding of the strategy and engagement with the plan.
Tools that integrate directly with intelliflo office and the personal finance portal make it easy to provide live interaction during meetings using the client’s data in different financial scenarios.
3. Create a consistent customer experience
Over recent months, a lot of your client contact will have, through necessity, switched online through client portals and virtual meetings. With the restrictions easing and when life goes back to ‘normal’, many clients (and advisers) will want to return to face-to-face meetings, but others will prefer to continue using video conference functionality and communicating digitally – our survey found that 68% of advisers expect less frequent face-to-face communications with clients in future.
Regardless of whether you’re seeing clients in person at the office, in their homes or via a screen, technology can help you maintain a consistent service. Access to client data across multiple devices means you can communicate the same information via a laptop or tablet or via screen-sharing functionality, while consistent branding across all touch points – your office, website and the client portal – ensures your firm stays at the forefront of the customer journey.
4. Use data to personalise interactions
A report last year by McKinsey in the US predicted that personalisation will become central to financial advice, with 80% of new clients wanting a data-driven ‘Netflix-style’ advice model by 2030(2). Streaming services continually refine their recommendations based on the customer’s preferences and McKinsey anticipates that this ‘hyper-personalisation’ will be applied to financial advice in the next decade. It’s already possible to integrate data from advisers’ own systems with external information via Open Banking to create a holistic view of the client’s finances. In future, initiatives like Open Finance and the Pensions Dashboard, plus machine learning are set to widen the potential for advice firms to create cost-effective bespoke solutions for individual clients.
You might not be ready to ‘Netflix’ your firm just yet, but using client data to personalise interactions is an excellent way to strengthen relationships. Knowing important details about a client’s life also helps create a more rounded financial plan. You can more easily deliver a more personal advice experience if your data is up to date, complete and in a consistent format that is accessible across different systems and multiple devices.
Human relationships remain at the centre of financial advice, but making technology and digital tools a fundamental part of the process can have a significant impact on your client’s engagement with the advisory experience.
(1) Motista: ‘Leveraging emotional connection for retailers’
(2) McKinsey & Company: ‘On the cusp of change: North America wealth management in 2030’