If there was one technology theme that sums up 2018, it was most certainly the client experience.
2018 was the year the concept of “CX,” a new acronym for all aspects of how a client interacts with advisors, was broadly injected into the wealth management industry’s technology strategies. And for good reason – Pershing reports that firms who are focusing on CX are growing 5 times faster than those that aren’t.
Accordingly, I was honored to be able to pen an “industry outlook” column for wealthmanagement.com https://www.wealthmanagement.com/2019-market-forecast#1
on this very topic, as we believe that the client experience will be paramount for how advisors will be competing in an increasingly digital world moving forward into 2019 and beyond.
For most firms, CX technology manifests itself in its client portal; the hub that is branded by the firm from its full service capabilities online, to the native mobile app that clients launch to see how their investments are performing and how their financial plans are evolving.
These highly integrated and dynamic portals are designed to differentiate advisors in a competitive market for high-net-worth investors where digital channels can decide relationships. As a result, firms took full advantage to empower their advisors to custom-tailor content for their client’s unique financial picture.
2018 was also the year that we launched the new Black Diamond Client Experience, a next generation client portal. Our Client Experience portal allows advisors to offer their clients a personalized, custom-branded and interactive online environment.
The Client Experience was designed to give investors direct access to their advisory team and to all of their financial data. Investors can personalize their experience so they have a clear picture of the past, present, and future. The portal features a relationship timeline, which visualizes key interactions and decisions that have occurred throughout the course of the partnership, clearly showing the advisors commitment and value to their clients.
Additionally, we also recently announced a new integration with Box’s Cloud Content Management solution. The addition of Box to Black Diamond's vast integration network enables advisory firms to tailor their tech-stack to fit their unique needs, all from one seamless platform. Combined with the Client Experience portal the inclusion of a native Document Vault lets advisors and clients share critical documents quickly and securely. For the many advisory firms already using Box as their cloud content management platform, Black Diamond now provides a frictionless, two-way integration, making all files and folders visible and shareable across the two platforms.
Going forward for 2019 we see the extension of CX to not only delight clients, but to also streamline their interactions with their financial advisor. As an example, ensuring an accurate balance sheet and cash flow statement before meetings can be a time-consuming undertaking, so we are investing heavily to make that process easier. Furthermore, automation will be critical to helping advisors deliver the personal experience clients crave, at scale. Automating workflows for client onboarding, data processing, cross-system syncing, rebalancing, billing and more position firms to take advantage of more advanced technologies such as machine learning.
Particularly for the next generation of investor, firms will need to keep innovating on their core technologies to be able to engage this new type of investor in the ways that they are accustomed to. At the same time, advisors will also need to be able to better manage security of client information as hackers and their phishing schemes become even more sophisticated and challenging.
In order to manage in this new future, advisors will need to constantly keep tabs on the ever-changing technology landscape so they stay primary in their client’s lives. The good news is that as your partner, the Black Diamond Wealth Platform continues to innovate on behalf of advisors, keeping you one step ahead.