All Is Not As It Seems - New Data From ParameterInsights

Human Touch Narrowly Leads Reporting Options and UX as Drivers of Satisfaction for Digital Wealth Consumers.  

By Josh Book

Digital wealth management firms in North America are facing off amidst increasing quality and ubiquity of digital experiences. Their challenge is two-fold: deliver the essential transactional components of their offers and keep pace with innovative experiential consumer trends.

Given this competitive marketplace, it is critical for firms to understand which digital wealth platform features are the strongest drivers of overall satisfaction. Armed with such an understanding, they can improve overall customer loyalty by allocating resources toward key drivers.

Recent consumer research from ParameterInsights indicates that many of the top satisfaction drivers in Canada are also present in the top five among US consumers: advisor availability, reporting options, desktop experience, customer service availability, and the availability of investing-related articles and blog posts. These preferences underscore the need for digital advisory firms to deliver upon many of the same services investors expect from traditional, brick-and-mortar firms: personalized guidance and a focus on the customer experience.

US - Drivers Of Consumer Satisfaction

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Canada - Drivers of Consumer Satisfaction

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Just as the top drivers tell an important story, so too do the weakest drivers of satisfaction. As a set, the five least important satisfaction drivers in the US echo themes regularly touted by industry pundits as the most important areas for competitive differentiation across firms, including: transparency of fees, mobile experience, and account aggregation. From a loyalty standpoint, this analysis provides strong evidence to the contrary.

One way to look at this is to consider why certain features create satisfaction and subsequent loyalty. It stems from the sense of delight consumers feel by interactions that are somewhat unexpected, yet welcome. The flip side of that coin is that once those features become expected or commonplace, they are more likely to be designated as “table stakes,” and would then move to the bottom of the list. Once expected, these features become difficult for firms to differentiate themselves on and can also represent a point of contention for consumers should they not be delivered well.

At the same time, firms must acknowledge that drivers of consumer satisfaction will change over time as overall industry adoption increases and the digital advisory client base expands to become more representative of consumers in general. For the moment, the central loyalty lesson for firms is to continue to fine-tune the transactional components of their offers while significantly upgrading the experiential.