As we’ve covered in our previous articles, many mass affluent customers are time-constrained with demanding jobs and busy lives but they are active in seeking advice and recommendations to improve their future financial well-being. Thus, an important role for providers is in helping customers develop a better understanding of their financial life in a way that makes financial planning less laborious and onerous.
Our research shows that the mass affluent consumer has an emotional investment in their financial planning – most do not want to hand-off the financial planning for their future to another to deal with. 60% of our survey respondents said that they value control in the investment process. A significant number of our respondents manage their portfolio themselves, with our research showing that 47% self-manage over half of their own portfolio.
However, mass affluent customers are spoiled for choice, for both information and professional advice sources. Not all these sources best serve their needs, or tackle their concerns, but there are many to choose from. In order for financial services providers to differentiate their offering, our customers said that they must be invested in the financial well-being of their customers.
64% of the mass affluent customers we surveyed said it is important to them that their provider is invested in their financial well-being, and that they will help them set and achieve their financial goals. In fact, our respondents valued these attributes more highly than a provider with a recognised brand (64% vs 57%).
So, how do organisations demonstrate that they are truthfully invested in the future financial well-being of their customers?
Our research participants said that they value transparency and a straightforward approach from their providers – including transparency about the cost of the service or fees charged (73%). This transparency goes toward developing a relationship of trust between customer and provider. They also said that too much pressure applied during the decision-making process was off-putting (71%), which potentially contributes to a lack of confidence that their provider is honestly invested in their well-being.
This means that organisations should aim to give customers choices they have never had before and make it easy, intuitive and secure for customers to manage their financial needs at their own pace. Robust relationships will be built with their customers through the provision of thorough and personalised financial health-checks, and by providing transparent and honest advice that does not preference product sales over customer’s financial well-being.
Download and read our full report now for all of our insights and recommendations, gleaned directly from research with affluent customers. The report is structured in accordance with moments in the financial planning process as experienced by the customer.
If you have any questions about our research, or would like more information about our services, please contact Peter Neufeld.
EY Advisory Partner &
Head of FS Digital Customer Experience EMEIA
Peter works with Financial Services clients in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa to help them embed new capabilities
into their organisation, build innovative new products and services, and transform their business through customer centricity, rich insight and service design.