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Technologies That Help Advisors with Client Retention

By Jonny Swift

Providing a great client experience is essential for any advisory firm, and a high client retention rate can be attributed to many different factors. However, now more than ever, technology solutions play a large role in providing a comprehensive and seamless client experience that contributes to strong client retention.

Your website provides a hub for your clients to find you online, get their questions answered, obtain the information they need, digest your content, access their accounts, and more. Your social media profiles give them a place to engage with you and your content, build a feeling of connection and familiarity, learn more about you on both a professional and a personal level, and be a cheerleader for your achievements and announcements. Email platforms allow you to stay in touch on a regular basis, share educational resources, stay top of mind, and drip market to your audience over time.

However, at this point, those technologies are table stakes. To keep your clients engaged and interested, smart advisors should go a few steps deeper and use technology solutions that will truly bolster client retention.

Surveying and Feedback Tools

Surveying and feedback tools can help advisors increase engagement and gauge client sentiment, allowing clients to feel heard and valued and allowing advisors to implement feedback and suggestions. A couple of great solutions providers in financial services are Absolute Engagement, which offers engagement technology that reveals the true needs of prospects and clients and triggers the right response automatically, and NEXA Insights, a comprehensive client feedback and surveying software that provides first-class analytics and insights.

Online programs such as SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Formstack, Google Forms, and other form and survey tools are also great solutions for collecting client feedback, gauging client sentiment, and surveying clients. However, they require a lot more work from the advisor to come up with the questions, create the survey, send it out to their client base, etc.—albeit at a very affordable price tag on a DIY basis.

But whichever method an advisor uses, surveys offer many benefits that can help with satisfaction and retention. For example, surveys allow advisors to benchmark against other advisory firms, evaluate service models, identify at-risk clients and relationships that they need to shore up, discover client pain points that need to be addressed, uncover opportunities where the client could be better served (including additional services), and increase client communication and engagement. In addition to retention, surveys give the advisor the opportunity to gain new business in the form of client referrals and/or additional services.

One other huge benefit of client surveying tools is that you can use these surveying tools to collect testimonials. Under the new SEC guidelines, most advisors are now able to display client testimonials on their websites, in their marketing materials, on social media, and more.

When using a surveying tool, it’s best to conduct surveys annually or twice a year. These are the perfect timeframes for gauging client sentiment and satisfaction levels because they allow advisors to get an update on their client’s current situation, needs and desires, issues and pain points, new opportunities, etc. Any more than twice a year could annoy busy clients, or at the very least, they may think that nothing has changed or they have nothing new to share and, therefore, they will not take the survey seriously.

Analytics and Insights

Another technology that can help with client retention is a program that tracks user behavior on an advisor’s website. There are many analytics programs, tools, software, and apps, but perhaps the most comprehensive and easiest to use is Google Analytics. Also, it’s free!

Connect your website to Google Analytics, and you’ll be given loads of data, statistics, and analytics pertaining to your website performance: number of users/visitors, number of website sessions, bounce rate, how users get to your website (direct, via search, via social media, etc.), how long they stay on your website, what devices users access your website from, where in the world they access it from, what time of day, what pages get the most traffic, and so much more—even user retention and the number of users who come back to your website on a regular basis!

These stats give you all sorts of insights that can help with client retention. If your session duration time is low or the bounce rate is high on your home page (meaning that users leave your site right after viewing your home page and don’t visit any other pages), it may be worth revisiting the messaging and/or the design of your home page to make it more appealing to your target audience. If you see that your Client Portal page isn’t getting the kind of traffic you expect from your client base, you may want to reconsider the user experience or redesign the page to make it easier for clients to use.

Most clients who visit your website get there directly (via typing in the URL or using a bookmark), so if most of your website traffic comes from search results, social media, or other avenues, you may want to consider your overall website experience in order to attract your clients there more frequently. Maybe adding a blog, podcast, or another form of engaging educational content will provide value and give them a reason to visit your website more often. Regardless, having a robust website where clients can feel connected to their advisor, gain valuable insights, and easily access their accounts is extremely important for client retention—and Google Analytics gives you the insights you need to make sure your website is optimized.

Fintech Solutions

Advisors can level up even further by implementing fintech solutions that can increase operational efficiencies, free time to focus on serving clients and building relationships, and allow them to work on their business, not in it. Solutions that advisors need will vary, but most need some combination of customer relationship management, portfolio management, performance reporting, trading and rebalancing, client portals, client billing, document storage, and portfolio analytics.

There are tons of great providers for each of these, but advisors can perhaps be most efficient by implementing a comprehensive, all-in-one solution. Some of the market leaders and best in the field include Advyzon, Orion, Envestnet | Tamarac, Morningstar Office, and Advisor360°. If you use a unified software-as-a-service platform that’s cloud-based, provides a seamless experience, and is built on single source code, even better.

Whether you’re looking for specific software solutions or a comprehensive solution, an annual advisor software survey produced by T3 Technology Tools for Today and Bob Veres’s Inside Information shares client satisfaction ratings, market share, and additional insights, so it can help you determine which providers are right for you.

Regardless of which technologies you adopt in your firm to help with client retention, it’s clear that modern advisors need to use more than just website, social media, and email platforms and should take advantage of next-level technologies that increase client engagement, encourage feedback, provide insights, and increase operational efficiencies.

Not only will embracing these tools help with retention, but they’ll also help increase referrals and attract ideal prospects, all while making it easier to move leads through your marketing funnel.

Jonny Swift is vice president of Impact Communications (, a full-service marketing and PR firm serving independent financial advisors and allied institutions.

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