On the face of it, the wealth management industry has made strides in the delivery of multi-channel services and solutions over recent years.
Fifty-eight percent of wealth managers claim their front-to-back office operations are “highly” or “mainly digitalised” yet delve a little deeper and 35 percent admit “outdated legacy systems” are used across their front and back offices, and that these systems are the biggest blocker to implementing their digital strategy.
Onboarding has long been something of an Achilles heel within the wealth sector, and many firms have woken up to the need to adjust their approach to stay ahead – particularly as consumers become accustomed with neobanks like Monzo and Starling Bank who have whittled this process down to a day.
The pandemic may have injected a renewed sense of urgency for less forward-thinking wealth managers to ramp up their efforts, but as uncertainty abounds, it’s never been more important that firms get every stage of the client lifecycle right.
Yet as wealth managers and private banks grapple to stay on the right side of innovation, many continue to make costly mistakes in implementing their onboarding solutions – with a lasting and often irreversible impact on the client relationship.
Three common pitfalls in implementing onboarding solutions
Wealth Dynamix’s MD – UK, Northern Europe & Americas, Antony Bream, and marketing director, Lucy Heavens, joined Chappuis Halder’s senior manager, Thomas Vigneron and management consultant, Benjamin Esmilaire for a recent webinar in which they shared first-hand insight into the mistakes firms make in an onboarding implementation and ways in which these can be avoided.
1. Lack of strategic mapping
Too often, wealth managers take a quick fix approach to onboarding which can do more harm than good. The point at which firms collect relevant data can be burdensome, intrusive and time consuming, but instilling the right systems and processes at the outset will drive valuable insight and efficiencies in the long term. Onboarding should not be treated in isolation, but in conjunction with the processes that precede this, from prospecting and client nurturing to ongoing client service management.
Step back and define your firm’s business objectives, before determining the KPIs that will chart your business’s progress in realising its ambitions, while evaluating client behaviours, individual and collective intelligence. Collecting data early in the cycle will enable you to act on it, adjust your business approach and operate in an agile, dynamic way. Finally, look at the full roadmap within your organisation and remember that less is more: multiple systems could be complex to manage and risk demotivating users.
2. Siloed approach to innovation
Many firms designate IT departments to design and implement onboarding systems, the result of which can be ineffective solutions that fail to represent the full business or drive impactful insight.
Avoid innovating in isolation to keep costs down and be mindful of where your business revenue comes from, taking care not to overlook advisors and relationship managers.
Engage representatives across the breadth of your business and map internal as well as external journeys to secure a 360-degree view, which is essential to driving business-wide efficiencies, optimum insights and the tools that advisors need to service clients effectively as their needs and circumstances evolve. Nominate a stakeholder within your organisation to act as client lifecycle management (CLM) technology partner. Within this role they should operate as a conductor, rather than just another siloed vendor. In viewing the business as an orchestra, and enlisting stakeholders to select their tools and play them in tune and in unison, the impact on the client experience and the wider business operations will be demonstrably better.
3. Choosing the wrong system
Consolidation is a mainstay in the notoriously fragmented wealth and private banking landscape, and with climbing costs and squeezed margins, many firms have remoulded legacy infrastructure to support their modern-day businesses. But the impact of doing so should not be underestimated: CRM systems designed for the back office are simply unable to support client facing staff and the end client themselves. Add to this the extensive documentation and reporting capabilities required for firms to comply today, and businesses risk not only falling down on client service but their capacity to comply in the process.
Clean and consolidated data stands at the heart of good client lifecycle management, and KPIs should span a cohesive client journey and experience, your staff and organisational structures and the products and services you deliver. By creating an efficient process that spans multiple systems and jurisdictions, onboarding and the lifecycle thereafter will be simple and accessible for clients and the business as a while. With accessible and palatable data, advisers can make timely, proactive decisions, and identify and address the blockers that stand in the way of good client and business management.
With just one in four wealth managers claiming to have a fully integrated system spanning the entire client lifecycle in place, and a further 37 percent stalled in the earliest stages of technology, wealth managers risk opening themselves up to serious disadvantage in an increasingly competitive and uncertain market. Strategic investment in and implementation of purpose-built CLM systems has been proven to increase advisor productivity by more than 50 percent, improving the client experience by more than 80 percent and driving a 25-fold uplift in process efficiency. As the market faces continued pressure, now is the time for wealth managers to sharpen their processes and ensure they’re on the right side of this curve.
Get the Client Onboarding guide to learn how wealth managers can cut time, cost and risk out of the client onboarding process.