Originally published on January 6, 2021
People value time and convenience.
Technology is only making us value these things more and more.
When your internet is just a half second slower, do you feel that sense of frustration start to kick in as a web page keeps loading.
If you can feel such a small difference, how do you think people consume content and brands as a whole?
FinTech has to prioritize UX because if people don’t have a pleasant experience on their app, they’ll find another app or software that put the time and effort into making the experience as pleasurable as possible for the end user.
As financial advisors, we must prioritize UX because the world is becoming more and more tech-driven. As people get more accustomed to the UX of tech platforms, it’s going to become a standard and any service that doesn’t feel like the same quality will fall to the wayside.
What is UX?
UX stands for user experience - a person's emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service.
UX design focuses on the interaction between real human users (like you and me) and everyday products and services, such as websites, apps, and even coffee machines.
I really like this visual by Career Foundry that breaks down what UX looks like in practice:
How can this be applied to your situation?
Let’s dive into a few examples:
1. When someone finds your website, what are likely their first thoughts?
There’s no reason to have a website that looks like it’s straight out of the dial-up internet days.
A website will make or break your online presence.
If someone sees your article somewhere or hears about you from a friend, the first place they’re probably going to go is your website.
Is the copy written in a style that matches your target audience?
Is it formatted correctly for web and mobile?
Is it easy to navigate?
Does it differentiate you from other advisors?
This is the first thing you see when you open my website, piertree.com.
I’m not saying it’s perfect or this is the only way to do it, but it states:
- Who we work with
- Defines who we work with
- What the service is
- Get Started Today
- Get Your Financial Wellness score
It leaves no question as to who we are and who we help.
If your website doesn’t clearly state who you help and the value you provide - prospective clients aren’t going to take the time to figure it out.
They’ll move on to another website until they find what they’re looking for.
✅ I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from SaaS websites because the competition in their industry is tough, so their websites must be designed to make sales without the need for sales reps to close every deal.
2. How easy is it to schedule a meeting?
If someone wants to meet with you, it shouldn’t take too much effort.
Friction creates indecision.
It’s already a big leap for someone to choose to meet with an advisor, don’t make it harder than it should be.
Yes, you may have a pre-qual form so you’re meeting with more qualified prospects, but this should also be easily accessible and clearly shown on your website.
✅ I placed buttons throughout my website that allow you to schedule as you’re reading about what we do, and also included a button on the footer of my website for convenience.
3. After someone schedules a meeting, what does the email confirmation look like?
A very small piece of the puzzle, but every touchpoint with a potential client should make them feel welcome.
Have you changed the default text on the email confirmation after someone books a meeting?
This may be the first email they receive from you, right?
It should leave a good impression.
Take some time to write out a custom message sent to potential clients - this may include:
- A brief intro to your firm
- A simple thank you
- What to expect in the meeting
- What to bring to the meeting
4. Do you have a consistent and replicatable sales process?
Have you ever felt yourself frantically rushing around trying to get things together for a client meeting?
Truth is, they can probably sense that.
I learned a lot while doing door-to-door sales, and one thing that I’ll always remember is that people pick up on your body language and demeanor quicker than anything else.
Having a consistent sales process helps all parties involved.
It helps you conduct better and more concise meetings and the prospect will feel the confidence.
It also benefits the client because by following the same process, you can refine and improve and ultimately, improve the quality of your meetings.
5. What does your onboarding process look like?
This is one I’m currently working on myself.
There’s almost always room for improvement in this area and it’s important to listen to clients because they’ll usually let you know if something doesn’t seem right or is too difficult.
This may be the order of sending out agreements, questionnaires, invoices, links to set up accounts, or whatever it may be.
It should be a fluid process that doesn’t create more friction than necessary.
I haven’t got this part completely figured out yet so if you have a solid onboarding process, please send me an email!
6. How many different accounts does a client need to create when getting started?
Creating accounts and logins is an inevitable part of financial planning, but we can do our best to minimize the burden we put on our clients.
Put yourself in their shoes.
If you never worked with an advisor before and you finally decide it’s time to get started and one of the first things they do is send you a bunch of things to sign and create accounts for, how would that make you feel?
This may be part of the reason people are hesitant to work with advisors - it can require a lot of effort with sometimes minimal help.
If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re one of the advisors out there who truly cares about their clients but think of all the wirehouse reps and BDs out there who look at new accounts as numbers, not people.
✅ It may help to take some time to think about all the different softwares and apps you use in your practice and how you can consolidate to make things easier on you, and more importantly the client.
Society already has a negative connotation towards financial advisors.
Nobody is going to fix that for us.
I believe the only way to flip the script is by doing quality work, providing a great experience, and letting the world know what you do.