First impressions matter. A poor onboarding process can set the wrong tone – for wealth managers trying to grow their assets under management (AUM) — and for clients who entrust their assets to someone new.
Reduce pain points, attract new clients, and deliver better service — all with automated onboarding. Leaders in digital transformation at wealth management firms are seizing on this fact, with nearly half saying their biggest tech investment is in onboarding. On their list of to-dos: shred the paperwork and end the repetitive data entry. How are they making this happen? Automated onboarding with the help of AI. And that’s not all. They need an industry-specific customer relationship manager (CRM) to gather the data in one place to make it all work.
The payoff? Happier advisors, more satisfied customers, and improved margins.
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Automated onboarding isn’t just about eliminating paper
Onboarding is rarely a process that clients or advisors relish. The forms can be tedious, repeatedly asking the same questions over and over.
Even before the digital revolution, wealth managers could see they were losing business with too many “not in good order” (NIGO) applications, which included disjointed data or incorrectly completed sections. Just as bad, they were losing advisors to other firms with more sophisticated onboarding technology.
Automated onboarding, the use of automation to streamline the onboarding process, helps to reduce the pain points for both advisors and their clients. It’s much more than turning mounds of paper into piles of bits and bytes. It’s about driving efficiencies by eliminating tedious repetition and duplicative manual tasks. And that adds up to countless hours saved and valuable insights for your clients, every step of the way.
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Five benefits of automated onboarding
1. Optimize your intake process
By using data, IA, and CRM, you can reduce onboarding time, and here are the benefits. AI and automation can help you grow profitable and loyal relationships through modern onboarding and account-opening experiences.
Trilogy Financial, a California-based wealth manager, struggled to see a comprehensive view of its clients. They had a system in place to collect data. However, it had a weak point: it relied on advisors to input the data. You can imagine how well that was going.
Trilogy realized it needed better control of data entry and storage. It automated the client intake process, giving the company the ability to create a rich trove of client data like household members, financial accounts, and goals. By optimizing customer onboarding, banks and lenders can build trust from day one.
2. Attract the employees you want
In the past, recruiting has consistently challenged wealth firms: switching firms is a big deal – and it can be a headache. The regulatory demands are stringent. Yet, never has the urgency to recruit been more pressing. An estimated 103,000 financial advisors are likely to retire in the next decade. And 26% don’t have succession plans.
Positive feedback on the onboarding process could be a powerful lure. AI and automation offer a highly personalized and integrated process, which helps increase these positive experiences for advisors and reduces abandonment rates.
Before they upgraded their systems, RBC Wealth Management says it lost 25% of recruits to firms with better technology. Financial advisors at RBC once needed to access 26 systems to onboard clients. Opening a new account could take between three and seven days. This was a suboptimal experience for advisors and made a poor first impression on clients.
Great systems promote nearly universal adoption. Automated advisor onboarding boosts satisfaction and lowers compliance risk.
3. Deliver better client service
Combining data, AI, and your CRM, you can empower service teams to resolve cases faster, boost agent productivity, and scale across the front, middle, and back offices. For example, agents can use a powerful AI tool that combines public and private AI models with CRM data.
Edelman Financial Engines, the largest US independent advisor, turned its focus on improving onboarding for its 1.33 million clients and 340 financial planners. Electronic forms and e-signatures make it a snap. Clients fill out documents online before their first meeting with the advisor. The planner can review the information and be ready to engage and offer personalized plans during a client introduction. This can lead to greater satisfaction all around.
Leveraging the power of one integrated CRM platform can help provide proactive, personal client experiences and a holistic approach to financial security.
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4. Improve your regulatory compliance with trusted data
We all know that customers are leery to trust companies with their data. That means wealth managers must not only carefully vet their clients but their clients must also build a trusted relationship with their advisors as well. Gathering the proper data for the due diligence behind the “know your customer” (KYC) rule is a top priority for digitization. One survey reveals that 61% of managers were digitizing KYC, and 71% expected to digitize in the next two years.
This isn’t just a matter of speeding up the review. If you enter data manually, there’s a higher risk of error. This isn’t acceptable for KYC or anti-money laundering rules. With automation, you can program your workflow to enter data securely, without compromise or the possibility of a breach — and leave no room for error. Better data integrity and an added layer of trust can lead to better interactions with clients. With AI, advisors are better informed and able to tailor advice with greater finesse.
5. Boost margins
Wealth management is fighting to protect margins as competition heats up. AI and automated onboarding saves time and money and lowers compliance costs.
By onboarding clients and advisors faster with automation, you can experience savings that directly impact your bottom line. Without disparate, siloed systems, you not only save money by using one CRM, but your data is also cleaner. And when clean data is integrated into a CRM, it helps advisors build more profitable practices, faster. They benefit from a great first impression, suffer fewer NIGOs, and can personalize recommendations better overall.
Automated onboarding: The first step to a good first impression
Not only does automated onboarding create a great first impression, it also creates a lasting one — for you and your clients. The right onboarding technology can make your clients and employees feel you value their time. When you can automate onboarding by combining data and AI, all in your CRM, you skip over the drudgery of manual tasks, so you can begin talking about what matters most to your clients and employees – a secure future.
Improve the onboarding process and attract top talent for your wealth firm
The right team of wealth advisors helps drive revenue. Make onboarding easy and improve both customer and employee experience.