Did you know that one-third of your potential wealth management clients may not become your account because they could become so frustrated with the online onboarding process that they abandon it? That’s a lot of money walking out the door. If you still have a 200-step onboarding process, you can also very likely say goodbye to many potential Millennial clients. They want a frictionless experience and will search until they find it. Plenty of nontraditional competitors are providing them just that with simple digital onboarding.

I have talked to many firms who are still largely product centric—and it shows in their onboarding too. They may say they value the client experience, but when I ask who owns it, they look at me blankly.

Here is what I tell them: Technology is not magic. It can only do what you design it to do. If no one has taken charge of creating a delightful client experience, technology will not do that for you. For example, Accenture worked with a large investment bank to improve its client onboarding. With zero technology interventions, we helped this bank improve time to market by up to 50 percent and increase client satisfaction by 100 percent. Simply by organizing the bank’s onboarding processes into simple and complex tasks—and assigning owners to each—the improvement was exponential.

Don’t get me wrong. Accenture research has found that roughly 40 to 60 percent of today’s onboarding tasks could go digital. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can save amazing amounts of time and money. But to throw technology at the problem without addressing its root cause is probably not the wisest route. It’s the route some firms may take because it’s the easiest. But it likely won’t provide you with the right return on investment. Appointing the right talent to own the client experience at your firm—from onboarding to ongoing interactions—is important in attracting new and retaining current clients.

If your firm is interested in how it can improve client experience and time to market via onboarding, please email me as I’d love to talk with you about it. All of the figures I used in this blog come from “Black Hole to White Glove,” a recent Accenture Strategy point of view. Check it out for a bit more information on the right way to incorporate technology into this key business process.


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