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Leveraging Data to Transform Customer Experience

By: Brian A. Voss, Director of Wealth Strategic Services, NBT Bank

Brian A. Voss, Director of Wealth Strategic Services, NBT Bank

Any person who has watched a movie on Netflix, ordered a Starbucks coffee from their phone, or purchased an item from Amazon has encountered technology that enhances their experience. Experiences like these shape consumer expectations across all industries, including Wealth Management.

"The future of Banking and Wealth Management will be proactive. Perceived value is shifting from fulfilling a client's request to anticipating a client's needs."

Access. Simplicity. Speed. Personalization.

Technological innovation has made these table stakes, and Wealth Management is no exception.

At our company, we focus on consistently improving the client experience by leveraging technology to magnify the value our Advisors can deliver. We believe technology should support the work of our Advisors, not replace them. That is why we are rolling out a Digital Investment solution.

Our offering, named NBT Guided Investor, uses technology to create an efficient, paperless account opening experience. There is no printing, scanning, or physical signature required. Clients answer a series of risk tolerance questions, input their personal information and acknowledge receipt of all required documents. The entire process takes less than ten minutes.

Where we believe this offering stands out from the competition is how it facilitates our ability to interact with clients in real time. The platform supports co-browsing, making it simple for our Advisors to help clients navigate any portion of the journey. The experience is entirely remote, meaning we can serve clients where and when they want to be served. Additionally, the client will always have the same, dedicated Advisor available to answer questions and provide guidance. This marriage of technological efficiency with a human touch is the hallmark of what we see as the future of technology in Wealth Management.

NBT Guided Investor is one example of a technological shift, and there are countless more. Banks and financial institutions are surfing the edge of the next great wave of innovation. Our customers are demanding simplicity and personalization more than ever before, and few industries are as well positioned as banking to take advantage of this.

Consider the information advantage banks have. Name another industry that has a clearer financial picture of their clients? Name, address, age, income, debts, spending habits, and in some cases even tax returns. These are just some of the data points banks have available to craft an intensely personal offering.

It has been said that "Data is the new oil." I believe that statement is true, but not specific enough. Data is the new crude oil. To have value it needs to be refined into insights or actionable knowledge, just as crude oil needs refining into gasoline or kerosene. Banks need to recognize the opportunity to transform this immensely valuable resource and put it to work to for the benefit of their customers.

Data becomes insight, insight become actionable knowledge, and this knowledge delivered to clients in a timely and personal manner becomes value.

The future of Banking and Wealth Management will be proactive. Perceived value is shifting from fulfilling a client's request to anticipating a client's needs. If we use the data available, combined with technology and a human touch, we can anticipate needs to deliver insightful recommendations that demonstrate tremendous value. However, if we focus instead on merely reacting to transaction requests, we will become the forgotten pipes in the walls of our client's financial house. The opportunity is there for the banks that choose to seize it.

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