The Greatest CX Opportunities for Financial Services in 2021

One of our favorite things about the 2020 Wealth Poll is that it didn’t just dissect the investor mindset. It took that understanding one step further by identifying the best opportunities for wealth management firms, banks, and other financial services businesses to improve their experience in 2021.

So without further ado, let’s dive into our findings!

About the 2020 Wealth Poll

The InMoment Wealth Poll is a multi-wave poll of affluent investors done every few years for the past fifteen years. From June 30, 2020 to July 2, 2020, we surveyed 1,212 investors with over $100,000 of privately held assets to understand how the unsettled market has affected them, how they feel about their client experience, and where opportunities may lie for investment firms to improve and expand business.

Here is a quick breakdown of the investors we surveyed:

  • 790 Mass Affluent Investors ($100,000 to less than $1,000,000 in investable
  • 400 High Net Worth Investors ($1,000,000 to less than $10,000,000 in investable assets)
  • 22 Ultra-High Net Worth Investors ($10,000,000 or more in investable assets)

Experience Improvement Opportunities in 2021

Perhaps one of the most important functions an experience program can serve is helping an organization to identify what they do well in the eyes of the customer—and where there’s room to improve. Only when brands pinpoint those areas can they remove friction and improve experiences (and even move on to increase customer retention, save costs, and more).

That’s the idea that inspired one of the most telling questions in the InMoment Wealth Poll, “Thinking About Your Primary Investment Firm, How Satisfied Are You with Each of the Following.” The answers we received for this question are sure to inform financial services organization’s experience strategies for the upcoming year. Let’s take a look!

It is important to note which firm types have advantages in specific areas. Mutual fund firms, for instance, are currently outperforming others when it comes to “Investment Performance” according to their clients. Additionally, full-service brokerage and insurance firms are showing particular strength when it comes to delivering for their clients, specifically when it comes to the relationships clients have with their financial advisors. Discount firms are also showing strength when it comes to their online services.

When it comes to the big picture, however, it is clear that elements like “Financial Stability” and “Reputation” are mere table stakes for investors. “Fees” are areas of dissatisfaction across the board—which is not surprising—but discount brokerages seem to have a particular advantage here in that investors seem more satisfied with their fees. 

Looking for More?

If these findings peaked your interest, our full length report, “How the Investor Mindset Has Evolved in the Last Decade (and Where It’s Headed)” is full of them! You can download it and see all of the insights our 2020 Wealth Poll here for free. Enjoy your read!

COVID-19’s Effect on the Investor Mindset (as Told by Our 2020 Wealth Poll)

There isn’t an organization in the world that has not been affected by COVID-19. But every organization and industry has been affected differently. The same can definitely be said for investment firms, who must also be concerned about the mindset of their investors;  without a keen understanding of the investor mindset, it’s hard for them to develop a strategy for 2021.

That’s why InMoment is releasing the results of its 2020 Wealth Poll, to give investment firms a glimpse into the minds of their clients—and how they’re feeling about the year to come. Today, we’ll take a closer look at what investors are saying specifically about the effects of COVID-19.

What is the 2020 Wealth Poll?

Before we dive into specific takeaways and data, let us give you a few more details about the 2020 Wealth Poll itself. For this study, we surveyed 1,212 investors with over $100,000 of privately held assets. This group included 790 Mass Affluent Investors

($100,000 to less than $1,000,000 in investable assets), 400 High Net Worth Investors ($1,000,000 to less than $10,000,000 in investable assets), and 22 Ultra-High Net Worth Investors ($10,000,000 or more in investable assets). 

Our goal was to understand how the unsettled market has affected affluent investors as well as how they feel about their client experience, and where opportunities may lie for investment firms to improve and expand business. In our survey, we asked a series of questions specifically about the Coronavirus and were able to unearth four key takeaways. Let’s dive in!

Four Takeaways on the Investor Mindset

  1. Investors Don’t Expect a Full Recovery Until Late 2021
  2. Investors Are Staying the Course
  3. Most Have Funds but Many Don’t Plan to Invest
  4. Investment Firms Learned the Lessons of 2010

Key Takeaway #1: Investors Don’t Expect a Full Recovery Until Late 2021

After a decade of success, COVID-19 has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the global economy—and affluent investors aren’t completely sure what to expect. In fact, an overwhelming majority (64%) said they expect the next twelve months to be volatile. 

Regardless of how investors feel, financial services firms and advisors must be prepared to guide investors through the ever-changing market over the next 12 months!

Key Takeaway #2: Investors Stay the Course

Despite investors’ uncertainty concerning the market, 85% of investors say their risk preference has not shifted because of the pandemic. In fact, our results for pre-pandemic risk preference were almost the same as our post-pandemic results.

Key Takeaway #3: Most Have Funds but Many Don’t Plan to Invest

For as many affluent investors who plan to stay flat in 2020, the same amount plan to invest more in their portfolio, despite the fact that 78% report that they have available funds.

