Even before our current season, wealth management firms have relied more and more on the flexibility, localized knowledge, and self-motivated efforts of registered investment advisors (RIAs). These independent financial professionals bring a unique book of clients to larger houses in exchange for better marketing assets, technological capabilities, and even trade execution. The RIA focuses on the client, meaning the firm can scale its operation into new territories without having to acquire a larger, far more expensive competitor.
Yet, not all RIAs are created equal. These independent advisors come with varying customer engagement strategies, personal strengths, and weaknesses that, try as they might, larger firms struggle to harness appropriately. Likewise, RIAs represent an offshoot of the traditional wealth management model, meaning parent firms must work more diligently to ensure a consistent customer experience between the firm and the RIA.
Retailers proved the value of consistent location to location experiences decades ago. What today’s organizations are quickly discovering is that that expectation expands well beyond aesthetics and into the tools, services, and knowledge base shared by every member of a team. Customers expect, and even deserve, each advisor to deliver the same assurance regardless of their status within the corporate structure.
So, how can organizations better equip RIAs with the tools and context they need to provide a seamless, more holistic customer experience? How can firms empower RIAs to operate efficiently and productively? It starts by equipping them to win.
Unifying RIA Assets
The first step to delivering consistent experiences across locations is to ensure that RIAs can share a unified hub. RIAs come to larger firms to expand their capabilities. With a collaboration hub like Microsoft Teams, RIAs immediately have the tools they need to easily access documents, collaborate with colleagues in other territories, book meetings, and check their calendars.
Meanwhile, the parent firm can consolidate data sources and content management tools to equip every advisor with the access to the same information. By unifying RIAs under a sole umbrella, firms can better manage their offsite advisors while collecting data from inputs around the country to help create deeper customer profiles.
RIAs and their firms can use a centralized hub to deliver more holistic customer services and spend less time hunting for resources, fighting with third-party applications, and managing schedules. Together, these tools empower RIAs to spend less time on low-value responsibilities, and more time connecting, serving, and understanding their clients.
Expanding the point of view
RIAs aren’t marketers. In this partnership, they expect access to more sophisticated resources to help them connect with new prospects. For what may be their first time, RIAs don’t have to obsess over cost versus functionality—they suddenly have enterprise-grade marketing teams and technologies connecting them with qualified leads.
Firms ought to connect these field advisors with the analytics they need with platforms like Business Apps within Dynamics 365. These tools equip wealth management firms and RIAs to create a full 720-degree portrait of who their prospects are, what they want to accomplish, and what they’ve experienced. A 720-degree customer portrait uses internal and external data sources to create a more complete customer profile. This combination of firm records, social media information, and relationship building helps RIA’s develop a more holistic understanding of the customer’s interests and aspirations, and in turn, helps organizations recommend investments that align with causes that matter to the customer.
External data sources can show that a customer might be interested in conservation. An RIA can then use that information to propose an investment product anchored on the World Wildlife Fund or a program like NatureVest. This level of insight expands the RIA’s ability to meet customer expectations above and beyond the traditional financial advisor.
By equipping RIAs to be more productive and effective, financial houses can create a more curated and proactive customer experience. To learn more about how today’s technologies can better empower your remote advisors and transform your firm for the future, visit here.