The Asset and Wealth Management (AWM) industry is undergoing enormous change, and this change is accelerating. Now is time for action, and it all begins with customer centricity. Customer centricity means developing and executing on what customers really value, taking their expectations seriously. It’s more than just delivering on customer’s requests, but constantly exceeding them. A customer-centric brand builds an operating model around a holistic understanding of its customers, what they value and the contribution each makes to the profitability of the company.
A holistic and clear understanding of the investor’s needs and behaviour will help drive growth strategies that are profitable within Asset and Wealth Management firms. To succeed at customer centricity, brands need to transform into data-and insight-driven businesses. According to Forrester’s report “The Customer-Obsessed Finance Leader In The Age Of Data“, insights-driven businesses will grow at least eight times faster between 2015 and 2020 than global GDP.
Most important is to keep the client at the heart of what you do – if you take away that, we would be nothing. You have to go above and beyond.” – Head of Retail Distribution KPMG
The journey towards greater customer centricity
According to Capgemini’s Wealth Management Trends 2018 Report, the focus on enhanced customer experiences is becoming a top priority for wealth management firms and can be used to create a sustainable competitive advantage in a rapidly changing industry. Clients often switch wealth management providers in search of a better experience, forcing firms to shift their mindset towards putting client specific needs at the centre of the wealth manager-client relationship.
“Clients today want to talk to their advisor in the way they want, how they want, when they want,” Frank Laferriere, Director, SVP and COO at Mandeville Private Client Inc. stated. “We need to be aware of this and be able to provide experiences through a [holistic] journey process that’s going to be rewarding for them.”
Putnam Investments’ “Advisor Tech Tips” is the perfect example of customer obsessed brands. Financial advisors are key and important clients for any asset managers. And they can be cynical of advice they receive from asset managers. To resolve this issue Putnam Investments started the independent “Advisor Tech Tips” website to provide information to clients on tech and social media aimed squarely at financial advisors. In this way Putman doesn’t need to tell the world that it understands the needs of intermediaries; ‘Advisor Tech Tips’ website shows that it does.
Image Source : advisortechtips.com
The intent to put customers at the heart of the business is nothing new for Asset and Wealth Management marketers. However, to be customer-centric means marketer’s first priority is to have the right product/service work the right way the first time and every time, supported by relevant customer journeys – as your recipe for success in maximizing revenue, minimizing costs and improving customer engagement.
Customer words have become more in evidence across the business and the general feeling is that although the journey is not finished, we are moving towards a much more customer centric organisation.” – Head of Customer Experience Global Fund Manager UK Life Assurer
What does it really mean to be “Customer Centric”?
According to a survey by Pegasystem, 79% of respondents agree that financial institutions will move from product-based selling to focus more on personal relationships in the next 5 years. Customer-centric organizations understand that not all of their customers yield profits and keep the customer lifetime value of their customers at the centre of their efforts. In fact, customer-centric firms are 60% more profitable than organizations that are not focused on their customers.
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