As firms increasingly look for ways to move their client experience online, a well-defined client portal acting as the foundation of the digital relationship is critical.
Using a client portal as the firm’s digital storefront allows you to centralize your team’s ability to manage expectations for service, improve engagement with clients, simplify clients’ financial lives, deliver information and provide a sense of control for clients.
In a situation like COVID-19, where remote work and meetings are essential to continuing business, a client portal helps to fill communication gaps that might otherwise occur between advisor and client.
There are many portal options for advisory firms today; it’s likely you’re using multiple technology providers that each offer their own version.
Pick the Right Portal
Before you even consider portal options, you need to define your type of firm.
Are you investment-led or planning-driven? The experience you want to deliver, and what you want clients to focus on in your interactions with them, will differ based on your answer to this question.
Some portal providers make it easier than others to put the financial plan front and center. Others prioritize performance and holdings. You want to align the client experience with where you want their focus to be.
Once you’ve settled on the type of firm you run and where you want clients to put their attention, follow these steps to choose the best portal to accommodate that vision.
1. Define the Purpose: What will clients get out of it? Is your primary goal to centralize communications, deliver client updates, or allow clients access to reports and financial plans?
You need to design the portal for how you want clients to use it. The features important to you will be an extension of your firm type.
2. Identify the Impact: Start with your clients, but also look at how a portal can impact your internal workflows.
Do you need it to help you with data gathering, account aggregation, and other ways to make your life easier? A good portal should make your team more efficient.
3. Analyze Current Options: It’s likely you work with tech vendors who offer a portal, so you don’t need to go out and look for a custom solution. Review their limitations, integrations, and features and then tally them up.