From this same question, we also were able to arrive at the conclusion that affluent investors were more likely to invest if they are self-directed investors, believe their investment expertise is higher than average,  or do not work with a dedicated financial advisor.

Key Takeaway #4: Investment Firms Learned the Lessons of 2010

Remember 2010 and the burst of the housing bubble which wreaked havoc on the markets and the economy? In 2010, investors across the board were not happy with how firms responded to the financial crisis. Since that time, investment firms have made significant progress in delivering to their clients.

The proof? Investor satisfaction has held steady the highs achieved during the market’s long bull run even in the midst of the pandemic.  Financial planning, more proactive advice, and better online tools have made investors much happier with the response to the current crisis.

Want to see more data from our 2020 Wealth Poll? You can check out the infographic on the effects of COVID-19 here, or watch the full webinar with each and every insight we collected here

3 Ways COVID-19 Has Already Changed Wealth Management

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on many working- and middle-class families’ finances. However, these are not the only groups whose income, savings, and assets have come under threat from this crisis. As I discussed in my recent Point of View article on this subject, many affluent families and audiences have also seen their own financial ecosystems gravely affected. 

Based on a recent poll conducted by InMoment, most affluent consumers expect the market to be quite volatile throughout 2021.  While most are not planning to change their investment style or their firms, COVID-19 has influenced or changed what wealth management clients expect of their advisers, as well as how their financial institutions must manage their business and relationships for the foreseeable future.

Here are the three biggest changes I’ve seen COVID-19 force upon the world of wealth management, as well as some advice and insights on how these firms and consultancies can rise above them.

  1. Hungry for Advice
  2. More Frequent and Proactive Interaction
  3. A Heightened Need for Protection

Change #1: Hungry for Advice

This tip may seem gratuitous, especially since every wealth adviser has that client who talks their ear off after hours, but COVID-19’s impact on these customers’ desire for financial advice cannot be understated. If the data I’ve studied is any indication, the Coronavirus’s penchant for disrupting normalcy has worked its way into affluent clients’ financial fears. So, wealth management firms should be prepared for an ongoing influx of questions about everything from investments to retirement.

Because of this, wealth advisers should tune their experience programs toward opportunities for providing more advice on these and other topics. Unfortunately, it seems the pandemic will be with us for quite some time, and so wealth management firms can count on this influx to sustain itself for about as long. Advisers who continuously focus their listening efforts on the topics customers have questions on and why, though, will be able to keep their heads above water.

Change #2: More Frequent and Proactive Interaction

Because COVID-19 has brought about rapid, large-scale change, wealth management clients have come to expect their advisers to react to new developments with 2008-level speed. This means that wealth advisers can expect their customers to both demand quick responsive action and to be proactive before new changes can adversely affect them.

This demand for faster action has manifested itself in two ways already—first, COVID has made clients much more hawkish when it comes to demanding fast, flexible account management. Additionally, these clients now expect wealth management firms to be much quicker when it comes to business and financial reviews, among other advice. Wealth management companies can rise to these challenges by making fast, proactive action a hallmark of their overall brand experience. Getting to and maintaining that level of reactiveness is no small task, but COVID-19 has made that responsiveness a dealbreaker for many clients.

Change #3: A Heightened Need for Protection

Coronavirus has thrown massive uncertainty into our society, which has many wealth management clients keen to protect their assets against any additional loss. This point meshes with both of the changes I talked about earlier, but the need to aggressively protect assets is worthy of its own mention—as is clients’ expectation that that be front-and-center in any wealth management firm they do business with.

Wealth advisers have always protected their clients’ assets and sought to minimize losses. That’s a given. What hasn’t been a given until COVID, though, is clients’ strong desire for more direct access to their managed wealth than ever before, as well as a relatively newfound need for any resources that make them feel more self-reliant. This is why wealth management advisers must make asset protection as prominent a cornerstone of their provided experience as possible, lest clients think that the competition offers stronger defenses and is thus worth going to instead.

The common theme that threads all of these changes together is clients’ urgently heightened need for a wealth management firm that is both proactive and reactive. Whether it’s speedy account management or ambitious loss prevention, the consultancies that can act fast and make that quick action the bedrock of their customer experience will win out against their peers. More than that, though, clients are seeking reassurance on a human level, which means that those aforementioned late nights on the phone have taken on a renewed importance not just as a source of wealth management expertise, but of meaningful connection in uncertain times.

Want to learn more about how COVID-19 has changed and will continue to change financial services? Click here to read my in-depth Point of View article on the subject.

Change Region

Selecting a different region will change the language and content of inmoment.com

North America
United States/Canada (English)
Europe
DACH (Deutsch) United Kingdom (English) France (français)
Asia Pacific
Australia (English) New Zealand (English) Singapore (English)