Andrea Boscan
By Andrea Boscan

Webinar Recap: The Future of Client Engagement

Blog - 4 mins read
Webinar Recap

The Future of Client Engagement: Bridging the Digital-Physical Divide

Whether digital or physical, client engagement is vital to the financial services industry. Yet, as more and more interactions move online, brands must ensure that their engagement remains consistent across all digital channels.

In a webinar hosted by Alex Sword, Editor at the Financial Services Forum, Matt Ryan, Chief Transformation Officer at Reef by Totem, sat down with Sasha Dabliz, Head of Marketing at Waverton Investment Management, and Conrad Ford, Chief Product Strategy Officer at Allica Bank, to discuss where the future battleground of client engagement lies. 

In the webinar, Conrad and Sasha – representing two very different financial service organisations – outlined how their respective brands engage with clients in an increasingly digital space.

You can listen to the full webinar below or read on for our recap of the presentation. 

Elevating the Online Experience

A primary challenge discussed throughout the webinar was the question of how to transform digital experiences to feel unique and engaging rather than mundane and uniform. 

While Conrad pointed out that traditional banks cannot “out Amazon, Amazon,” he reiterated that banks can excel by capitalising on relational strengths that their purely digital competitors lack. 

Meanwhile, Sasha emphasised a different approach for Waverton. At the wealth management firm, they prefer to adopt a digital enhancement of certain facets of their brand rather than attempting to duplicate offline experiences online. This strategy acknowledges the limitations of digital platforms in replicating the tactile and personal nuances of face-to-face interactions. “We aim to dial up different aspects of the brand digitally,” Sasha noted, underscoring a strategic divergence from merely mirroring offline services.

Digital Hospitality - Personalisation in a Digital World

The concept of ‘digital hospitality’ resonates strongly in today’s market, where personalisation is key. Sasha illustrated how Waverton adopts a client-centric approach that eschews rigid, preset journeys for more adaptable interactions tailored to individual needs—from the modest to the more extensive portfolios. This flexibility in client servicing is critical for catering to diverse client requirements.

Highlighting the significance of using digital tools to deliver personalised experiences effectively. Matt emphasised that “personalisation through digital tools that speak to each person is crucial for meaningful engagement.”

Conrad also shared a compelling analogy to underline the importance of personalised digital environments, agreeing that: “While ‘content’ is what really matters, I would like what surrounds that content to feel more Allica. If I’m doing a Teams or Zoom call with a potential client or partner, it kind of feels like I’ve agreed to meet them in Costa Coffee.” This statement captures the essence of creating digital spaces that reflect the brand’s unique identity.

Enhancing Relationships Through Technology

Allica Bank’s strategy is to ‘redefine and reimagine relationship banking by integrating technology.’ This means making everyday banking tasks more accessible online while ensuring that pivotal decisions still benefit from human insight. Conrad stresses that: “Technology enhances but does not replace relationships,” indicating that while technology can streamline processes, the human element remains irreplaceable, especially for significant financial decisions.

Bridging Information Gaps

As Sasha illustrates, different clients have different needs, especially when comparing the needs of newer wealth management clients to those of more senior/long-standing customers. 

In the webinar, Sasha illustrated that new clients often require more guidance to understand basic investing concepts such as risk, whereas seasoned clients prefer streamlined digital communications. Effectively addressing these varying levels of knowledge is essential for effective client engagement across all segments.

Overcoming "Beige" Mindsets

One of the final takeaways was Conrad’s thought-provoking perspective on data’s role in decision-making. The Allica Bank Chief Product Strategy Officer highlighted the potential pitfalls of over reliance on data, suggesting it can sometimes lead to overly cautious, “beige” solutions.

However, the message wasn’t to abandon data altogether. Instead, Conrad championed using data as a springboard for bold decision-making. By understanding your customers and embracing calculated risks, you can create financial services that truly stand out.

Mastering Digital Client Engagement in Financial Services

Ultimately, the future of digital client engagement hinges on a balanced integration of technology, personalised client experiences, and strategic use of data. Firms must play to their strengths, leveraging these assets to bridge the gap between digital and physical realms effectively. 

Overcoming mundane approaches and embracing bold differentiation is essential to avoiding generic solutions and truly resonating with diverse client bases. Financial institutions can significantly enhance client relationships by fostering a digital environment that mirrors a brand’s unique identity and meets varied client needs, ensuring a competitive edge in the digital era.

Discover how you can elevate your digital offering with Totem — the platform that helps you understand, engage and grow your audience. 

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Andrea Boscan

Written by Andrea Boscan



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