For those Wealth Management firms focused on high net worth individuals and family offices, “high-touch relationships” are and will remain a cornerstone of the business. Many of those firms serving clients with $1M and preferably greater than $5M in investable assets are presently setting course to cross the chasm into extending their touch with digital and multi-channel capabilities.
In early blogs we promoted the concept of segmenting clients, more specifically developing ‘servicing personas’ and how leading firms are complimenting their relationship service model with digital. Consistently one of the challenges is how to systematically collect data to drive these new strategies, in a manner that is comfortable and natural for clients.
This is a meaty topic given that different firms have different focuses. Some firms are interested in retention, where others are interested in acquisition. Then there are firms very focused on controlling wealth transfer which is a bit of a hybrid of acquisition and retention. But, directionally best practice can be drawn from other industries that have already crossed the chasm.
Continual collection of incremental valuable information with each interaction is effective to drive better multi-channel engagement and client experience. And, recognize that it will take some time. Based on the strategic focus of the firm, a target model of customer information can be developed from the client persona development process. Then the actual data that is needed will be known. Firms have been most successful gathering over time, based on priority. If gaps are filled incrementally with each interaction, the data collection process is more comfortable for the client, and feels more natural. Since these client relationships are long term by their nature, there is ample time to build out this information and record it centrally. This data collection exercise should be a part of the client relationship process.
Where one organization might target certain subsets of clients, others focus on certain ‘subject areas’. To illustrate, when an organization has the data to understand if their client is more interested in ‘performance to benchmarks’ versus ‘performance to personal goals’, the firm is able to inform the experience their clients has on a client portal. When key pieces of information are systematically known, other representatives of the firm can provide more value in their interactions or conversations. And they can likely gain direct context to allow a more complete answer when contact is made, by the relationship owner.
The firm may target gathering this data for 80% of their clients within a given quarter. Other pieces of information, such as desire for sustainable investments or interest in global investment news, may be targeted for collection over a longer period. The desire is that a point in time in the future, much more is known and systematically recorded. It is this very data that allows personalized treatment of clients based on their preferences and desires, all enriching the client experience.