In my previous articles, I have discussed Back- Office/CRM systems and what they do well and what they generally do badly. If your CRM system is running your back-office efficiently (new business, compliance and management reporting) then you should not be looking to move back- office. If you are not getting these benefits then a back-office move may be necessary, however this should not be your next move. Whatever situation you find yourself in, the best next step you can make is the implementation of a client portal. This article will explain why.
A back-office system is not going to deliver everything you need and in an ideal world you would plug-in all the best bits of technology and they would magically work together and be delivered at a price you can afford. This reality is not as far-fetched as you think.
The ideal technology solution has three core components and then specialist add-ons depending on the client firm. The three core components are back-office/CRM system, platform(s) and your client portal. The core components work best when they share data to improve efficiency.
The bit you probably haven’t got nailed yet is the client portal and yet this is the most important bit to get right. Without it, your clients are going to view you as behind the times, they’ll be concerned over their data being sent by email and you’ll fail to attract new clients and lose existing clients (especially as older clients die) because of this lack of client facing technology.
Why do I need a client portal?
- Clean up the data in your back-office
- Comply with GDPR
- Increase your back-office efficiency
- Use multiple platforms and best of breed technology suppliers
- Improve the ease and accuracy of your factfinding
- Enhance your client service
- Manage more clients service
- Make more profits
- Add value to your business valuation
You simply can’t do most of the above without a client portal, so let’s talk about the key considerations when implementing one. Starting with the obvious:
There is only one thing that differentiates a good client portal from a bad one and that is whether your clients use it or not.
You can have the most amazing technology which does wonderful things but if your clients don’t use it, you’ll not get any of the potentially huge efficiency benefits. If getting your clients to use the technology is the most important consideration, then you should make sure that it does what they need rather than focusing on what’s best for you. It should simplify your client’s life not make it more complicated.
Great technology simplifies our lives. Bad technology makes it more complicated. It’s that simple.
Let’s look at why the two existing ways advisers implement a client portal do not solve the key issue of providing something that simplifies clients lives.
Think of the platform login from your client’s perspective. What does it do for them?
It allows them to view a small part of their overall wealth in a spreadsheet format and drill down into a lot of complex technical detail which they are paying you to worry about not them.
They need to register for the service and it quickly becomes another username and password for them to forget. If they have any other stuff you are looking after for them, life insurances, pensions and older plans they can’t see these and as for all their other financial services their banking, credit cards, home and car insurance plans, workplace benefits etc. they’ve all got separate logins with different usernames and passwords for them to forget. This is not going to be a winner with your clients and doesn’t make your business any more efficient.
If you use more than one platform then you probably provide a webpage showing the logos of the different platform providers and ask your client to click-through to the one they use. If you want to switch your clients from one platform to another, you’ll have to re-train them to use a different portal. Not ideal.
Next up, there’s the back-office portals. Iress, Intelliflo and Enable all offer portals linked to your back-office. Immediately, you can see the biggest problem is the quality of your data. It’s not up to date in the back office, really hard to keep up to date and few firms are really comfortable putting this in front of their clients.
What’s more your back-office supplier’s capability to create an engaging application that your clients will love using is probably not their primary skillset.
Not everything the client wants to track has anything to do with your back-office system.
Their property, other insurances, banking etc. don’t really fit in your back-office and although some systems like Intelliflo add them as extras to their client portal they’re not well designed from a client’s perspective and unlikely to make your clients go wow that’s amazing.
In the same way that your back-office is probably a lousy client reporting tool, it is likely to be an equally bad portal experience for your clients.
In my next article, we’ll continue the theme of thinking about things from your clients’ perspective.
Author: Mik Cons, CEO @ moneyinfo
About moneyinfo limited.
At moneyinfo we work with adviser firms in wealth management and workplace to develop a complete digital client relationship. We provide clients secure access to their entire financial life including their investments, pensions, savings, property, insurances, banking, credit cards and mortgages with full control over the privacy of their personal data.
To find out more book a 1-2-1 meeting, or call us on 03303 600 300. We’d love to hear from you.
Read the full 8 part series using the links below:
- A NEW MODEL ADVISER FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (Part 1/8)
- UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR BACK OFFICE 1 (Part 2/8)
- UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR BACK OFFICE 2 (Part 3/8)
- DELIVERING THE IDEAL ADVISER TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION (Part 4/8)
- THINK ABOUT THE PROBLEM FROM YOUR CLIENTS' PERSPECTIVE (Part 5/8)
- TURNING YOUR CLIENT PORTAL INTO YOUR CLIENT'S FINANCIAL APP (Part 6/8)
- TURNING YOUR CLIENT PORTAL INTO YOUR CLIENT'S FINANCIAL APP (Part 7/8)
- 21ST CENTURY NEW MODEL ADVISER (Part 8/8)