Digital client engagement is no longer a “nice to have”. Clients expect to see investment performance data and industry insights on demand – in the format they prefer. And investment managers want to see what their clients are interested in. That is why many are exploring digital client portals. However, there are some important considerations when embarking on a digital client engagement strategy.
1. Lack of demand does not mean a lack of interest
Just because your clients have not specifically asked for a digital portal does not mean they do not want one. A 2021 Aite Group survey found that 69% of investment managers say that lack of client demand is the main inhibitor for investing in a client portal, yet only 27% are formally surveying their clients. The retail world has trained customers to expect readily accessible and customised digital communications. Firms that are forward-thinking and take steps to offer a next-gen, analytical, and innovative approach are likely to be rewarded with increased loyalty.
2. Digital portals are a supplement to client servicing, not a substitute
Some asset managers fear that portals may sideline personal relationships. However, firms that have implemented an interactive portal have continued with traditional methods of reporting in parallel to a dynamic digital offering, and often say they have more meaningful and productive client relationships because they are better prepared to provide specific advice and timely offers.
3. Deliver a differentiating user experience
No matter how advanced the technology and depth of insight provided by a digital client portal; without a compelling user experience it will mostly be wasted. Investment firms are recognising the importance of having a platform that is easy to use and accessible. Incorporating both client and internal feedback from your sales and marketing teams is key to ensure the successful adoption of a digital portal.
4. Digital client portals are a two-way street
Today’s client portals have bespoke reporting capabilities that can be customised by clients. This not only improves the experience for clients, but it also provides you with valuable insights about their needs and interests based on their online activities, which allow you to then offer tailored advice and products. Consider how to capture cross-sell and upsell opportunities when defining your portal.
5. Opt for scalable technology that can cater for all expected client requirements
Technology changes quickly. A firm looking to invest in a portal, whether through build or buy, should ensure the technology infrastructure can support scale and agile development to allow for continual client experience enhancements. You will also want to ensure your portal can collect enough data to identify patterns, which will allow you to take advantage of new technology like machine learning and artificial intelligence.
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