It’s no secret that the financial industry is changing rapidly. With advancements in technology and increased competition from digital investing platforms, it’s time for financial advisors to challenge their current digital strategies and approaches.
Today, the vast majority of affluent investors are online and using the web to access important financial information and communicate with their advisor. So not only is your online presence key but your online user experience is critical. Branded client portals are a trending piece in the evolution of advisor website technology, and they’ve become a convenient and effective end-to-end solution.
WHAT IS A BRANDED CLIENT PORTAL?
A branded client portal is a secure, private website branded with the advisor (or firm’s) logo that provides a place for investors to view personal financial information such as current portfolios, account balances, retirement goals, and other financial management tools.
For example, investors can log into their client portal via their financial advisor’s website and receive up-to-date information on things like their account balances, holdings, performance, and allocation.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A BRANDED CLIENT PORTAL ON YOUR WEBSITE?
Having a branded client portal on your website for investors to quickly access is important for three main reasons – branding, convenience, and security.
1. Branding: In our opinion, one of the most important reasons to add a client portal to your website is to reinforce your position as the financial advisor. Reminding clients (via in person meetings or emails) that they can directly login to their account via your website, and then using your logo and colors to brand the login page (and the account portal itself) subtly reminds clients of your role as the advisor.
2. Convenience: Client portals offer firms a high-tech solution for an additional contact point with clients. Exchanging information via a client portal is much more efficient compared to most other channels. The portals offer interactivity and have the ability to consolidate all account data, automatically update data, and push this information to clients. Clients are able to view all of their information in one place and financial advisors are able to manage large amounts of client data effectively.
3. Security: Portals are secure and thus can be used to share financial data safely with other professionals who may need it, such as accountants and attorneys. These portals also provide a means of data transfer between a financial advisor and their clients. Using CDs and USBs to transfer important information is more and more becoming a thing of the past. Client portals have replaced these mediums by offering a channel to instantly and securely exchange signed documents, send tax returns, share current account balances, and a variety of other customizable features.
3 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN ADDING A CLIENT PORTAL TO YOUR WEBSITE
While offering a client portal is a great first step towards a successful client experience, simply having one is not enough. A well-designed client portal makes all the difference. We recommend focusing on 3 key areas for success:
1. Placement: The link to the client portal should be immediately noticeable. Include it as a direct link in the main site navigation, or place it on a sidebar on the far left or right of your site’s page so that visitors and clients are able to see it right away.
2. Font and Color: First, you want the login to appear as a button (not just a hyperlink). The button design should be consistent with your firm’s branding, as well as your website’s font choices and color scheme. It is important to reinforce that this client portal feature is a value-add that your firm is providing. Consistency in these areas also helps show that the portal indeed offered through you and is trustworthy.
3. Call to Action: It’s important to always have just one main call to action. Multiple buttons can confuse or overwhelm visitors, causing them to simply give up and leave your website altogether. One main call to action for current clients reading, “Client Login” or “Client Center” is smart.
Client portals are designed to help advisors serve clients better and to simplify the advisor’s business. A well-designed portal can lead to higher client satisfaction, and this additional connection with clients often comes at a reasonable cost and with little time needed to setup. Including a well-designed client portal can take both your website and your firm to the next level.