Several stats brought to my attention lately highlight the disconnect between wealth managers and their clients.
1. Wealth managers “overestimate” their client’s knowledge of investing.
Read more: Advisors Think Clients Know More Than They Do, Survey Says
2. Clients want technology that is familiar.
“Our findings show that the wealthiest individuals want a more dynamic relationship; they want to be able to engage with their wealth provider using the same tools that they are already actively using in their everyday lives,” said Catherine Tillotson, managing partner at Scorpio Partnership.
Read more: The Future Wealth Report
3. Clients want a personal touch.
Read more: Retirees Most Appreciate Personal Service from Financial Advisors
While all of the above seem obvious, the question is what is the client or the advisor doing to address these simple facts?
The advisor lives and breathes wealth everyday. While they understand all those charts and graphs, they may look like Greek to the client that built a small fortune building homes. Knowledge and success in a trade does not equal knowledge of wealth. There are more than a few athletes and celebrities that prove this point. Advisors must recognize that the data they are providing their clients may be too sophisticated for their client and that may also be why clients are so focused on that one number.
Giving clients a technology they can use in their everyday lives will increase their likelihood of using it. A website that provides a quarterly report means clients will only go to the site four times a year and will have to reset their password and relearn the navigation everytime. And when they get there, they will look for that one number. The whole experience is quite frustrating for the advisor and the client.
Nothing beats the human touch. Personal relationships are king in the wealth management business and are cherished by investors from all walks of life. It’s that relationship that will keep the advisor from getting canned after a bad year. The right technology can help strengthen the relationship between advisors and clients.
In most cases, technology destroys personal relationships in the service industry. Customers opt to log in these days versus walking into a branch. This is a problem for others, but not for the financial advisor if they do it right.
Give them a platform they will use and can add value in their life. Use technology to focus your client on what matters when away from you and use facetime to focus on the relationship.
Advisor/client meetings should be more about how their lives have changed since the last meeting and what changes need to be made to the portfolio to accommodate. Not a thirty minute conversation about why geopolitical issues in Europe kept them from “beating the market.”
We think a technology that provides a simple and complete view with one username, one password and all the assistance they could ask for is a good place to start.