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Technology > Marketing Technology

Why Digital Disruption Matters for Your Practice

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photo of consultant Angie Herbers

The wealth management industry can learn from business disruptors.

Take Uber. In 2009, the founders built technology that made it easy via a phone app for anyone to request a ride. It was fast, cheaper than a taxi and money didn’t exchange hands. Quick, simple, convenient and a great customer experience.

What does this have to do with wealth management?

Starting in 2017, the industry began to see the emergence of digital technologies that helped clients instantly connect to their financial advisor.

In fact, Accenture’s Financial Services Global Distribution and Marketing Consumer Study reflected that back then, we were beginning to see a “shift in consumer behaviors and expectations.”

Most notability: how consumers receive advice from their advisors. Over 78% of consumers said that they “welcomed automated support” and wanted “speed and convenience.”

DCX Models

Enter 2020 with a world-wide pandemic leaving millions isolated at home, and it’s no surprise we have witnessed a massive migration to digital client experiences (DCX) offered by advisory firms. The goal: improve client support by more quickly and conveniently helping with their concerns, servicing their needs and finding investment opportunities.

Firms with the highest growth rates in 2020 had one thing in common: Their DCX models were already in place prior to the pandemic.

What is a DCX model? Let’s begin with what it’s not.

There are two common misconceptions about DCX models. First, some believe they are a “quick-fix” technology platform, that is, many  firm leaders believe they can go out and buy a DCX solution.

The bad news is you cannot buy a DCX solution. The good news is, you can build it, and the better news is, it is not that difficult. You simply take your client experience (CX) and digitize it, this assuming of course, that you have outlined your client experience.

The second misconception is many owners believe it is marketing automation technology, such as social media, emails, videos, apps, etc. designed to fill up the sales funnel and attract prospects and new clients to the firm. These are certainly digital technologies, however, they are not your DCX model.

A DCX model is how your existing clients (not prospects) experience your brand and services in the digital environment, as a client.

Do your clients engage with you in a deep and meaningful way through technology? Do your client requests, needs and wants get fulfilled digitally, without coming directly in contact with a person? Do your clients view your brand as technologically advanced? And finally, most importantly, does your technology make life easier for the client to work with you, or harder?

Mapping Out CX

There are two ways to know how your clients perceive your brand. First, you can ask them through a client survey. Second, and often the best way, is for you to map it out.

Mapping out each step and technology tool used to help the client get support will allow you to visualize the full picture of your firm’s digital components. From there, you can decide if it needs improving.

When doing this kind of mapping with our clients, firms can see what improvement needs to be made, and most importantly, that their clients need more ways to engage with advisors directly, quickly, and digitally.

The great news is, if your CX journey already is mapped out, all you need to do is make the journey digital with the goal of delivering client service faster.

Here is the ultimate question every advisory firm needs to ask themselves now: How can our clients ask for help and get their requests filled as fast as Uber can deliver a ride?

The firms that have figured out that formula are the one’s who are winning.


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