How Banks, Insurance Companies and Wealth Managers Can Increase Revenue By Streamlining The Online Conversion Process

How important is a client journey when it comes to automation of the client onboarding or investment management (robo-advisor/digital advice) process? The client experience is critical to the success of the endeavor. In this day and age of minimal patience, the goal is to service more clients at a higher level, faster.

Recently, I accompanied a colleague of mine to grab a sandwich from McDonalds before our next meeting. Upon entering the store, we realized the ordering counter was no more. The ordering counter was strictly a serving counter where patrons would pick-up their orders. Placing orders was no longer accomplished by speaking to an employee but rather through an automated kiosk; they look similar to what the airlines have installed at airports.

Having never used a McDonalds kiosk, my colleague and I had a good laugh and wondered how simple this process was going to be. McDonalds is so confident that their client journey design is so sound that the area was absent of human assistance. Placing an order was very straightforward and even when an error was made, backtracking and correcting the order without having to start the process all over again was effortless. My colleague pays then proceeds to the service counter where the typical long queues of patrons waiting for their order were gone. How? The staff that used to take orders were now strictly packaging orders and moving patrons through the journey quickly and efficiently.

When it comes to financial services, whether bank, insurance or wealth management, the typical client journey is long and disjointed between business and client expectation. The client experience is poor and encourages a high rate of abandonment. The result is wasted marketing dollars, frustrated sales efforts and a diminished conversion ratio.

Could you imagine what would have happened if McDonalds’ automated client journey was too complex and took too much time to learn and use? The franchise owners would be upset and worse, patrons would complain and leave. An example of automation not working is the kiosks at the airports. The line-ups to speak with a human representative remain long, the customer experience is notoriously low and the automated kiosks remain relatively empty and underutilized. The problem for travelers is that they cannot pick-up, leave and head to another airport. The financial services industry is becoming increasingly competitive through price reduction and disruptors that traditional firms have little room for error when rolling out a digital experience.

A client of ours in the wealth management industry was spending millions in marketing and driving prospective clients to their website and converting a small percentage of leads. The prospects would abandon the onboarding process and/or not be available or prepared for the next step, which was speaking with an advisor. What was frustrating for sales and marketing was the inability to convert warm leads into accounts and demonstrate ROI for the endeavor.

Having experienced this customer engagement obstacle in the past, we were able to help the client construct a journey that streamlined the online decision making process, which resulted in a 12% increase in online conversion. The foundation of the process was quite simple:

  1. Time: Understand when and at what point most applications or processes are abandoned
  2. Navigation: Design the workflow so that n adolescent or elderly person can understand, navigate and change direction very quickly
  3. Transparency: Illustrate all costs upfront
  4. Prepare the customer for outreach by an advisor or company representative


Jovin Shen

Head of Sales & Marketing

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