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COVID-19 has had an impact on every industry. As companies grapple with having to navigate the consequences of social distancing, stay-at-home restrictions and the temporary closure of many businesses, the wealth management industry has been hit doubly hard. It’s not only dealing with these issues, the industry also has to address customer uncertainty of the economic future and an investment marketplace that, at times, is as unpredictable as an roller coaster ride.
This has had an immediate and, to some degree, permanent impact on how wealth management companies engage with their clients. Historically, success has depended on the one-to-one, often face-to-face, interactions between investors and advisors. While wealth management and retirement companies have seen a gradual shift as younger clients seek an increasingly immediate and digital engagement experience, the pandemic has accelerated this trend rapidly across all generations.
With the affects of the pandemic, wealth management companies are working to bolster more intimate customer engagement through a digital interface. As McKinsey notes, “The right questions was ‘How can technology improve the relationship between client and advisors?’, not just speed up the process.” However, too many companies — not just wealth management advisors — have separate organizations that design and implement digital engagement, advisor engagement and contact center engagement.
To succeed, these companies need to create a cross-platform view of customer engagement. And this view should follow two directions:
1. Offer seamless engagement. The traditional digital platform design has assumed that, at some point, it’s acceptable to divert the customer to a 1-800 number for service and end the digital journey. However, this is an increasingly obsolete model. It’s now more appropriate to allow the customer to initiate a voice contact from within the digital portal and then have their current use of the web or mobile app guide the authentication, service needs and subsequent routing of the voice contact. By leveraging the customer’s digital experience in the management of a voice call, companies can increase the speed-to-resolution, better address the customer’s needs and collect a more complete view of the customer’s engagement.
2. Don’t view the web or mobile app only as a customer-guided engagement device. Most apps are designed with the premise that the customer should be independently traversing the span and depth of the functions — without any need for support from the investment company. This is the digital (though more advanced) equivalent of the self-service IVR. Wealth management companies can further improve their relationship with their clients — and their advisors and clients — if the application is seen as both a self-service device and a shared desktop.
This doesn’t mean agents should ask for permission to take over the client’s desktop and navigate on their behalf, as is the case with typical IT help desk tools. Rather, the client’s use of the app is a launch point for a continued discussion. This should happen in at least two forms. First, they should use tools like Genesys Predictive Engagement to determine when a customer is struggling to get the information they need. At that point, support should from a financial advisor within the contact center to either guide the client to the right information or to provide that information directly. Second, be ready to elevate the richness of the engagement by offering synchronous voice and digital support within the app to help the client succeed in meeting their goal.
Building Relationships in Wealth Management
There are multiple ways digital teams can help build the relationship between an advisor and her client. Client engagement is at the heart of all of them. And the various technologies available — voice, web and mobile app, chat, and messaging — should be developed collaboratively to achieve that goal.
As more of your clients migrate to digital engagement first — and ultimately decide to stay there — the winners in wealth management will be those who can demonstrate the ability to manage relationships with the digital platform as a conduit not an endpoint.
Read this brief to find out how to use AI and predictive engagement to enable your agents to work smarter, not harder.
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