6 New Client (over)Expectations the Wealth Management Industry is Facing
Change is everywhere, and the wealth management industry isn’t an exception.
From my personal experience with clients and based on various studies I’ve read recently, I now evaluate any new project or initiative on whether it fulfills six simple client expectations. And let me be clear: it’s not just about digitizing our value proposition. We’re dealing with fundamental changes in our clients’ mindset, how they want to be served and how they want to be considered! Indeed the continuous client feedback we are gathering provides valuable insights to enhance our relationships and improve their customer experience with us.
#1 Let’s interact virtually!
From both our and the clients’ point of view, distance no longer conflicts with building a close relationship. We have traditionally used meetings or the phone as the primary means to connect with our clients, but videoconferencing, secured messages and chats are new ways to interact with clients. And this means from almost anywhere, at almost any time. The new chat room we are currently co-constructing with our clients will expand the ways we can enrich our relationships: they can check on the availability of their banker, have real-time contact with him or her, and if he or she is not available, they can directly contact the assistant or even an investment specialist.
#2 Empower me!
Not so long ago, clients expected us to be, and we positioned ourselves as, the sole source of knowledge. But those days are clearly over. Clients now want to understand and even detect trends and opportunities by themselves! Our role is now to empower our clients with the added-value knowledge and expertise we offer, for example. by providing them with our latest market analysis on our Voice of Wealth application or even tailored investment recommendations.
#3 Connect me!
We see it more and more frequently: private clients want to be directly in touch with their peers, with experts, with people who can help them be savvier, not just their private banker. One way they are doing this is through traditional social networks, but they can never be sure that the people they are connecting with are the right ones. Our new role is to inspire our clients with trusted and qualified connections. Part of our solution is of course in person, when we organize meetings with start-ups, training programs or social events… but we’re going further, thanks to digital. We are currently testing The Leaders’ Connection, a platform connecting UHNWI peers together, to network, to share investment opportunities.
#4 Save me time!
Our clients are very busy people, entrepreneurs running businesses, executives managing a company, family members managing their assets. So time is a luxury which means that we have to make wealth management, easier, faster, and do it on our clients’ terms. Our digital tools offering across our markets online portfolio management have already been recognized as the 2nd best in the private banking world*!
#5 Recognize me!
Our clients have their own entrepreneurial or family journey, their personal and professional ambitions, their passions. They expect us to understand what’s driving them, where they want to go, how we can help them, both in finance and beyond, and they’re right! So we have to be on top of our client knowledge at all times and this of course goes beyond our KYC obligations. It requires from us a proactive stance based on regular meetings, but also inviting clients to networking events or connecting them to trusted communities of peers.
#6 Delight me!
This is probably the most ambitious part of enhancing the customer experience. I am not certain that we can amaze our very demanding clients every day, but we definitely have to delight them when and where it most counts.
The most frequent case to delight our clients is when we succeed in bringing our entire Group expertise to the table for their benefit. For example, imagine a client that wants to sell his or her company. We can organize and close the sale, build the right asset allocation for the client on both financial and non-financial assets, provide wealth planning, bring the children or other family members on board with financial training, help to build a philanthropic foundation. It’s a full-circle offer that very few banks can provide and believe me, clients are delighted.
*BNP Paribas Wealth Management named #2 Digital Leader by my Private Banking Research