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Charles Rowlan, Advyzon

Technology > Marketing Technology

How Advisors Can Use UX to Delight Clients

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What You Need to Know

  • To improve your UX, try making a list of the three most important factors in your client relationships, and how those factors play out.
  • Anticipating client needs can help them feel understood, and can help you save time by preventing calls asking for additional information or context.
  • It’s always a good idea to ask when meeting with a client if they visit your website or client portal and why.

“UX” is a term most commonly associated with website design. The actual applications of user experience, though, extend beyond your website. At its core, UX is the same as client experience, with slightly more specific applications.

If your firm has physical offices, chances are you designed your office space with your customers in mind. You may have walked through the front door with your clients’ eyes and asked, “What would I want to see right away? How would I want to be greeted?”

Maybe your office is in a somewhat remote location; you may have decided to offer clients water, coffee, snacks and so forth as soon as they arrive, assuming they might be a bit thirsty or fatigued from the drive over.

UX takes the same approach. It asks what a client will see — and most quickly want to find — when they visit your website. Can you anticipate their needs and create the technological equivalent of offering them a glass of water or a freshly baked cookie?

Using UX to Your Advantage

The deep understanding financial advisors have of their clients can be a huge advantage for designing a great UX. Other businesses often spend a significant amount of time and money learning about their (potential) customers’ priorities. You, on the other hand, know what’s important to your clients.

Think about why a client might be heading to your website. The three biggest reasons might be to book an appointment, log in to their account, or access one of your resources (like a video library, a calculator or a blog). If you know this in advance, you can make it as easy as possible for clients to book a meeting, log in or find educational resources.

For instance, we know the main reasons that advisors come to our website is to log in to their Advyzon account or to find out more about the services we offer. Because of this, the Login button is prominently displayed in the navigation at the top of the page, while Request a demo and Free trial options are featured prominently on the right-hand side of the page.

Similarly, we know that it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of client meetings, so we make it easy for advisors, once they become subscribers, to find key client information within our platform.

For example, when the advisor selects a client, the header contains key relationship and portfolio data, quick access buttons to run reports, and a menu to easily access additional features such as notes, workflows or emails directly from the client’s page. The goal is to make it convenient and to improve the advisor experience.

You can do the same for your clients. It’s always a good idea to ask when meeting with them if they visit your website or client portal(s) to get information, if they find what they need quickly, and how their overall experience is working with your firm, both in person and online.

Improving Your UX

Improving UX doesn’t necessarily mean overhauling your website or business model. It can be as simple as taking the client experience you’re creating in all areas of your practice and making sure it applies to things you may not have considered.

For instance, if you find your clients are focused on performance, can you adjust your reporting template to highlight the metrics clients are most interested in? While you may be tempted to downplay performance in order to encourage clients to focus on long-term goals or other factors, making this information harder to find can lead to a frustrating UX.

Instead, think about how you might contextualize performance data. It’s easy to highlight performance versus a benchmark, but consider how you can shift the client’s focus by providing a verbal summary of the different factors at play over the reporting period. You might even want to call out how performance relates to your client’s long-term goals.

Of course, this takes time, but anticipating client needs can help them feel understood, and can help you save time by preventing calls asking for additional information or context.

This is just one example, and the kind of user-based improvements that work for you are likely to vary based on your clients and your business.

To improve your UX, try making a list of the three most important factors in your client relationships. Then, think about how those factors play out. Are there opportunities that might make your processes smoother? For instance, can you streamline how appointments are booked or how reminders are set?

The steps to designing a strong UX can feel deceptively simple, but that’s precisely why they’re easy to overlook. In addition to making a list of client priorities to help you evaluate your current UX, it’s also a good idea to put yourself in your clients’ shoes at least once a year. Try visiting your site and logging in as a client. See what the experience is like and if there are areas to improve.

Taking a few small steps to improve your UX can go a long way to improving the overall experience of clients working with your firm — and that’s always a good thing.

Charles Rowlan is senior vice president of business development at Advyzon, a cloud-based platform that combines portfolio management, customizable performance reporting, trading and rebalancing, client web portals, client relationship management (CRM), client billing, and document storage. 


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