Client Portal best practices and talking points

Overview

Top advisors use the RightCapital client portal to engage and retain existing clients and as a strong differentiator with prospects. The client portal is a trust-building tool that keeps you focused on what you care about most: effective client relationships.

This guide will walk you through a high-level overview to improve your client’s experience—ultimately driving up the value you deliver.

Objectives:

  • Know and test the experience for yourself
  • Know which elements of the client portal will create the best experience for your clients
  • See the different ways the portal can be used by your clients
  • Are well-armed with resources to share with your clients
  • Have the talking points to drive greater value and develop a deeper connection with your client

Your client has questions and concerns, too. They want to be assured that:

  • You have their best interest in mind – nothing is hidden or “sleight of hand” in play
  • They have the tools they need to make informed (and important!) decisions about their future

The RightCapital client portal facilitates this. Help your clients come to see this by showing:

  • 24/7 access to data
  • The ease of communication
  • It’s fun and engaging
  • The portal goes well beyond simply being aggregating accounts

Best Practices

Empowering clients with access to the client portal is powerful. It upgrades them from riding coach to the cockpit where they can see the whole dashboard, while letting you stay in control of the aircraft of comprehensive financial planning. Your clients set the destination and you fly the plane; the client portal gives them complete transparency to see how you’re getting from here to there. Your clients can better see the value you deliver and grow in their appreciation of your services, as you navigate them to a prosperous retirement. For many, it will be something that deepens the bond with you. Here are a few helpful tips as we begin.

Educating clients

New technology often benefits from education. Most people enjoy the benefits of a streamlined service like the client portal and only need some education to use it effectively. Just like a smartphone back in the mid-2000s or a tablet computer (think iPad), new technologies often requires education to help others understand the purpose that it serves. In the case of the client portal, talking points are included below to help educate clients effectively.

Early wins

One way the client portal adds value quickly is enabling your clients to have an early win. Early wins may include:

  • Link one or two bank accounts (or investment accounts) to generate a probability number and net worth over time. This will make them hungry to link all accounts to get a more accurate picture of their probability and net worth.
  • Generate tasks for them (e.g., “Complete intake form”) to visual progress. This also establishes the client portal as a needed communication tool.
  • Send them a text after a meeting asking a question that can be answered on the client portal (e.g. “I just updated the proposal we mocked up over lunch; now it could provide up to $500,000 more in retirement! Have you seen the changes in the client portal?”)
  • Build a budget based on cash flows in RightCapital, and encourage your clients to use their client portal to track their budget spending.

Think back to when you got that one person to say, “Yeah! I want to be your client." You got excited that they were excited. You sent over the paperwork that night… and never heard back. They got distracted. They had forgotten. They got scared. You don’t want that for your clients. Instead, show immediate value. That’s why early wins matter. An early win demonstrates what you provide and gives them the reassurance to move forward with you. It’s about trust. Validating your outcomes up front will make an incredible difference. After giving your client or prospect a proposal, following up with the client portal helps them to see the ongoing value you provide—it’s not a one time event! You provide long-term, ongoing service.

Start small

Work to get just a few clients set up on the client portal in the first month. This enables two things:

  • This does not require significant work on your behalf
  • It allows you to quickly iterate on improving messaging, setup, and rollout

As Caesar Augustus would say, “Make haste, slowly.” In other words, lay a good foundation on which to build.

Needs-based

Some of your clients use all of your services and some only a portion. The same is true with the client portal: you don’t need 100% of your clients to use the portal, just the few that really find it valuable. You may find that more of your clients will be much happier, more engaged with you, and have higher retention because you are providing value based on their needs.

Client retention

The client portal is a sticky engagement tool for you, the advisor. Once people are on your portal it’s less likely for them to leave—they love having transparent access to all the elements in their financial planning analysis. They’re used to it. It becomes normative.

As with all sticky ecosystems — think about Apple as an example — it will be difficult to leave because of how invested they are. When your existing clients begin using the client portal, it’s much harder to lose them.

And your prospects want to know what it’s going to be like as a client. In prospecting meetings, use the client portal as a visual tool to show them what they will have as your client. Of course, you’ll need some financial info for that visual to be most effective, so you can also capture prospect account information early in the process! You’re much more likely to win them over. Use the client portal as a closing tool!

Presentation

Similar to above, using the client portal during client presentations or prospecting meetings can increase the likelihood of securing a long-term client. They see that (1) the platform is deeply integrated into your practice and (2) that you use the platform to clarify communication.

Continue educating your clients on the services you can provide, but focus your rollout to the clients who really want it.

Talking points

24/7/365 access

Using the client portal, clients can check their finances on the go. They can breathe a sigh of relief when they wake up from a cold sweat worried that they may not make it through retirement with enough money. 24/7 access decreases panicked calls to your office and allows you to coach your clients on what they should look for in their financial picture.

A Single, unified view

Everyone has access to their bank account. And their credit card account. And the other bank account. And their investment account.

Using the client portal enables your clients to put all their finances under one roof. Seeing their funded accounts alongside their probability of retirement and cash flow analysis helps your clients gain a fuller picture, even for held away assets.

Simple view into their finances

If your client wants to go deep into their finances, great. However, if they just want to know their Probability of Success or if they have enough cash, that’s right on the dashboard with easy access. It’s simple to use, easy to access, and one of the first things they’ll see when logging in.

Collaboration with you

An often overlooked benefit of the client portal is the collaboration with you, their advisor.

The client portal provides a solution to the type of phone calls we’re all familiar with: “So I have this account with $20,000 dollars, another account with—wait, let me check…$50,000, and then another account…” When using the client portal, you are both on the same page, looking at the same data, making a coherent and agreed-upon decision. Tip: use the built-in Notes and Tasks to memorialize those decisions.

Let them customize their own plan

Your clients can test some of their own assumptions against what would happen in a proposal (must be enabled through the  Client Access tab). For some clients, this is what they want from you—the ability to test on their own and then give you a call with questions. You could have a more engaged client at the end of the day.

Mobile app

Many advisors have raved about the app as it reaches to a broader set of their client base, engaging clients through the day and week as they check in on their finances. The app presents all the client portal information in a way that is even easier to engage on-the-go.

Tasks

Need something done? Create a task for you or your client. This is great because it’s funneled through their client portal, you aren’t interrupted and can address it when you have time, and it’s all tracked for your client to visibly see what you do. Also, many advisors use tasks so their clients can visualize all the work they do for them!

Vault

Files are often exchanged over email. They got lost, deleted, or it becomes difficult to know which file is the most up-to-date.

You and your and clients can upload files for each other to access. For instance, you could create a task for them to upload important files (tax returns, pay stubs, account info) for you to process on your schedule.