A superior customer experience is all about reliably delivering the most appropriate customer services that really count with your customers. IIFL Wealth Management has made this principle a centerpiece of its digital strategy.
With an AUM of Rs1,40,000 Crore, IIFL Wealth Management is one of the leading wealth management companies in India. It is the investment advisor to more than 12,000 families in the HNI and Ultra HNI (UHWNI) segments in India and abroad. The company has assets of Rs 1.4 lakh crore under advice and distribution.
As a long-standing practice, the wealth management company sent monthly portfolio statements to its 12,000 HNI/ UHWNI clients as email/pdf/paper. Despite these monthly statements, requests for physical review meetings with the HNI customers were increasing. During these, in-person meetings with the RM, more time was spent on providing basic information rather than strategic calls.
This continued until February 2018. And then as a serendipitous happenstance, the company moved its portfolio statement dispatch from a normal engine to an analytics-based engine. The analytics engine revealed that made the read rate of the monthly portfolio statement was as low as 7-8%. “This meant that only 7-8 % of our clients opened our monthly portfolio statements on a regular basis. There were some clients who would open it a month and then again not check it for another 4 -5 months. For instance, they would read it in Jan and then read it only after a couple of months in April or May,” shares Abhishek Chandra, CTO, IIFL Wealth Management.
If the customers didn’t check their portfolio statement regularly, it could lead to dissatisfaction or a customer complaint that could be raised after sufficient time had elapsed.
Sharing the monthly portfolio statement is a critical customer experience measure meant to inform the customers on how their portfolio is doing. If the client reviews and remembers his overall portfolio numbers on a regular basis, he feels more in control and this has a positive rub off on the perception of “effectiveness” and “customer engagement” of the wealth manager brand. Referrals contribute 50% of the new accounts opened, hence “positive word of mouth” has a critical role.
If there is one key aspect of customer experience that consistently counts, it is the need, in Chandra’s words to live up to your customer commitments. He stresses upon the need for service enhancing IT to bridge the gap between what customers want and what the company delivers.
And to do this, it’s sometimes necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.
Customer behavior analysis helped Chandra arrive at the conclusion that the HNI and UHNWI customers were short on time and the dominant media they were consuming was on their phones. Besides, IIFLW had the largest market share in the “tech millionaire” segment.
Chandra thought it fit to deliver monthly portfolio statements to these clients in a video format.
His conviction was backed by a Gartner study which stated that any video which was up to 120 seconds got viewed completely. This research finding helped him define the entire scope of the video based monthly portfolio statement. “We tried to do a synopsis of the entire portfolio statement of the customer and create a summary in a video capsule of 120 seconds. The video would be created in a way that the client would get all the key data points of his portfolio. So he would be comfortable and aware of how his portfolio was looking,” he states.
Keeping these insights in mind, IIFL WM decided to leverage AI to deliver video account statements which were personalized for every data point of the portfolio review statement.
Right On The Money
Chandra collaborated with a Bangalore based fintech startup AmigoBulls which had been working on a platform based on the intelligent use of Text to Speech conversion with HTML 5 platform. The fintech developed a platform (patent registration in the process) for making video statements using the Natural Language Generation (NLG) technologies.
He spent 6 odd months to develop the platform with Amigobulls and get all the new data points in place.
During this period he sat with the business stakeholders and identified the key relevant points that the clients need to know. “The PDF statement was anywhere between 7 -20 pages depending upon the size of the portfolio. So the total data points in a PDF statement would be around 150-160 data points. We realized that for the video statement we will have to identify the key data points that we need to bring to the client's notice and we would have to make them a part of the video. For clients who still want more details in each of the video slides, we have put an information icon. While viewing the video on the screen there is an ‘i’ icon which they can click and it will open the details of the page. The client can get into specific details other than the data points. There is a synopsis in the video, still, if the client has a concern he can view it on the eye icon,” he says.
IIFL WM wanted to make sure that if it generated a video then it should have a platform where it came to know if the client had viewed the video or not. And it also wanted to figure out the mechanism of delivery. So there were three problem statements IIFL WM was trying to deal with: One, select data points that can be covered in 120 seconds to provide a customized portfolio to the client, track analytics to make sure that he is consuming the video and figure out a mechanism for delivery of the video.
