Many financial services firms have made significant investments in technology over the last few years. These investments have been focused on various outcomes, many of which have been centered on improving the client and advisor experience. In some cases the focus has been to leap ahead of the existing platforms, and in other cases the focus has been to catch up to client and advisor expectations. Regardless of the rationale, we find that many firms are frustrated with their inability to monetize these investments from a qualitative and quantitative basis.
Their frustration is understandable. In a recent PwC study “Experience is Everything”, having a strong client experience is an essential component to delivering incremental growth and margin.
A few key findings within the study:
Clients are willing to pay up to a 16% premium on products and services for a valued, great client experience.
63% of respondents are willing to share more information with a company that offers a great client experience.
82% of US consumers want more human interaction in the future.
54% of US consumers say client experience at most companies needs improvement.
Technology is an important component of the broader client journey. Firms will need to ensure a transparent synergy between the digital platform and advisor. This is an important differentiator within the competitive landscape. In our experience, we feel that there are three essential components to fully leverage the capital investment that your firm has made.
Full Integration – For many firms the underlying platform and technology is viewed as an additional tool or resource. It is important to integrate the technology within the broader client engagement model for the end users. The technology should be part of the normal course of business, and not just a tool that is independent of the broader client experience.
Defined Success Metrics – Defining success for the institution outside of the traditional financial metrics of revenue and productivity will allow you to “see around the corner” earlier and be strategic with additional support resources.
Equipping Leaders – Much time is spent on training individual end users on utilizing the technology platform. However, equipping leaders within the organization is sometimes a missed opportunity. In many cases the technology is new to the leaders as well, and effort should be put towards building their individual competencies to drive sustainment within their teams for the long term.
It is an exciting time to be in the financial services business. The industry has made significant strides in building strong platforms that will drive incremental gains in the client and employee experience. However, there is still work to be done to ensure there is less variation in how users are delivering these tools and resources to their clients.