Blog Post

Advice Efficiency
2 MIN READ

Why the client portal is the most important technology choice of all

peterworn's avatar
peterworn
Icon for Advisely Partner rankAdvisely Partner
6 months ago

In the dynamic world of wealth management, financial advisers face the perennial challenge of effectively engaging with clients. One of the most pivotal elements in this interaction is the client portal – a digital gateway that not only streamlines communication but also serves as a repository for financial documents, performance reports, and planning tools.

However, convincing clients to transition from traditional communication methods such as emails to a client portal is no mean feat. Moreover, once a portal is in use, switching to a different platform can be an uphill battle. Here's why the selection of a client portal is a decision that requires foresight, and why the user experience must be nothing short of exceptional.

The hurdle of habituation

Clients are creatures of habit. Email, despite its flaws, is a familiar tool. It's simple, universally accessible, and requires no learning curve. Persuading clients to adopt a new system demands not just introducing them to new technology but also uprooting established behaviours— a task that is often met with resistance.

The experience imperative

If the shift is to be successful, the experience of using a client portal must be so compelling that clients feel they are stepping into a superior realm of service. An amazing user experience is underpinned by intuitive design, tailored personalization, and seamless functionality.

The portal should not only match but exceed the convenience and ease of email communication. It must be accessible, easy to navigate, and provide immediate, tangible benefits to the client.

The lock-in dilemma

Once a client portal is in place, it becomes intertwined with the client's financial life, storing critical data and documents, and often integrating with other systems and services. This interdependency creates a lock-in effect. Transitioning to a new portal can be akin to moving a house built on a foundation of years of accumulated data and customisations— a daunting and often costly process.

The selection strategy

Given these challenges, the selection of a client portal becomes a strategic decision. Advisors must seek a solution that not only addresses today’s needs but is also agile enough to adapt to future requirements. It should offer:

  • Security: Robust protection of sensitive financial data is non-negotiable.
  • Mobility: Clients should be able to access their financial information on the go.
  • Integration: The portal must play well with other software in the tech stack.
  • Support: Ongoing support and training are essential to facilitate the transition and continued use.
  • Scalability: As a practice grows, the portal must scale seamlessly alongside it.

Conclusion

For financial advisers, the selection of a client portal is a critical decision with far-reaching implications. The initial hurdle of transitioning clients from email to a portal is significant, and the choice to switch portals later can be fraught with complexity.

Therefore, the portal chosen must not only deliver an exceptional user experience that beckons clients to make the switch but also stand the test of time as a versatile and scalable tool in an advisor's tech arsenal. It is not merely a product but a long-term partnership between the advisor, the client, and the technology provider.

Updated 6 months ago
Version 10.0

2 Comments

  • Completly agree and something we are actively pushing with client's, particularly when sharing sensitive documents and information. 

    The Xplan client portal needs a lot of work in regards to being more user friendly. There are other option available in the market, but I do not see the point in adding additional cost when the Xplan costs are significant already.

  • lachlanfuller's avatar
    lachlanfuller
    Icon for Iress Contributor rankIress Contributor

    Great conversation peterworn and thanks for the comment Luke_Watson23 

    Iress are continuing to invest in building out an engaging tool that allows advisers the ability to, among other things, move away from email as the primary form of communication. Part of this investment is an uplift in the interface components to make the application "more user friendly".

    We're always happy to take on feedback and if you would like to discuss further, please get in touch via email (lachlan.fuller@iress.com) or phone +61 411 135 336.

    Regards

    Lachlan Fuller

    Assoc. Product Manager - Client Portal

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