Trying to create a digital strategy can seem overwhelming. The first step is to identify the moments that matter to your clients.

Let us begin by defining ‘moments that matter’. This phrase relates to key interactions, the most important ones that clients and prospects experience when engaging with a company.

Face to face relationships will always be important. However, many individuals (for investment firms, this means their clients and prospects) have increasingly raised expectations from the companies they interact with in terms of how they use technology to make business interactions efficient. These expectations are heavily influenced by the ‘client-first’ experiences individuals receive from companies outside of financial services – those that deliver successful client servicing and high-tech, interactive communications.

Trying to solve for a holistic digital strategy across a business can be overwhelming and time consuming – yet it is important because the financial services industry is moving towards a customer orientated, digitally-enabled approach, and clients are increasingly expecting different experiences. This is happening for a number of reasons:

  • Customer expectations and changing behaviours
  • An increased focus on partnership beyond just performance
  • Greater efficiencies
  • Ability to harness deeper customer insights to better position future products and services for the customer
  • Ability to increase the customer experience through coordinated interactions along the client journey, which in turn helps to build brand value

If you have yet to start on this journey, an initial focus on ‘the moments that matter’ can still yield value. As digital transformation takes hold, you may have many questions about the use of digital, such as ‘how do we integrate social into a digital strategy’, ‘what are the best practices for a CRM enabled sales team’, ‘what does digital success look like’ and ‘what should a digital experience look like for clients’?

We believe that key questions about the use of digital are best viewed through the lens of a client. We have summarised some ideas around the ‘moments that matter’ theme below.

What type of personalised experiences do you think clients will value and expect to receive?

The adoption of technology has led to greater expectations of personalisation – send me the right information at the right time. In its simplest form, getting personalisation right for key monthly or quarterly deliverables, such as fact sheets, investment updates and commentaries is the new standard – mass marketing or communication is ineffective, lacking the personalisation required for deeper relationships. Implementing a framework of aligning each contact within a CRM with funds/strategies that they hold or are interested in is a first basic step. Connecting this information with the email distribution of these documents and importing back information into a CRM that records how clients and prospects have engaged with the emails is a second key step. If this is implemented correctly, emails with the correct information can be delivered to each client, reinforcing personalisation across these key monthly or quarterly deliverables. Establishing the right business rules around how clients are segmented and ensuring the ongoing accuracy of client information within a CRM are other important factors.

How are clients and prospects accessing information today?

Clients are now curators of their own content. This means they rely on many different information sources to access news and information and don’t just rely on financial services websites. Therefore, content for digital needs to be thought about in its broader sense – websites, emails, videos, SEO, social, external paid content platforms, in addition to the written structure of content. Today, each piece of content has to be structured and coordinated across many different digital channels in order to reach as wide a target audience as possible – developing a process and framework to achieve this is important. And for key thematic/campaign content or thought leadership programmes, delivering content on the right ‘paid’ platforms (for example, trade publication websites) that are specific to the target audiences needs to be considered.

How can you create stronger connections with your clients?

The appropriate use of technology can be a great enabler in creating strong connections with clients, especially in situations such as conferences and events where the interaction with clients and prospects is very high. Introducing technology at larger events through dedicated APPs that keep clients informed, promote networking and provide a platform for post-event communications all combine to improve the overall client experience.

Mobile first or mobile aware!

Mobile-first is a word that springs up frequently when talking about digital and client experience. We prefer the term ‘Mobile Aware’ – because customers expect different experiences from mobile. Why is mobile so important? In 2017, 73% of adults in the UK accessed the internet ‘on the go’ using a mobile phone – up from 36% in 2011.*

When using mobile, clients are very task orientated and require information in context, in a mobile-tailored, specific way. This means they want small amounts of information to digest on their devices, which requires a different experience to the one they might get on a full website. It’s not merely using responsive web design – it’s looking to optimise information for mobile that can be digested easily and on the move, delivering the right mobile moment that matters. This is also an important concept in email communication, which needs to work across all devices (desktop and mobile) and be concise, easy to read and not image heavy.

*Office of National Statistics, 2017

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