The High Net Worth Customer Experience

By Andrew Stevens

How to transform the customer experience for your high net worth clients.

In the wealth management sector, investment professionals are looking for the best ways to interact with time-poor, cash-rich high net worth individuals (HNWIs). Competition to serve HNWIs is more intense than ever before, and made even more complex because the profiles of HNWIs are becoming more diverse. This is a demographic that includes:

  • Heirs to inherited money
  • Young tech entrepreneurs
  • Business people who have been able to capitalize on market liberalization and growth in a rapidly growing economy

Their backgrounds lead not only to disparate sets of expectations, but also to different preferences as to how they interact with their banks’ investment advisors.

Maintaining regular contact with such clients and understanding the best ways to engage with them is key to providing the outstanding customer experience they expect.

Here are five action items that will help make that a reality.

  1. Get a handle on your data.

Customer data comes into every organization through many different channels. And combining data from multiple sources, lines of business, departments, and divisions is almost guaranteed to create inconsistencies. Each customer should have one master record—a “golden record”—so it will appear the same to everyone in the bank, no matter who in the organization is accessing the customer’s data. Without integration to create a single customer view, it is impossible to have access to the right information to make a HNWI feel as though their interests and preferences have been taken into account.

  1. Unleash personalization.

Personalization is central to the kind of customer experience that leads to loyalty and retention. With real-time access to data, marketers and customer-facing employees in your bank can engage with customers on a new level. By empowering them with relevant data at the right moment in time, you can create and deliver personalized communications faster and with less reliance on IT.

In addition to user-driven communications, customer statements are another touchpoint where personalization can have a critical impact. Banks’ wealth management marketers should look for ways to transform existing statements and reports into personalized, responsive communications that include interactive tables, charts, and special promotions that will resonate with HNWIs. Doing so will deliver a number of important benefits, including improved customer engagement, decreased inbound call volumes, and reduced print and mailing costs.

Consideration should also be given to improving the onboarding process for new products and services. Incorporating features to streamline the process—such as prepopulating application forms with existing customer data and enabling e-signature capabilities—will allow your busy HNWIs to sign up for products and services from any device as effortlessly as possible.

  1. Ensure compliance.

Of course, compliance is always a fundamental consideration and should be part of the design and development of customer communications from the outset. Financial institutions struggle to adhere to growing and constantly changing regulations. An effective, centralized customer communications strategy will enable compliance in the following ways:

  • Collaboration – A collaborative content development process where compliance, legal, and line-of-business teams share drafts of communications from the beginning of the process will help reduce internal frustration and speed time-to-market.
  • A holistic view – To reduce errors of omission, compliance teams require a full view of the entire communications package in every form in which that material is going to appear, including paper, web pages, mobile applications, etc. This will enable compliance to fully review and analyze not only what customers will see, but how they will see it.
  • Greater control – Compliance personnel require the ability to manage, track, audit, and approve regulatory language quickly and easily. A solid customer communications strategy should ensure that changes only need to be made in one location to be applied everywhere they are needed and that content blocks are locked down to safeguard regulatory language where required.
  1. Eliminate the IT burden and bottleneck.

In many cases, IT teams have no time for innovation. Typically, much of their time is dedicated to maintaining existing systems and addressing a backlog of demands from the business. A centralized customer communications strategy can enable marketers to create, edit, and manage content, instead of relying on IT to make changes.

The strategy should make it possible for business administrators to personalpecify which templates may be accessed by whom, what types of changes are permitted, and define approval rules and workflows. Template administrators should be able to build or modify templates based on data or content components that are made available by the IT organization.

The benefits of marketing enablement are very clear: It gives the bank more agility and speeds up the time to market, while reducing IT costs. It also helps IT manage risk better, as compliance personnel want to closely define what type of content should be locked or edited by business users.

  1. Bring it all together.

Many organizations have separate teams dedicated to creating communications for print, mobile, email, and web—leading to operational inefficiency, high costs, inconsistency, and increased compliance risk. A centralized customer communications infrastructure not only delivers a better customer experience, but can also result in efficiency gains. Changes are easily propagated across various touchpoints and channels.

The bottom line.

The financial industry is adapting to new technologies, client lifestyles, and business models. It’s  essential that those who interact with HNWIs keep up with these changes to improve the customer experience. The key is to supply customers with information and communications that are personalized, on-demand, real-time, interactive, available on- and offline, and compliant with all national and international regulations. Taking the steps to do so will reap the rewards all parties are looking for.

Andrew Stevens is global banking specialist for Quadient, the award-winning leader in customer communications management software.  With nearly two decades of experience at one of the world’s largest banks, Andrew covers all aspects of banking operations and technology with respect to customer communications management and customer experience. Email: [email protected].