Making a technology decision to introduce a client portal is the easy bit. Communicating the service, building adoption and getting clients to use it regularly requires more effort.  Sim Sangha offers a checklist of basic tips to consider when introducing new technology to clients.

    1) Understanding client problems is key.

    For most of us, financial services is complex and the data on all our products is spread across many providers. Your clients want their finances to be easier to manage. Make sure your portal achieves this otherwise you will just add to the disparate sites they already use.

    2) Aim small, miss small.

    How many clients do you want to start with? Identify early adopters who are keen to get involved at the early stage. Who will give you productive feedback? Learn what works and adapt your wider rollout accordingly.

    3) Have something interesting to say.

    Simply introducing online access to spreadsheet reporting on a subset of a client’s wealth has been around for a while and doesn’t really differentiate your service.

    4) Focus on a handful of benefits only.

    Introduce the most relevant client benefits only and the rest can be communicated later.

    5) KISS – Keep It Simple.

    Make sure it’s easy for your clients to use and your communications are easy to digest. If you have a 3 step process, make it 2!

    6) Use video to highlight your new service.

    Google acquired Youtube a few years ago as they recognised people would rather ‘watch’ than ‘read’.

    7) Listen to feedback then do your own thing.

    It turns out most of us do not know what we want unless its closely related to what we already have.

    "It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.” Steve Jobs, Apple Computers.

    8) Avoid raising concerns in your comms.

    A common mistake is to focus on issues you think your clients should care about, like internet security. If your clients have concerns, they will ask, just make sure you’ve got the answers ready.

    9) Use the right language

    If your client portal offers “account aggregation and automated feeds from multiple providers, platforms, banks and many other financial institutions”, what matters to clients is the convenience and simplicity of “everything in one place”.

    10) Set yourself simple targets.

    Adoption takes time. Great systems receive adoption of around 50-55% with relative ease.  If you acheive that, you've just improved the lives of over half of your client base. Adoption is never instant so measure your success over the medium term.

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