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Do Wealth Managers need Smelling Salts and Brandy?

Bianca Huttner
5 min Read
Sep 24, 2020

In 1898, the first ever escalator was installed in London, England. If you’ve been to Harrods, you’ll know how many stairs you need to climb, so you would have thought that the Victorian’s would have been grateful. They were not. However; like oracles, Harrods staff stood prepared at the top of the escalator with free smelling salts and brandy in order to revive their customers after their ordeal (of not having to walk up the stairs).

The lesson we can take away from this is: Customers do not take well to change, even if it’s beneficial to them.

Harrods was clever enough to know this would happen, which is why they prepared for the inevitable. But what about Wealth Management that is currently going through several generational changes at the same time?

The Wealth Management Escalator

Wealth Management finds itself in a situation where change is now inevitable, the proverbial escalator is here, and each generation of client is going to need something different to embrace this digitalization:

Baby Boomers: This is where most of the wealth remains; however, we find Baby Boomers reluctant to embrace digital Wealth Management channels in the same way their children and grandchildren do. They will need support every step of the way.

Generation X: Ready to try out the escalator, and we can go as far as to say, they feel somewhat enthused by the idea of it, but often need a helping hand and some instructions on what to expect.

Generation Y: We’re getting closer to the generation that is willing to embrace the escalator themselves without any help, but not quite yet. Millennials will more often than not, intuitively know how to use digital channels; however, they do still rely on human interaction and still require personalisation.

Generation Z: Will jump on escalator and ignore any offers of help or support until the really get stuck. Dream would be a self-service robot at the bottom in case they have any questions and maybe an auto-assistant to check in every now and again.

Crowded Escalators

Now, each of these individual clients are pretty simple to service if they’re ascending to the top of the escalator in an orderly fashion, one by one. But that’s never going to happen and providing a personalised service at scale whilst regarding all regulations and keeping every generation satisfied is no easy feat.

So how do Wealth Managers ensure personalisation at scale?

Baby Boomers and Generation X

Tend to want a 1-2-1 experience with their Wealth Manager, this is the generation that is accustomed to in-office or in-branch service. COVID-19 challenged this communication method and still does; however, there are certain tools that Wealth Managers can use to closely mirror the in-person experience online

Appointment Booking: Clients can log onto your website or app and seamlessly gain access to the appointment times you have available. You’ll get a notification and a reminder, and so will they.

Voice Chat: For quick conversations and updates, voice chat is available online on any device and cuts the cost of international calls.

Video Chat: For more in-depth conversation about investments or questions and queries, customers and Wealth Managers can log on to a highly secure video chat platform. This can be 1-2-1 or 1-2-many.

Co-Browsing: Excellent for on-boarding should your client require support with the online journey or app, keep them in the drivers sear while you change gears.

Secure Messenger: Send encrypted and secure text messages to your clients through your online portal or application

Document Collaboration: Support clients in filling out online or PDF forms

eSignatures: Sign contracts and forms with a legally binding eSignature

Screen Drawing: Highlight and draw on the desktop or mobile screen to support clients and guide them through

Whiteboard: Draw, annotate and illustrate everything and anything you need to

Generation Y & Z

These generations may use the tools described in the previous section; however, you will find them a bit more independent and willing to explore technology solutions before resorting to 1-2-1 contact. Tools that they will appreciate are eSignatures, and appointment booking if they require it. There are a range of features that can be used to support the 18-37-year olds, including:

Chatbots: Especially handy for onboarding with applications and online portals as well as to ask basic questions for support.

RoboAdvisors: A automated solution for investment and wealth advice and updates for a generation that prefers snackable content on the go.

Live Chat: If manual/human intervention is required, a Live Chat option is usually the preferred method for this generation with 60% admitting that they prefer it to other forms of communication.

Secure Messenger: Another preferred method of communication for these two generations – secure messengers open a secure line of private messages between Wealth Managers and their clients.

Should you wish to learn more about the Engagement Platform which features all of these tools in one console, with an intuitive UI and highly secure for the BFSI sector, do feel free to book and exploratory demo below. The cost of The Engagement Suite is € 49 per month and includes all the features listed in this blog.

Written by

Bianca Huttner
Bianca Huttner

Bianca joined as Head of Marketing for Xaleon in 2020 after 11 years of experience in Software and Consulting. Bianca has worked in a range of markets including EMEA, the USA and Asia and specialised in software solutions for Financial Services. Outside of work she has a passion for Astronomy and History, which you have probably noticed from the content of her blogs.

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