Six ways wealth managers can transform client interactions into trusted relationships

In wealth management, prioritising client service is the only way for establishing a long-lasting relationship. And wealth managers must leverage intelligent technology to provide a more efficient customer experience and gain their client’s trust.

The challenges wealth advisors face are real. The Covid-19 pandemic was an especially volatile time where firms not only grappled with the challenges of remote working, new business development and compliance but also faced their most testing time in terms of client retention.

Delving into how wealth managers can up their game in the sector, Wealth Dynamix published a new e-book with six surefire ways to establish long-lasting trusted relationships with clients.

For starters, it’s important for wealth managers to remember the value of the relationships they’ve built with their clients and nurture those connections. Advisors who sustain strong client relationships built upon trust, collaboration and a mutual understanding of the investor’s financial goals will find success.

The first step in building or strengthening a client relationship is to ensure that wealth managers fully understand the investor’s long-term goals and purpose for investing. It requires engaging in thoughtful conversations that seek to uncover how an investor’s goals fit within their larger life plan.

Data is king

Advisors must leverage many resources to guide these conversations and help investors feel more comfortable opening up. From the very first touchpoint, data must be captured and maintained effectively, to fuel data-driven insights and ensure successful client relationships, it detailed. This is where the first key point comes in, the e-book said. It’s important to ensure there is no data duplication. Duplicate data capture arises when relationship managers need to log into many different systems to gain complete visibility of a client’s book of record. While the data may be captured and recorded in one system, it isn’t synced across all.

This can put to question a wealth manager’s efficiency and a client’s trust. The only way to counter this is to have technology in place to eliminate data silos, and connect systems and processes together, Wealth Dynamix said. To avoid frustrating clients with duplicate data requests – sometimes very early in the sales cycle before onboarding – wealth managers must use technologies such as automation and AI to manage data capture in a more effective and less duplicitous way.

The second important aspect to keep in mind for wealth managers is that they must leverage the captured data to drive relevance. As mentioned earlier, throughout the entire client lifecycle, a wealth of data is collected, and that can be leveraged to strengthen client relationships. Many wealth managers struggle to analyse, interpret and use data effectively.

It’s important to have client data organised into a unified system, during initial engagement, onboarding and beyond. “Only then can you extract meaningful value from it and empower any team to provide the best advice and take the most appropriate action, at the right time,” it said. The best way to go forward would be by using AI-powered CLM and CRM, speech analytics, AI and NLP, which will enable relationship managers can gain deep insights into a client’s behaviour, extract deep insights from face-to-face, video, online and phone interactions and determine next best actions that will foster trusted relationships and grow revenues.

Continuous sentiment analysis is a must to foster emotionally connected relationships. This allows relationship managers to gauge every aspect of client engagement that influences client sentiment – from routine beneficiary changes through to marked shifts in confidence or attitude to risk.

The third point for wealth managers is to build trust through transparency. With escalating socio-economic uncertainty and proliferation of remote working, clients need to trust wealth managers to pivot as required, when market conditions or their feelings fluctuate. By combining technology, data, communication and service, wealth managers can increase transparency and strengthen client trust. For instance, while communication tools like Zoom, Teams and Slack got increasingly popular, “the unsung heroes were the CLM tools that made it possible for firms to continue orchestrating all phases of the client lifecycle effectively, and working seamlessly with colleagues who were not co-located, to deliver exceptional client service,” it said.

Furthermore, clients must always know what data is held about them and how it’s being used. The sooner clients can see how data drives value and growth, and are reassured by the compliance that underlies it, the sooner they will trust their wealth managers to treat it to their benefit.

Managing compliance

The fourth advice given by Wealth Dynamix is that wealth management companies must manage compliance more effectively. Whether the requirement is to record all activity across all channels or to capture and retain data appropriately to ensure data privacy, the firm must deploy processes and procedures to ensure they don’t fall into legal and regulatory risks.

The vast array of compliance processes that must be completed according to a regulator prescribed schedule are increasingly difficult without using technology. Manual compliance processes have become untenable due to the volume and complexity of monumental regulations, such as MiFID II and GDPR.

A digital approach to regulatory compliance is now non-negotiable. By automating compliance tasks, both advisors and compliance teams can be sure they are taking the right measures and following the right processes, at the right time. For instance, KYC data can be digitally analysed to identify other products and services that may be relevant to the client. Recordings of interactions can be used to breed best practice and improve prospect management in the future.  In short, “Any wealth management firm failing to embrace digitisation and process automation is in grave danger of dropping the compliance ball,” it said.

Add value and build trust

Apart from capitalizing and analysing data, managing regulatory risks, and establishing trust, wealth management firms must strive to deliver value-added client service. To increase the value of your client service, relationship managers need more time and actionable insights so they can act fast, appropriately and on time, to foster trusted client relationships. A technology-based, digital approach to CLM automation is the only way forward.

Lastly, wealth managers must prioritise being considerate and compassionate towards clients. In a world where face-to-face communication was the norm, the overnight switch to video and phone left many feeling that the quality of their client-advisor relationship would be compromised. Undoubtedly, client data, AI and advanced analytics are needed to identify analyse sentiment trends and alert relationship managers to changes that require action.

The more considerate and compassionate client service is, the deeper and more trusted client relationships become. And the more trusted client relationships become, the more wealth managers will be able to compete in a world that is now characterised by a rapidly changing and uncertain outlook, it said.

By strengthening client connections and working to create financial plans that fit within investors’ overall life goals, wealth advisors can make themselves indispensable.

Read the full e-book here.

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