Improved wealth management app satisfaction trails financial services peers’

The news: US wealth managers’ apps scored higher in key client experience metrics in 2021, including satisfaction—but more work is needed to catch up to banks and insurers, per a JD Power Study.

The data trends: US firms’ increased tech investments paid dividends as client satisfaction improved from 2020—yet they still trailed other financial services players’ apps.

  • Wealth managers firms directed their tech spend toward upgrading their apps: 75% invested in feature enhancements in 2021, a 31% percentage point jump from last year.
  • This paid off: The study indicated more clients were using the app daily (an increase of four percentage points) and satisfaction grew nine points to 858 (on a 1,000-point scale) from 2020.
  • Yet banks and insurers scored higher on the satisfaction scale, with 860 and 877 points, respectively.

Next steps: As wealth managers strive to enhance their mobile apps— a key customer experience battleground for financial services firms—enabling access to investment insights, alongside providing direct access to advisors, will improve satisfaction.

Investing in digital tools that allow clients to access educational information through the app, such as market updates and insights on their portfolios, will improve satisfaction.

  • Clients indicate a preference for independently accessing this information, per Capgemini.
  • Just 47% say it is currently easy to research investment options via their wealth app, per JD Power.

Compared to other financial services firms, wealth managers’ core value proposition is the high-touch advisor-client relationship.

  • Investing in tools like instant messaging and video calls will loop the advisor into the app experience and enhance satisfaction.
  • Less than half (44%) of clients said they communicate with their advisor through the app; this was unchanged from 2020.