• Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

How client portals can supercharge the advisor-client relationship

When it comes to financial planner technology, that client portal sitting in your stack may be more powerful than you think.

During the Financial Planning Association’s annual conference this week in Phoenix, Arizona, the organization released the findings of new research conducted alongside eMoney Advisor to understand the impact technology is having on client relationships within the industry.

FPA President James Lee said during a Thursday presentation that the development of technology solutions has grown exponentially in recent years to serve the needs of financial planners and their clients. And as technological capabilities evolve, so does the potential to use these tools to forge stronger bonds with end clients. 

But the study emphasizes that access to technology alone won’t cut it. What matters most is how financial planners utilize client portals and other tools at their disposal to drive better outcomes.

“As a practitioner myself, I endeavor to realize these objectives every day. And as this research shows, the use of technology, especially client portals, is leading to greater success in those areas. Imagine being able to reduce your clients’ financial anxiety. That’s exactly what happens when we integrate client portals effectively,” Lee said. “Clients gain easy access to their financial information, and ongoing communication through client portals makes them feel more in control and at ease.

“This isn’t just about technology. It’s about the future of financial planning. Client portals and technology in general are now integral to the modern financial planning practice.” 

The study, which polled 849 financial planners of different backgrounds and business models this spring, demonstrates that the value of a client portal extends beyond operational efficiency.

While many financial planners use the technology for streamlining processes, those who leverage client portals effectively realize a range of benefits on their clients’ financial and emotional well-being.

Trust, anxiety, motivation, referrals and loyalty are all impacted when portals are used to their full potential, according to the study.

“At eMoney, we’ve known that technology transforms the planning experience for quite some time. However, this study identifies the particular ways in which a client portal strengthens trust, motivation, loyalty and other key components of the planner-client relationship,” said Emily Koochel, head of financial wellness programs at eMoney Advisor. “It’s clear that consistent use of a client portal is an action all financial planners can take to drive better outcomes for their clients and their businesses.”

Scroll down to check out some of the key takeaways from the study released during day three of the 2023 FPA Annual Conference, alongside additional insight from Koochel and Linda Sikora, marketing research manager at eMoney Advisor.

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