Why a Customer Journey is More Effective with the Right Advisor Journey

In light of the Wells Fargo scandal and recently a federal investigation by The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada regarding whistleblowers at 5 of the major banking institutions sparked by employees at TD Bank citing pressure from management to perform and ultimately leading to high pressure and possibly ethically questionable sales tactics, this presents an opportunity to discuss an advisor or employee journey when dealing with customers.

Much has been shared about a customer journey or designing a customer journey. What a company wants its customers to experience during the buying or decision-making phase helps shape a customer journey and it’s critical for a company to get this right. But what is an advisor journey and why is it important? A well thought out digital advisor journey can set a bank apart from the crowd in terms of customer perception, experience and employee satisfaction, which will lead to lower advisor turnover and a higher level of customer engagement.

A proper advisor journey is essential to running a smooth customer facing operation whether it’s for retail, mass affluent, affluent or HNW. If the advisors are unable to connect with the customers or have the ability to generate an emotional conversation, the advisors will default into product pushing mode, period. It doesn’t matter how great of a client journey has been designed if the advisor is not able to take the baton and run with it. The client journey attracted the customer and delivered him/her to the doorsteps of the bank, so-to-speak. Remember the advisors have targets and KPIs they are accountable to and each time they speak to a customer or a customer sits in their office, some form of measurement is happening and the advisors know this!

For decades, banks and financial services institutions have spent millions of dollars in employee training programs that focus on the products the advisors are meant to introduce to customers and sell. Very little time is actually spent on building sales as a skill. The realities are that most banks employ people for sales/advisor roles who aren’t comfortable in that role. For many advisors, the role is just a short stint and a stepping-stone to move into another role; hence, the high turnover.

So, how can the banks and financial services institutions help themselves and restore their image from a product-pushing machine and reduce turnover? Design a proper digital advisor journey. The advisor journey must be relatable to the customer, comfortable for the advisor to execute and designed to create a wonderful experience for both parties involved. A proper advisor journey removes the mechanical aspects of selling and places the importance of a customer’s goal back to the forefront and ultimately builds value and trust so that the advisor can propose a new portfolio or a new product.

The advisor journey must be more than a series of questions that are meant to be asked and checked-of during a conversation with a customer. Each step of a digital advisor journey is designed to provoke thought and emotion from the customer and provide a framework for each individual advisor to exhibit their individual personality traits, which they are comfortable operating from. Implementing the right digital advisor journey will make selling feel like an afterthought for the advisor; reduce the pressure on the customer/advisor relationship and ultimately give permission to the advisor to propose high quality financial solutions to the customer through a proposal tool, which will naturally be built into the digital advisor journey.

Jovin Shen

Head of Sales & Marketing

linkedin.com/in/jovinshen

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