7 steps to WOW new clients during onboarding

A mature lady sits on her sofa looking at her phone with delight.

By AdviceBridge

Client onboarding can be a lengthy task for advice firms, made all the more difficult by online systems that aren’t fit for purpose. 

But the truth is, client onboarding is absolutely central to so many processes – so why wouldn’t you invest in software that can help you to get it right first time?

If this initial process is affecting the client experience at your firm, it could also be hampering your ability to dispense your advice. Read on to discover exactly what is needed to create a client onboarding process that’s not just fit for purpose, but that can help every touchpoint to go smoothly and efficiently. 

1. Integrate onboarding with other business processes

Client onboarding is often seen as separate from many other processes in advice firms, but in actual fact it links to so much. 

By making sure that your online onboarding systems are integrated with your other systems, you can enable people from within and across different teams to access the documents needed to complete their work for clients. 

2. Give operations and compliance managers full visibility of processes

When it comes to client onboarding, your head of operations and compliance manager are two of the most valuable assets to your business. But without full visibility of where each client is in the process, they can’t help to spot potential problems further down the line, or monitor how effective the current process is. 

By investing in software that is designed specifically for the financial planning industry, you can feel confident that the workflows will accurately reflect what is needed at each stage of the process. And doing so should help both your team and your clients to move through the process quickly and smoothly. 

3. Allow different teams to process documents in parallel

Traditional onboarding systems tend to work sequentially, meaning that documentation is passed from one team to another undergoing various checks and approvals. If there are any problems with the documents, they are usually passed back through the teams. 

As you can imagine, this is very time-consuming, and as a result it can be costly to your firm. The longer it takes to onboard a client, the longer it is until your firm can charge fees for your work. 

Instead, if documents can be processed simultaneously by each team that needs them, you could save a significant amount of time and money, not to mention providing a much faster and more efficient service for your new clients. 

4. Ability to respond to compliance requests

As mentioned above, the client onboarding process links to so many other processes later down the line. This means that the software or systems that you use should be able to assist in compliance requests as well. 

One example is the ability to bulk invite your clients to retake a risk appetite assessment when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requests this. In such cases, ideally you want to be able to: 

  • Invite the right clients to start the process 
  • Receive a notification when each client has completed it 
  • Take the correct subsequent actions once the assessment is completed, particularly if the results indicate a change to that client’s risk profile.

5. Easy-to-use interfaces that provide all the relevant information

Improving efficiency is also about making your adviser’s lives easier through the systems they’re using. The interface is crucial to this and should be able to guide the adviser through each stage of the process, as well as allowing them easy access to the forms and documentation required. 

6. Centralised client lifecycle management 

Centralised client lifecycle management (CLM) is about using systems that can identify when documents are about to expire and request an updated version in plenty of time. While standard document management systems can record the document type and expiry date, they’re not equipped to trigger the replacement of those documents at key times in the client reviews. 

A centralised CLM system that can automatically take care of this process will be extremely valuable in keeping up to date with compliance without the need for your advisers to manually go through each document replacement themselves. 

7. Continuous compliance

As mentioned above, the client onboarding process is just the beginning of your relationship with your client, whose data will need to be updated each time their circumstances change. Depending on what stage of life your client is in, this could happen several times. 

By using a system that allows your advisers access to the entire catalogue of data held for their clients – and also makes this data available to the clients themselves – you can ensure that compliance actions are always simple and straightforward to carry out. 

Get in touch

The AdviceBridge platform is designed to make your advisers’ work easier to carry out and to enhance the client experience by improving efficiency and reducing cost from the very beginning of your relationship with them. 

If you’d like to learn more about how the AdviceBridge platform could benefit your firm and improving your client onboarding process, please get in touch. Email hello@advicebridge.com, book a demo, or call us on 020 3925 3850.