For years, financial advisory firms have relied on client advisory boards and annual surveys to provide feedback on how clients feel about working with advisors, and on their confidence or anxiety about the financial plans they have developed. has been collected.
Infrequent feedback can act as a snapshot in time, but the client’s perspective is not static.
“If you want to know how clients feel about their future, you can send them a survey, but that data could be outdated by next week,” says an adviser to find a way. Julie Littlechild, founder of helpful practice management consultancy Absolute Engagement, said: To understand and engage our clients more meaningfully. The study still has uses, but the fast expiration of the data is a major limitation, she said.
Over the past few years, the team at Littlechild has been trying to bring the old-fashioned client feedback loop into the digital age. The company recently launched the Engagement Engine. This is his digital dashboard that shows a handful of client prompts and queries in addition to normal interactions such as onboarding, scheduling meetings, delivering documents, and more.
The few questions are meant not to overwhelm the client, but overall provide the advisor with a real-time, trackable feedback loop of concern and trust. That information helps advisors prepare appropriate communication strategies for their clients, spot red flags, and importantly, better understand how perspectives differ between key clients and spouses. is useful for
Absolute Engagement is one of several companies digitizing the “softer side” of client sentiment and engagement. Examples include Bento Engine, which automatically pings clients at preselected intervals tied to life events, and Hubly, which uses data from an advisor’s CRM to automate workflows. Based on client situation.
According to William Trout, director of wealth management at Javelin Strategy & Research, they all take different approaches but are rooted in the need for financial advisors to better understand their clients’ unique needs.
“We are entering an age of personalization, and consumers expect solutions tailored to the specifics of their situation. These are things that direct indexing and other means of customization can address.” From portfolio management to financial planning to sensitive topics such as health and wellness,” said Trout. “These platforms are designed to help advisors identify opportunities to provide advice to their clients and deliver them in a scalable and cost-effective manner. Each platform serves advisors slightly differently. But what they all have in common is the existence of a single interface for gaining and operationalizing insights.”
To better understand how advisors approach client engagement, Littlechild has formed an advisory board with deep ties to RIAs and planning firms. Among them most recently is Matt Brinker, a longtime executive at United Capital and now his managing partner at Merchant Investment Management. He is a psychologist with a focus on behavioral finance who seeks to help advisors communicate better with their clients. and join others like David Patchen, who oversees practice management.
Elizabeth Kigin, chief growth officer at Absolute Engagement, said the company sees client needs and feelings as unique data points that can differ between spouses, change with the market, and evolve with life events. said there is. When advisors are unable to detect and respond to these mental states, client relationships may stagnate, advisors may miss opportunities to add value, and may move forward with plans based on incorrect assumptions.
By maintaining regular “check-ins” with clients through queries and prompts, advisors can spot red flags and respond to concerns in real-time. How[the advisor]guided them on that journey and made their values clear,” she said.
The Engagement Engine framework is built on various modules such as Lead Connect, Prospect Connect, New Client Connect, and Client Connect.
Lead Connect is the entry point that helps prospects identify their goals and measure their confidence in reaching them.
Potential clients can also invite their spouse or partner to answer a series of questions.
“Rather than just collecting AUM and demographic data, it’s best to really get to an emotional and personal state as quickly as possible so that you can truly represent your brand to what they need. I believe it’s a strategy,” said Kiggin.
The questions assess a prospect’s confidence in meeting their financial goals and how much control they have over their financial stability. Clients are asked to assess their concerns regarding market volatility, elderly care, child financial responsibility, and more. This produces a “confidence index,” which is measured relative to a spouse’s difference-finding response, and a “concern index,” a measure of fear and pessimism.
Once clients are onboarded and scheduled meetings with advisors, they are expected to continue prompting and querying, monitoring trust and concerns to inform discussions and agendas.
On the Advisor side, all data is collected in the client’s internal profile. Engine connects to Calendly to schedule meetings and collect feedback.
Littlechild said future iterations of the engagement engine may leverage other parts of Advisor’s tech stack. It’s a CRM, of course, but it could also be applied to risk profiling and portfolio management. Much depends on guidance from the first wave of advisors signing up to use the engine.
Joe Martin, chief client experience officer at the $2 billion AUM RIA Summitry, said his firm was a longtime client of Absolute Engagement, but “what we lacked was the ability to use client input in real time. It was a way to do it,” he said. Client reviews with more relevant information. With that data now in hand, we hope to lead to more efficient and well-informed client reviews and meetings, stronger engagements and, ideally, referrals.