The technology partner integrated their software platform with the individual portfolio data shared by IIFL Wealth. This tech platform created a video file with a personalized welcome message but password protected.
One Move Ahead
The platform has the capability to provide video file with a unique URL for each client and the auto-emailing system pushed the link embedded in the Emailer and SMS instantly. This link can be sent to clients on Whats App also by the RM directly.
The personalized video statements are light-weight unlike regular MP4 videos and are specifically designed to work even with low-speed 2.5-3G connections. AI and NLP based voice system have made it possible to convert account statements into videos within minutes every month.
The personalized, AI-based monthly video-statement sent to clients has password protection. “This solution met our brief in terms of being able to give each client a personalized snapshot of his portfolio which is easy to access, listen and remember,” shares Chandra.
AI and NLP supported by smart infographics and interactivity are programmed to deliver a voice and video-based unique experience to the client.
The design team across IIFL Wealth Management and Amigobulls created UX/UI and reference animations to make the statement visually scientific and present the data in an intuitive manner. To increase interaction and as an ‘add-on’ a short video from a financial expert was added at the end of the statement. A process and a team have been set up have been set up to record this add-on video 48 hours in advance and roll it out. As a key functionality, the video has a ‘click to call RM’ button as primary CTA, followed by email and mobile number of RM.
The video allows the client to view the portfolio while he is doing something else. He can listen to it. If he is watching it and finds an anomaly he can pause the video, take a screenshot, circle the issue and send it to the RM. So he doesn’t have to type out his concern.
The platform has the capability to provide video file with a with unique URL for each client and the auto-emailing system pushes the link embedded in the Emailer and SMS instantly. This link can be sent to clients on Whats App also by the relationship manager directly. In 2019, IIFL Wealth Management will launch it on WhatsApp.
During the course of implementing this initiative, IIFL Wealth Management faced a challenge around handling the volume of statements. “Initially, everything worked well on the small prototype. However, when we started to do it for our size of client base it was taking us 3.5 days to generate statement. This has been brought down to 6 hours by the engineering teams of IIFL WM and Amigobulls,” he reveals.
Now in 6 hours, IIFL WM is able to generate all the statements and dispatch it also. “The moment the data is ready and reconciled we are able to send it to the clients. We generate the data for video statements only after our PDF statements are ready. Now by the 10th of every month, we send out the statements,” he adds.
Riding High In The Saddle
Chandra leveraged AI as a customer service enhancing tool while hammering home the company’s customer commitment. The transition to a more reliable, effective and efficient mode of delivering monthly portfolio statement resulted in improved customer service.
“With this initiative, we have harnessed the power of AI to provide our clients innovative video reports which give clients a unique experience in viewing and deep diving into their portfolio. At our end, such software gives us in-depth insights on all aspects of the consumption of platform in an easy-to-understand graphical format. Going ahead, we see ourselves actively involved in tapping AI to provide newer and useful insights,” says Yatin Shah, Co-Founder & Executive Director, IIFL Investment Managers.
With customer after customer, IIFL Wealth Management has heard a positive feedback for the initiative. “We tried to take cached feedback from the client we have put a like and dislike button. In the first rollout, we got 35 likes and 2 dislikes. We asked the client and he said that he was tried to open the statement and it didn’t open because of the bad network. This is a network connectivity challenge which is difficult to resolve. But we have ensured that even if the client gets a low bandwidth of 2G connectivity, the video statement can be watched,” he says.
“We are now at a readability of 23-24% and the video statement links sent on WhatsApp have the readability of 95-100%. But WhatsApp does not allow bulk publishing so we have to rely on our RM to send it to the clients on WhatsApp. “What is remarkable is that 100% of those who opened the email, clicked to view the video statement and 75% watched the video of approximately 3-minutes till the end. The last 2 minutes of this is a fund manager commentary,” Chandra adds.
IIFL Wealth Management will integrate the initiative as an on-demand video statement into its new client app. In Version 3 IIFL WM will come up with BOT approach which will bring AI in chat and voice-based interactions.