Back in November, I blogged about the importance of thoughtful client onboarding and how it can help life insurance and other wealth management advisors with customer relations and retention.

Since then, I have helped to develop a report for Accenture which goes into more depth on how advisors can plan and adopt a solid onboarding system that will enhance client relationships in the short and long term. Getting the process right over the first 90 to 120 days of the client relationship is critical for setting the foundation for success.

In the past, onboarding has been mostly viewed as an administrative chore, involving repetitive data entry and lots of paperwork. Much of the data collected was designed to meet compliance needs rather than creating a strong advisor-client partnership. This is a short-sighted and outdated approach.

When setting up a new onboarding system, start at the source: the client, and what they want and expect. Looking “from the outside in” provides fresh perspectives and helps the life insurer take a strategic approach to planning.

An effective onboarding strategy should reflect the expectations of all parties involved in setting up the new wealth management relationship—the client, the advisor and the insurer:

  • Clients expect their advisors to understand them on a personal level and offer products tailored to their specific needs. This includes knowledge on how they expect to be served, how they hope to include their families in the financial process, and the value they place on advice.
  • Advisors must be able to present a compelling value proposition, lay the foundation for a strong relationship, and avoid unnecessary administration or other concerns. The goal is to attract profitable clients who fit their personal brand.
  • Insurers want to improve sales force productivity and lower the cost to serve existing clients. They are also increasing the use of digital channels to deliver greater convenience and accessibility, and need complete and accurate information about new clients to help reduce operational and compliance risks.

Next time I’ll discuss how analytics and other tech tools can help advisors set up a solid client onboarding plan.

To learn more, read our latest thinking on Customer Experience

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