Client Lifecycle Management (CLM) involves the entire journey that wealth managers travel with their clients, from initial client acquisition, engagement, digital onboarding, and regulatory compliance, through to relationship management and ongoing client servicing. A true CLM platform requires careful orchestration of many different systems and processes, to deliver automation benefits across the end-to-end client lifecycle.
In recent years digital signature technology has become one of the most powerful and effective ways to cut time, cost and friction out of wealth management processes, throughout the client lifecycle.
In our recent webinar we explained how firms who have already married CLM with digital signatures were best prepared to weather the COVID-19 storm. Not only were they able to continue executing transactions in a seamless and frictionless way, but they were also able to spend more time engaging with clients because they were spending less time on administration.
A Boston Consulting Group survey found that relationship managers spend only 5-10% of their time on new business and prospecting, and 40-45% on client servicing, because 45-55% of their time is spent on administration. This has to change for relationship managers to improve outcomes for clients and retain interest in their work.
Digital signature technology automatically identifies the documents that are required, depending on the profile of a client, pre-fills document fields with data from the CLM, automatically routes documents to clients for signature, tracks progress, and automatically drives workflows into onward processes such as onboarding, client servicing, compliance, tax or treasury. As well as eliminating manual administration, the entire process is more productive, and right-first-time rates are very high.
Digital signatures enable relationship managers to save time and enrich client experience at each stage of the process.
- Prospecting: early-stage prospect engagement resulting from an event, marketing campaign, inbound enquiry or referral is likely to begin with a phone conversation, face-to-face meeting or Zoom call, which typically culminates in fact-finds requiring form-filling and signatures. For higher risk clients—resident non-domiciled individuals, for example—the burden is considerable.First impressions count, so it is essential to make this process as fast and frictionless as possible. Digital signature technology eliminates the need for relationship managers to manually select and complete documents before posting them to prospects, and chasing them for signatures. These error-prone, labour-intensive tasks are fully-automated, to make the experience rapid and reliable.
- Onboarding: When prospects convert into clients, the document processing issue spirals—suitability assessments, account openings, tax documents, AML and KYC checks, risk profiling, and more. Up to 20 forms is standard, even for simple onboarding cases—and for complex trusts the volume can rise much higher. This is where digital signature technology comes into its own, managing the entire signature capture process automatically, including tracking signoffs in real time, which is especially useful when multiple signatories are involved.
- Ongoing relationship management: As client engagements evolve, the need to capture signatures is ongoing: new account openings, contracts, preparing for periodic reviews, and repapering for regulatory compliance. Even routine client servicing work—an address change or Power of Attorney—requires form-filling and signatures. When digital signature technology is integrated into an end-to-end CLM, newly required and expiring documents are automatically flagged, re-populated with data from the CLM, and then submitted into workflows that capture new information and signatures. Repapering processes can be automated in entirety, from initial identification of affected clients, through to securing digital signatures and signoffs, which enables relationship managers to spend more time on ongoing client engagement.
- Re-engagement: Essential for AUM growth, and to nurture deeper client relationships, is re-engagement. Using time saved throughout the entire client lifecycle, relationship managers are able to divert more attention to analysing clients’ needs, working on proactive investment strategies and re-engaging with them in the right way, at the right time. As with every other stage of the CLM process, this work usually triggers a digital signature capture process, which can be executed with ease and drives onward workflows for execution and compliance.
Digital signatures can drastically reduce the amount of time involved in gaining signoffs at every stage of the client lifecycle, as well as radically improving the client experience, shortening business cycles, reducing friction and ensuring compliance.
With the convenience and productivity gains that digital signatures deliver, it is little wonder that eSignatures have been one of the capabilities most frequently requested by our wealth management clients so far this year.