July 07, 2017The Client Journey: Pain Points and Segmentation


While “client experience” is an everyday industry term these days, this wasn’t always the case. When WealthBriefing published a research report on client experience in 2014, the term had plenty of firms scratching their heads. Today, many financial institutions have senior executives or whole departments dedicated to overseeing and improving the service experience delivered to clients.

Nonetheless, the financial services industry isn’t known for making things easy for clients. In personalization and convenience, it is the diametric opposite of booking an AirBnB or an Uber. But wouldn’t it be great if people could see their financial services provision as something truly life-enhancing?

Pain points for clients

As we found in our study with Appway, the process of onboarding a typical HNW client was lengthy and arduous, taking two-thirds of firms well over two weeks. For clients with more complex profiles, we even heard of onboarding taking six months. Automation, systems integration, and interdepartmental collaboration stood at shockingly low levels. While Appway has helped many firms overhaul their procedures to great effect, others still have a long way to go.

Still, as the compliance burden gets heavier each year, it’s not only institutions that are to blame. However, this tightening is clearly necessary as the fight against financial crime continues; transparent, heavily documented ways of working are simply the new normal.

Our first thoughts when modernizing should be about adopting technologies like adaptive questionnaires, digital signatures, and workflow-based automation. Yet let’s not forget that we also now have the ability to utterly transform our understanding and management of the client journey in a way that benefits all sides.

Systematizing our understanding of who each client really is and what managing their wealth well would look like for them should be the starting point of every conversation. It’s also the foundation of proving to regulators that we as an industry are doing what we set out to do for investors. Using technology to further sophisticated segmentation techniques and see to it that a client is truly known across the organization, means that treating every individual as a “segment of one” can become a reality.

You can read Stephen Harris' speech at Appway Sphere Geneva to learn more about how implementing new technologies can help personalize client experiences.

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Written byStephen HarrisManaging Director, ClearView Financial Media