As investment firms seek new ways to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the growth in private wealth, they face ever-increasing challenges created by the sophisticated investment strategies and expectations of individuals across the wealth management spectrum. With the percentage of emerging- and mass affluent individuals managing assets online continuing to climb, financial institutions must find new cost-effective ways for advisors, brokers and bankers to establish relationships and foster interaction with this potentially lucrative but highly-fragmented class of investors.
The more an institution can create value through its online channel, the greater the number of mass affluent customers that can be effectively supported by existing infrastructure and personnel. But getting the mass affluent to open accounts online isn't enough. With the rapidly expanding range of specialized products targeted at this key sector of the market, including various types of calculators and intra- and inter-institution aggregation, the need for customer education and consultation will only continue to grow. Customers must become satisfied active users of basic services before they can be expected to purchase additional financial products that will make them profitable customers. With a majority of mass affluent individuals already using the Internet to bank and invest online, acceptance and comfort with technology is not an issue - the real challenge becomes how institutions can cost-effectively nurture remote relationships with high-potential validators whose primary interaction channel is Web-based self-service applications.
Profitable Interaction for Mass Affluent Customers
One of the key challenges in delivering services to the various tiers of the affluent is that these customers increasingly demand more individualized products and personal attention. Collaboration provides a way to replace the face-to-face experience with an electronic equivalent that lowers the cost of providing service to a larger population.
To achieve the economies of scale that justify expanding the customer base to include the emerging and mass affluent, financial institutions must also be able to make customers proficient and at ease with the use of self-service applications. Strategically placed "Live Help" buttons can give customers the confidence to begin an online application or try out a new tool knowing assistance is available if they have a questions or encounter problems.
Online collaboration lets institutions support and interact with customers where they manage their money - online. By capitalizing on electronic delivery and the improvements in collaboration software, financial institutions can now open dialogs with online customers that can lead to increased cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
Segmentation of online service delivery, even within sub-tiers of mass affluent customers, can be achieved effectively through a combination of strategically located "live help" buttons and knowledge-based routing of requests based on a customer or account identifier. Multi-threading of text-chat interactions using a low ratio of customers per agent also affords support economies while delivering premium levels of service.
To ensure consistent access to advice and information, integration of Web and call center channels can be accomplished via text chat, telephony callback or VoIP links. Callback services in particular can not only be implemented fairly rapidly but can potentially contribute to savings in telecommunications costs by shifting inbound toll-free calls to outbound calls typically billed at lower rates.
A Proven Solution
Hipbone's Synetry platform for live Web interaction makes profitable "high-touch" service for the mass affluent a reality. The Synetry suite of collaboration solutions was developed specifically to extend the reach of financial professionals, enabling them to work with remote clients to jointly review browser-based financial plans or statements, complete forms, or co-navigate online applications.
By providing online consumers with immediate and secure escalation to contact center assistance, institutions can cost-effectively help their customers develop confidence and trust in self-service applications and encourage dialogues that help uncover customer objectives and resolve concerns. With Hipbone, online interaction is far more natural, effective, and efficient - bringing the customer-agent exchange closer to that of an in-branch, in-person meeting.
The Synetry collaboration platform includes cobrowsing, text chat and callback solutions designed to help financial institutions reach, serve, and retain customers through an enhanced online experience. Synetry accelerates business cycles, increases cross-sell and up-sell activity and enables more effective communication over the Web. Wealth management customers can consult with a service representative or advisor - from anywhere in the world, at any time - to review statements, discuss alternative investment scenarios, or learn how to use a new wealth management application.
Hipbone delivers high performance technology that provides secure online interaction. Designed from the outset to meet the stringent security requirements of leading financial services institutions, all Hipbone products meet current privacy and security guidelines specified by both the Graham-Leach-Bliley and HIPPA Acts. Hipbone further enforces security and session participant verification through certificate checking, end-to-end SSL encryption of all HTTP transmissions and XML-based Business Rules that imprint and enforce corporate policies in support of transaction non-repudiation.
Native support for open protocols including HTTP, HTTPS, J2EE, SSL and XML ensures that Hipbone will keep pace with evolving technology and easily integrate into existing contact center environments.
We have the answer
Leading banks, securities and investment advisory firms have already deployed Hipbone products to deliver responsive, high-touch service to remote clients. To receive your free copy of Hipbone's "Resource Pak for Customer Collaboration in Financial Services" containing whitepapers, case studies and a copy of the latest edition of Robert Spector's "Anytime, Anywhere - How the Best Bricks-and-Clicks Businesses Deliver Seamless Service to Their Customers", point your browser to:www.hipbone.com/wmchallenge