No matter what line of business you’re in, it’s always a good idea to regularly seek feedback from your employees. Asking for their input not only drives engagement but can also reveal critical insights or issues with how your business is operating. Armed with those insights, you can take the appropriate actions to build a better culture, create operational efficiencies, and ultimately improve your company’s bottom line. Simply put, it’s an excellent way to set a business up for greater success.
That’s why it’s encouraging to see that the wealth management industry is finally starting to take this practice to heart. Savvy wealth management firms are soliciting feedback from their advisors and making changes to the way they operate as a result. Interestingly, one of the highest-priority demands that advisors are seeking to have their wealth management firms address is ensuring that there’s greater consistency in their client-facing materials and communications.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened at UBS, according to a recent article from Financial Advisor IQ. The article highlights how “a lack of client-approved material explaining the wirehouse’s strategies behind two of its domestic portfolios… had created ‘a hinderance’ for UBS advisors seeking to explain the proprietary products’ advantages to clients.” In response, the firm adjusted the management of its US equity model portfolio to address the concern.
Advisor Enablement Drives Consistency
The situation that UBS faced isn’t unique. Most wealth management firms find themselves swimming in masses of client-facing content and communications that have been cobbled together by advisors, marketing, and various other stakeholders and that work in different silos across the firm. As a result, it’s not hard for inconsistencies or to slip into those materials by way of bad data, old messaging, or outdated branding. Plus, without any centralized oversight or management of all that content, advisors often run the risk of distributing materials that aren’t up to date with the latest regulatory requirements.
This is where having an advisor enablement platform is so helpful. By serving as your single source of truth, it’s the one place where all of your firm’s approved content lives. That way as your advisors are pulling content and communications to share with their clients, they can always be assured that it’s going to be up to date and consistent.
Enabling a Better Advisor Experience
Firms that are trying to improve the day-to-day of their advisors should adopt the following best practices.
1. Enable two-way communication channels
Your advisors are critical to the success of your firm. That’s why it’s so important to understand their needs and challenges and then take the action necessary to enable their success. Some tips you should keep in mind when doing so include providing clear communication channels for them to share their feedback and making sure that you bake regular feedback solicitation into your operating rhythm. Whether this is a monthly or quarterly survey, a dedicated email or messaging platform, or even a phone number, giving advisors the voice they deserve to provide feedback will not only provide a pulse for leadership, but boost advisor morale along the way.
2. Prioritize advisor needs in the context of the client
While your advisors will invariably have feedback about all kinds of things, make sure to prioritize that feedback—as UBS did—within the context of helping your clients. This will help your firm please two major stakeholder groups at once, but also helps you retain clients and drive engagement across your client base. When UBS advisors stated the need for consistent client-facing content, UBS recognized the impact this would also have on its client satisfaction. Having consistent content not only made it easier for advisors at UBS to do their job, it also helped bring clarity and consistency to the firm’s clients.
3. Consolidate and streamline advisor resources
Another way to enable a better enable your advisors is to consolidate and streamline the resources available to them, including all the client-facing materials and resources. This is another important opportunity to elicit feedback from your advisors about which materials are most effective and which may need updating or retiring. Having the right advisor enablement platform can help automate this process by reporting on most-used and best-performing client-facing assets.
4. Continue to elicit feedback from advisors
Ultimately, you want to ensure that your client-facing teams feel like their voices are being heard and concerns are being addressed. Further, you want to set them up for success by making sure that they have the consistent, relevant materials they need to have productive conversations with clients. After all, one can argue that advisor retention is almost as important as client retention. Keep your communication and feedback channels open, but also consider advisor enablement technology that can not only track what materials your advisors are using most frequently, but what materials are actually helping to win and retain clients.