Tracking client engagement, an important and universally acknowledged challenge, is creeping up the list of CMOs’ priorities. And while many wealth firms, traditionally considered laggards in implementing client engagement programmes, have started to actively gather feedback and track key metrics to improve customers’ experience (CX) – more needs to be done to understand where we are as an industry to be able to better service our clients and their evolving needs.
- Customer journeys are increasingly sophisticated therefore measuring ‘experience’ must go beyond simply seeking improvements in NPS and CSAT metrics.
- At the same time, relationships and business models are evolving, making engagement an important aspect of business growth and development.
- Gathering insight can therefore assist firms in validating their strengths and weaknesses, and contribute to the process of prioritising decision making for strategic growth.
- It can also shed light on how best to support colleagues in both deepening existing client engagement as well as developing new business.
Scorpio Partnership’s CMO survey data shows that firms who gather CX and brand insights project higher confidence and optimism for five-year growth potential.
They can identify areas for growth and development from their clients based on experience with their RM and the bank. Both are areas firms need to be conscious of in terms of engagement i.e. who is responsible for that, who will deliver and in what way.
To be actionable, insightful and deliver ‘best in class’ – firms should have formal and ongoing programmes in place rather than one-off initiatives.To deepen the understanding of CX, programmes need to go beyond NPS and OSAT because, as the saying goes – ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’.
NPS on its own is a fairly rudimentary measure for the wealth industry, so it’s important to understand what lies behind it. Granted, it’s an easy score that measures the overall relationship but on its own, it is based on what happened in the past, rather than forward looking.
As a first step, and most firms already do this, aim to track KPIs at firm and RM level. The next step is understanding the client journey. Every firm is different so it’s important to be looking beyond client satisfaction; for example, identifying areas you can improve and influence versus industry and your cohort / peer group.
Scorpio Partnership launched the UK wealth industry benchmark to allow firms to measure and benchmark themselves. The study examines four key pillars in the client’s journey: onboarding, financial planning, the portfolio review and day-to-day management.
Under each of these areas the Scorpio study does a deep-dive, which i) helps firms understand what the journey looks like; ii) which points in that journey a firm can influence or needs to influence; iii) and highlights what needs to be done and in what priority. In running CX programmes it’s imperative to secure senior buy-in at an early stage. The lens / voice of the client comes through unfiltered and unbiased – informing tactical outcomes and helping identify actionable insight.
Scorpio Partnership has seen firms link remuneration and NPS / CSAT scores. While a step in the right direction, the risk is that this only incentivises short-term behaviour. It is also important to continue to remind RMs that the results from the programme are a tool to support them with and help them grow their business. Results will help them understand and influence/improve these scores.
One delegate commented that in his experience, clients automatically refer a firm if they trust it. This does not necessarily hold true, as discussing their financial provider and referring may not be in their culture and may not be something they feel comfortable talking about for a variety of reasons. Indeed, it is possible to have satisfied clients that do not promote. In Asia, for example, satisfied clients are more likely to refer, than those in the UK.
Scorpio Partnership continues to challenge long held assumptions to dig deeper into the client journey in wealth. The benchmark study supports and illustrates how this can be used and developed to the benefit of both the industry and most importantly, the clients it serves.
The importance of market research and the value of hearing the unfiltered view from customers should not be underestimated. Indeed, it can be incredibly useful to use Promoters and Detractors to help with proposition development or to help shape future strategy. A similar thing can be said for conducting internal and external customer satisfaction and brand surveys in helping organisations understand existing, as well as potential future needs that will drive purchase.
Expert: Caroline Burkart, Scorpio Partnership