Within the financial industry there are two major statements you might have heard before: “Financial products are sold, not bought? and “When the product is sold, the best customer is the one who never calls.
After the deal is made, the focus shifts to the next customer. The customer who just invested is left with access to his/her deposit and a mediocre reporting. As a result customers often feel left alone. Left on their own to find out if the investment was the right decision or not. This results in unhappiness, reluctance to further investments, and sometimes even churn.
Given this: Why is investment reporting today still often seen as a "regulatory burden" And how can it become a customer experience that is as delightful as the ones we know and love from other industries? Can a better engagement increase the investors’ confidence? And finally: How might this affect the economics and the strategic position of the financial institution? Let’s take a look together.
Personal Finance Apps have shown the power of customer engagement
Why should a financial institution worry about customer engagement?
Let’s take a look at personal finance apps. With open banking, they gained more relevance and users in the recent years.
Today, I use a personal finance app (in my case it is Finanzguru) to oversee my 4 cash and 2 portfolio accounts in one seamless experience.
And my bank? I rarely log into my mobile banking apps or my online banking. My engagement with my banks went down to almost zero. The personal finance app became my “place to go" for checking at my bank account. In other words, my bank went from my “financial home" to an "account infrastructure". But what about the investment industry?
3 steps how Reporting can become a "financial home" for investors
What will a “financial home" for investors look like? Similar to personal finance apps, the financial home for investors is the place where I have a 360° view of my full portfolio and all my assets matched with my personal goals and supported by helpful insights.
This does not sound like what the reporting institutions offer today.
Portfolio or deposit reportings don´t engage with the customers. It is often reduced for displaying the past performance for each investment product, I have within this single deposit. We call this product-centric reporting.
The 2nd level of reporting maturity is a portfolio-centric reporting. This aggregates all products the customer has within this deposit with comprehensive analytics around the allocation, potential cluster risks, the sustainability of investments (ESG), and much more.
An excellent reporting creates valuable insights based upon a 360° view of the customer covering all his/her accounts (also at 3rd party banks) and his/her assets (e.g. real estates) and matches this with personal goals and financial plans. This is what we call a customer-centric reporting. A customer-centric reporting can become the financial home to the investor.
It’s not just the customer who benefits
For a financial institution, reporting can be a means to increase customer satisfaction, unveil upselling potentials, or see where churn occurs and offer options to prevent it. It is crucial to highlight it again; great reporting is about customer engagement! It’s about building bridges between the customer, the advisor, and the portfolio.
In the long run, this will help to “remain" engagement with your customers. It might prevent them to start using 3rd party tools to understand their investments. It might prevent your relationship to follow the path that we saw with personal finance apps: From Home to Infrastructure.
But where to start?
Using the reporting as a starting point for your journey to engage with your customer, allows you to build your relationship starting from where he/she spends his time today: Within your Reporting.
It does not need to take much effort to incorporate existing data and existing products into a superior experience. Building a portfolio-centric reporting on top of your existing data might take just take a couple of months. And it can be a better starting point to improve your experience and engagement with your existing customers than investing all the budget into offering the next Robo Advisor.
Let’s improve the investment experience for the customers.