6 Tips for a Successful Client Experience Transformation
With a rapidly shifting market, continuing inflation, and client uncertainty, client loyalty is more important than ever. It can be challenging to manage current client portfolios and follow-ups, let alone drive growth in an uncertain market. But it’s not impossible.
The competitive advantage most firms lack is creating a superior client experience.
A client experience transformation is more than digitizing communications and creating a website. Today, financial advisors leverage multiple digital tools to foster client engagement and set clear expectations.
With the right tech stack, it’s possible to scale client acquisition while retaining a positive client experience.
Before we dive into how you can boost your client experience, let’s further define this transformation.
What is client experience transformation?
Client experience theories go back to the 1960s when the practice was often reserved for client support teams. Over the decades, more and more organizations centered on the client and their experience of a product or service across multiple operations, such as sales, marketing, and technology.
For advisors, client experience focuses on how easily clients can interact with their advisors and understand their financial advice.
The transformation aspect of this phenomenon is fairly new because life is vastly different from 10 years ago.
Today clients young and old must navigate rapidly shifting markets, an uncertain economy, and an influx of technology.
Advisors can meet clients in the middle. By transforming the client experience, you can not only better service your clients but also improve retention and acquisition.
How a better client experience fosters growth
Client experience transformation is popular across industries because, among other factors, centering the client often leads to improved growth. Think about it: When you put the client first when considering your operations, the client will likely get what they need without hassles. This leads to improved client satisfaction and engagement. A more satisfied client not only stays longer with your firm but can pull referrals.
6 ways to improve your client experience
Your transformation effort can involve updating several processes related to the client journey. The following 6 are our top picks for rapid change:
1. Break down barriers with technology
Technology often seems like a double-edged sword. It can drastically improve communication, speed up analysis, and meet client expectations. However, many advisors and their clients are rightfully concerned about security and compliance. After all, what good is a tool that puts client data at risk?
However, technology for financial advisors isn’t necessarily of the same grade as other software. High-quality platforms use sophisticated security mechanisms to protect client data and are designed to be compliant. At the same time, platforms like Nitrogen integrate with other key sales, marketing, and advisory software without sacrificing security. This makes it possible to centralize client information while improving client management processes.
On the client side, this results in fewer late appointments or missing documents. Clients are less likely to be overlooked, and as a result, they feel valued.
Advisory platforms are no longer a one-size-fits-all solution. There is no need to sacrifice personalization or personability for efficiency. The right platform enables advisors to customize client communications effortlessly and boost client satisfaction.
2. Upgrade your financial planning
Financial planning is increasingly becoming a core component of a positive client experience for retirees and younger investors. It’s easy to see why. These investors must find a way to understand how inflation, higher interest rates, and an unstable economy influence their long-term financial goals. As a result, clients want more than asset management: They are looking for expert guidance.
Improving your financial planning capabilities in relation to client needs revolves around sharing knowledge and gaining client input. Using easy-to-read visualizations, potential projections, and other financial planning tools alongside client updates inspires confidence and reduces client anxiety.
3. Introduce risk numbers
Clarity enables clients to make better financial decisions, and risk numbers offer an opportunity to simplify complex financial formulas. A risk number highlights a client’s risk tolerance over a six-month period. But unlike more stereotypical labels such as “conservative,” “moderate,” or “aggressive,” a risk number provides more nuanced insight into a client’s current tolerance.
This metric makes it easier to build portfolios that match a client’s needs, and it gives them peace of mind. At the same time, the simple number metric is fairly easy to explain. A risk number acts as a “speed limit,” with a limited range of what’s acceptable according to a client’s needs. This approach empowers advisors while improving the client experience.
4. Check in regularly
Regular check-ins help advisors gauge current client sentiment about the market. Technology can help advisors stay on top of check-ins without overcomplicating client communications.
For example, take Nitrogen’s Check-in function. Advisors can send a simple two-question survey that asks clients how they feel about the market and their portfolio. Their answer enables advisors to follow up more effectively, pinpoint client concerns, and adjust portfolios accordingly.
The check-in surveys are automated, so the advisor only needs to follow up. At the same time, this simple approach appears proactive to clients (because it is) and improves trust.
5. Personalize client communications
One of the top concerns advisors have around technology and client communication is personalization. Sending a templated email en masse is hardly ideal and can turn off many clients. After all, 82% of Americans want more human interaction across the board, not just from financial services professionals. So why shift to technology and automation when it comes to communication?
One of the most significant advantages is automation itself. When you can automate some client communications, such as check-ins, you can spend more time in 1-on-1 conversations with clients. It’s also possible to add personalization in client communications so even generalized messages feel more personal.
6. Empower your advisors
Advisors rely on their tools to effectively manage portfolios and communicate with clients, which is why your tech stack is critical to growth. Empowering your advisors with effective technology with client-centric features enables them to work more efficiently. When your team can focus on the most important aspects of their job, such as building relationships with clients, they will offer a better experience overall.
A client can tell when someone in any profession is overwhelmed or rushed. The right toolset makes it easier for advisors to slow down without sacrificing scale so they can give your clients the time and advice they deserve.
Start your client experience transformation
A great client experience fosters long-term relationships and enables growth. But you don’t need to start from scratch to create a positive experience. Growth platforms like Nitrogen bring unique features to the table while integrating with other key advisory and marketing software. This approach centralizes both the portfolio management and client acquisition process, making it easier than ever to scale.
What else creates a high-growth firm? Check out our 2023 Firm Growth Survey to discover how to position your firm for growth.