client relationship

Client engagement needs tech adaption to meet key objectives

Anita Juneja, head of relationship management and client service at SEI Wealth Platform, discusses how good customer relationships can help problem solve via fintech platforms in a finance practice 

Zoya Malik: Congratulations on winning Customer Relationship specialist at the City Fintech Awards. What winning attributes of your work were recognised?

Anita Juneja: I take pride in being an advocate and the voice for all of our clients in the UK. This means making sure that we are listening to them and they receive the best experience of our services. Putting the client at the centre of everything we do and every decision we make is paramount.

Our wealth management client base is diverse, and I feel that my deep understanding and care for their objectives, alongside a keen awareness of the impact to their end-customers, is key to our success in managing relationships.

At SEI, we see our clients as strategic, long-term partners, and without a doubt I am sometimes confronted with challenges that we must work through collaboratively. Open and honest communication, along with the ability to problem-solve, are integral to success in this area.

Overcoming challenges together helps our partnerships grow stronger and stronger, as we are in this together, and our clients’ success is very much ours.

Anita Juneja, head of relationship management and client service, SEI Wealth Platform

Z: What are the current key factors in financial services in terms of good customer relations?

AJ: It’s crucial to understand that each customer is different. For our clients and their customers, the key to good relationships is to understand those nuances. It is a priority for me to focus on how our service can help them achieve their strategic objectives and provide the best service for their end customers.

As in all industries, I come back to communication because it is so vital. Understanding and listening to your customers is paramount. This means not being afraid to ask questions or to challenge opinions. You need to be open to receiving feedback to understand how you can work better on an initiative now or together in the future.

ZM: How have HNWI clients' expectations changed in terms of need for contact and advisory through the pandemic?

AJ: The pandemic has definitely cemented the importance of technology. However, successful digitisation will form part of a broader client experience, and firms need to look to technology as an enabler to personalise the customer experience, rather than replace it.

Client engagement has adapted, and the use of digital communication platforms have been embraced by both high net worth clients and the business. There is now a need to continually evolve to maintain and improve that engagement.

ZM: What are the challenges in maintaining relationships and onboarding and learning about new clients’ needs?

AJ: The pandemic has tested us all; however I am proud of our response, and client feedback has been positive. We have risen to the challenge together.

Our success is due to the deep client relationships we had before the pandemic. While there is no doubt that we missed in-person interactions, the high level of mutual understanding and trust made a transition to working with clients virtually much easier.

If you had told me prior to the pandemic that it would be possible for us to onboard a client remotely, I would not have believed you, but this is exactly what we have done. We not only onboarded a new client but also managed a full-scale migration completed in phases. We have adapted and learnt a great deal, and will continue to do so as we move to new models of working.

I think a lot of our success in doing remote implementations and building new client relationships is due to our significant experience. We have been able to guide clients using our proven processes, built over decades of implementations. Without this level of experience and deep understanding of the key processes needed, implementations could have been a major challenge.

ZM: How is technology assisting in your delivery of better services and relationships for SEI and its clients?

AJ: The SEI Wealth Platform aims to deliver comprehensive lifecycle management for all points of the customer journey.

The efficiency of our end-to-end system, using automated workflows and straight-through processing where possible, enables our clients to focus on front-office activities such as relationship management.

ZM: How much investment is SEI making into fintech support to your wealth platforms to grow new business and bolster client confidence in your organisation?

AJ: The SEI Wealth Platform is designed to enable our clients to focus their attention on what they do best, servicing their end customers.

This means we are committed to making a continual investment in technology, spending approximately 8-10% of our annual revenue each year in research and development to address our clients’ challenges with keeping up with technology.

ZM: How is tech investment at SEI creating differentiation for your organisation in the market?

AJ: It is important for us to be able to offer our clients flexibility to use the SEI Wealth Platform in the way that works best for their business.

For some that might mean using all of SEI’s front-office services, and for others that might mean maintaining their own, and we continue to further broaden our integration services and API capability to enable this.