Ten years ago, many industry consultants were stipulating a model whereby Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) and High Net Worth (HNW) customers would only be interested in the personalized experience. Mass Affluent (MA) customers would look for a combination of personal touch and technology enabled service while the Young Affluent (YA) customers would be all about the technology. The model has certainly evolved and it is now obvious that technology is blurring lines; not only in terms of the choice of channel but also in terms of how is it enabling the business.
So what are the new principles responsible for successful wealth management?
In a nutshell, these can be described as the four Rs: Reputation, Relationship, Reporting and Routes.
Reputation:Any kind of business is now more dependent on reputation than ever before, with technology creating new avenues for people to socialize, review and discuss services of a particular nature. With easily accessible data like this, potential customers prefer to look up what has been said about a brand online before entrusting them with their business. In a survey conducted on the topic, 72% of respondents said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business1. Reputation encompasses the perception of the firm by an interested potential client base, the fit of the firm to a specific rung on the wealth ladder and the success of the products and strategies.
Relationship: One of the most important factors for businesses to keep in mind is their relationships with customers. This needs to be looked after from Day 1, and not brought in as a fire-fighting measure, as it is often done. It is most important to be instantly responsive to a customer needs, especially with technology at your fingertips. Relationship deals with the depth of the advisor-client trust, the responsiveness of the firm to client needs, the insights about the client’s lifestyle and concerns. According to the McKinsey Global Private Banking Survey 20132, client relations are now becoming less about the level of wealth and more channel-specific.
Reporting: Reporting concerns the readiness of access to data - the confidence in a truly integrated, single-source of data and the adherence to modern reporting techniques leading to ease of understanding. Real-time reporting is the need of the hour in every business. Added to that there is emphasis placed on how this data is presented visually in terms of charts and graphs that are easy to comprehend.
Routes: Companies need to pay attention to the number of channels a client may access their information from, the completeness and speed of each channel and the flexibility of the advisor to meet a customer on their terms. With HNW individuals, there must be a sense of continuity across technologies.
What do you think? Does the impact of technology run this deep in wealth management?