There’s a different breed of investor today, one that wants to meet with his advisor, yet doesn’t necessarily want to meet face-to-face. Technology has improved to enable this type of client experience. Does your investment advisory enable clients to communicate in this way?
This post explores the idea of hybrid client onboarding and communications, in which communications are both virtual and in-person, at the discretion of the client.
The rise of hybrid client onboarding and communications
There are a few reasons for the rise of hybrid client onboarding and communications. The first reason is related to the rise in Millennial investors. Millennials, born between the early 1980s and the mid-1990s, now represent a body of 30 million investors. They have different client onboarding and communications expectations than their parents did.
Millennials feel more comfortable using technology to communicate than their parents do. Sixty-three percent of Millennial investors want a mobile platform that connects directly to their advisors. Contrast that with around 40% of Boomer investors who prefer talking to advisors over the phone.
Another reason for the shift toward hybrid client communications is that now the technology exists to support hybrid client onboarding and communications. Thirty years ago, the options for meeting were limited: you could talk to investors on the phone or in person. Today, email, chat, and video conferencing are all viable options.
The third reason has to do with the events of 2020. A public health crisis that spread across the globe led to lockdowns and health restrictions. In-person meetings were impossible. However, investors still wanted to communicate with their advisors.
As the economy and society recover from the effects of the pandemic, there’s a high likelihood that clients want to continue meeting with their advisors virtually. Research shows 62% of investors would either fully or partially maintain hybrid communications with their advisors.
What tools do advisors need to implement a hybrid client onboarding and communications strategy?
A cloud communications, collaboration, and customer engagement platform is the best solution. Cloud communications platforms are a set of unified communications (telephony, instant messaging, and video conferencing) and collaboration tools (such as file-sharing and the ability to edit documents) in a single cloud-based platform. They also offer contact center capabilities, so investors can connect to their advisors through text messages, emails, voice calls, social media, and chatbots. Self-service options enable investors to find out some information on their own.
A cloud communications, collaboration, and customer engagement platform serves as the best tool for hybrid client onboarding and communications for these reasons:
- It allows investors to contact advisors through their preferred channels
- It makes onboarding faster
- It routes investors directly to advisors
- It’s compliant with regulations to safeguard your investors
- It integrates with business applications, so you have a full view of your investors
Investors can reach advisors through their preferred channels
For communicating with their advisors, clients have specific preferences:
- 29% prefer text messages
- 26% prefer newsletters
- 26% prefer face-to-face meetings
A cloud communications platform enables clients to contact advisors through their preferred channels. They can reach out through email, chat, video conference, or phone. When investors can communicate the way they want, they have a better client experience because they feel their advisor understands their needs.
Onboarding is faster
How long is your client onboarding process? You might not have an exact figure in your head, but you probably realize it could be shorter. Research bears this out: manual onboarding can take anywhere between two and 34 weeks to initiate, while reports say high net-worth clients wait an average of 41 days to be onboarded.
Cloud communications platforms speed up the onboarding process because they allow for faster, more effective internal collaboration. Advisors can easily share information with the department that onboards clients, which speeds up the process.
Investors can connect directly to advisors
Imagine this scenario: you’re an investor, and the market has dropped. You’re worried about your investments; you want the expert counsel of your investment advisor, so you call her. After twenty minutes, you’re still sitting on hold. Your client experience is rapidly becoming negative.
A cloud communications platform features intelligent routing, so clients can reach their advisors when they need them. Advisors can configure the solution to send calls to their desktops and their cellphones, so they never miss another call from investors.
Cloud communications platforms are compliant with regulations
Advisors operate in a highly regulated environment. Laws exist to protect the confidentiality of investor information. Any technology advisors use must meet applicable regulatory standards, or they risk heavy fines (and damage to their reputations).
Choosing a compliant communication platform is a must.Market-leading cloud communications platforms adhere to the stringent regulations of the financial advisory industry. Investors have peace of mind that the information they share with their advisors remains protected.
Cloud communications platforms integrate with business applications
Think about the last time you contacted a service provider with which you’ve been doing business for several years. When you spoke to a representative, did the person on the other end of the line know your history with the company? Were you bounced from employee to employee until someone could solve your problem?
When investors contact their advisors, they want them to understand a full picture of their investments as well as what’s going on in their lives. That’s where integrations with business applications come in; cloud communications platforms integrate with software such as CRMs, so advisors can record important information about their clients for a complete picture.
Clients don’t want to be treated as a number; they expect their advisors will understand their unique personal situations. By integrating with a system of records, cloud communications platforms help advisors gain insights into their clients’ lives.
RingCentral’s cloud communications platform creates a better hybrid client experience
With RingCentral’s cloud communications platform, advisors can create a better client experience for investors. It offers a variety of secure channels for investors to connect with their advisors, and routes clients directly to advisors. In short, RingCentral enables the modern, hybrid investment advisory. To learn more, get a demo.
Originally published Aug 26, 2021, updated Sep 01, 2021