The Client Experience Premium

client experience premium

You might be surprised to learn that this experience designer LOVES data. While math was never my favorite subject I am constantly awed by the power of data. That is why I was so excited to see PwC’s latest report from their Consumer Intelligence Series: Experience is Everything. This report is the result of 15,000 surveyed consumers from all over the world. You can read the full report at, but to save you time, here are the three takeaways I think you will be most interested in.

80% of the respondents said that speedy, convenient, friendly and knowledgeable service is necessary for a positive client experience. How basic, right? To offer a positive experience you don’t have to have the state of the art technology or elaborate events. You should focus on the basics. I think that is the key here, focus. It is so easy to get lost in the noise and the next best thing, but what we have learned is the basics are the most important.

Only 3% of people want complete technology automation. They really crave a combination of technology and people. Two things struck me about this statistic:

  1.  The Robo-advisor has been said to be the future of financial advice. I have never believed it and here we have solid research supporting my belief.  But what’s even better about this research is its focus on what consumers want rather than what technology can do. Yes, I am sure tech could do much of what a financial advisor does, but do people really want that? No, they still crave the personal relationship only a human can offer, paired with the convenience technology provides.
  2. The Techno Advisor, whom John Anderson and Raef Lee have written about in the past, is well-positioned to meet the consumer’s need for convenient technology and the personal touch. 82% of US respondents said they want to interact with a real person the more technology improves.

Consumers are willing to pay more for a good experience. PwC’s research shows that consumers are willing to pay 16% more for a cup of coffee if the experience is good. What? How do you differentiate coffee? With experience, and the payoff is real. I believe this is pertinent because fee compression is the talk of the town. We have large custodians bombarding us with commercials fixated on index pricing.  There is an opportunity to charge more for the same things if the experience surrounding it is right. You are not just offering products, you are offering full financial experience, and that’s considered a premium.

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Financial advisors are ahead of the competition

PwC analyzed the customers experience expectations versus their satisfaction. In the investment industry there is a 19% gap between what the customer wants and the experience they are getting. I think you and your staff are positioned to take advantage of that gap because of the personal relationships you foster with your clients. Those relationships are the building blocks to a good client experience. Keep focused on the basics; offer a strong combination of people and technology, and you could be positioned to take advantage of the experience premium.

PwC is not affiliated with SEI or its subsidiaries.



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