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Article initially published on European CEO. Read the article here.

As technological developments bring new competitors, the quality of customer service offered by wealth managers will decide the sector’s leading players.

It’s no secret that customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of a business. The idea that the customer always comes first is increasingly important in today’s competitive market as customers have more ways than ever to research the best company for them and leave feedback on their experience.

According to McKinsey & Company, ‘investing in improved customer experience pays dividends’, and can lower customer churn by 10 to 15 percent, increase the win rate of offers by 20 to 40 percent, and lower costs to serve by up to 50 percent . Therefore, a deep and integrated commitment to client service can significantly differentiate a business from the competition by retaining its customers and thriving in the long term.

Although many leadership teams recognise the importance of customer service, often organisations focus too heavily on specific touchpoints to the detriment of the overall client experience. This approach results in incremental progress at best and, at worst, loss of market share as the business struggles to keep pace with rapidly evolving trends and requirements.

Customer care

The rising bar of customer expectations has significant implications for wealth management, a segment where customers expect high standards and tailored services.

Client outreach is easier than ever in the digital age, but the ease of outreach must be balanced with the desire of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) for “experiences marked by immediacy, personalisation and convenience” . Wealth managers must adapt to each client to provide a seamless, intuitive and consistent digital experience and distinctly personalised interactions.

Today’s global wealth is vastly different to a decade ago, with a significant rise in millennial and female HNWIs, a trend that is set to continue according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Different demographics expect a different focus when it comes to digital and human interaction. Determining the appropriate approach for each client will result in a superior service .

Of course, commitment to innovation is essential. In a competitive environment, wealth managers must keep pace with digital advancement and anticipate the changing needs of their clients to continually provide the service and solutions they expect.

Cutting-edge technology is now considered a necessity, improving efficiency, access and security for clients. The challenge for wealth managers will be to serve a wave of digitally native customers while sustaining the highest levels of personal engagement.

Intelligent execution

To set themselves apart in the wealth management sector, businesses must engage with clients using expertise and local knowledge, speaking to clients in their own language and understanding regional cultures.

Wealth management firms must weave their commitment to excellent service throughout their value chain if they are to offer a truly bespoke service to a broad range of clients. This requires teams within the business to work together from the outset of a client relationship – from sales and wealth structuring to operations and tech support – to ensure alignment on what constitutes excellent service for each client.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle said: “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution. At Lombard International Assurance, our mission is to nurture private wealth and its positive impact on the world. We do this by creating tailor-made wealth and succession planning solutions for internationally mobile individuals, families and institutions with a high net worth. Our role is to ensure that our clients’ assets are protected, preserved and passed on for generations to come.

Our clients and partners expect excellence. We are committed to delivering it.