By: Ryan George, Chief Marketing Officer | Docupace
For wealth managers, first impressions matter. Much of the important trust-building work happens while a client seeks out an advisor, but keeping that trust after the contract is signed is equally important.
Building a seamless and client-centered onboarding experience is essential to demonstrating value and expertise to new clients. For younger generations, this means forgoing paper and providing a personalized, digital onboarding experience. In fact, 65% of wealth management customers would prefer digital onboarding. However, despite the demand for these offerings, many firms aren’t equipped to provide them.
As a result, onboarding continues to be a significant roadblock for advisors and clients. They spend a substantial amount of time and duplicative effort to key in and compile data that could be better spent with tasks that provide more value. A digital front-to-back-office platform removes the friction from onboarding and sets the brand new client-advisor relationship up for success.
Centralize and Digitize Data Gathering
From the time a potential client enters your pipeline until they become a loyal customer, you’re gathering data and information. When a client gets on your books, most advisors have enough information to complete a lot of the demographic and onboarding paperwork — it’s just not in the right place.
Going paperless and coupling a good CRM solution with a document management system (DMS) means advisors only need to gather that data from clients once and make changes as necessary. From then on, advisors have what they need at their fingertips without duplicative entries or manual errors. With a CRM and a paperless office, clients don’t need to spend time waiting for paperwork to be processed, and advisors aren’t hung up waiting for additional documents.
Automate Onboarding and Reduce Errors
Documents submitted with incorrect or missing information are considered not in good order (NIGO). NIGO submissions are a significant problem for advisors because it takes time to track down or correct the forms. However, another risk of NIGO submissions for advisors is that these roadblocks for clients can actually increase the chance they will abandon onboarding altogether.
Clients that endure multiple rounds of back and forth communication about forms might either get cold feet about the relationship or simply give up because of the hassle. Prefilling forms and skipping steps that aren’t applicable make onboarding faster and more accurate. An automated workflow keeps the relationship moving forward during that crucial honeymoon phase so your advisors can then get into the part they do best — offering investment advice.
Never Print and Scan a Form Again
Electronic document signing is table stakes for nearly every organization. Customers are used to, and prefer, electronic signatures whenever possible. Integrating a document signing tool with your CRM means you never have to ask your clients to print, sign, scan, and return a document. And, once the advisory agreements, letters of authorization, or other advisement documents are signed, they’re correctly applied to the account, and an automated workflow can take clients and advisors to the next step.
However, not all document signing solutions are created equal. Choose a vendor that can offer certified documents with eSIGN / eIDAS compliant signatures to ensure that important and sensitive information is protected, encrypted, and transmitted safely.
Onboarding procedures set the stage for your client and set expectations for your relationship with them. Starting with a seamless, simple onboarding process puts investors at ease and helps solidify that they’ve made the right choice. During your advising relationship, it’s likely that there will be ups and downs; the market is unpredictable and challenging conversations are inevitable. However, by delivering value and an excellent experience for the areas within your control, you can cultivate loyalty and a mutually beneficial relationship for years to come.
Ryan George is the Chief Marketing Officer at Docupace. He is responsible for the company’s brand awareness, early-stage sales pipeline, content strategies, customer and industry insights, internal and external communications, design, and events. George actively engages in leadership roles in both the financial services and marketing communications communities. He a member of the Forbes Communications Council, an invitation-only, fee-based organization of senior-level communications and public relations executives, the CMO Council and the CMO Club.