Swiss Bank Brings Virtual Consultancy to Wealth Management
Financial institutions around the world have been providing online banking options to customers for many years. But the more nuanced areas of consultation and wealth planning have traditionally taken place only in-person at local branches. Today, this is beginning to change. One Swiss wealth planning firm, VermögensZentrum (VZ), recently made the decision to make the entire client service experience available over the internet.
## A Quarter Century of Expertise Goes Online
The firm provides an extensive array of services to its clientele, including heritage and real estate planning along with management of all areas of finance. With 25 years in operation, VZ is a well-known and trusted organization within its current service areas. However, this is just the beginning of the story. This financial institution has exciting goals to grow its Swiss presence and expand beyond the nation’s borders.
According to Project Manager Shun Chao Guo, VZ’s team wants to do more than focus on customers located in major metropolitan areas. They want the ability to serve all of Switzerland. However, the topography of the nation poses a challenge. “We are in a geographic area with many mountains. There are hidden villages in remote regions that make it difficult to connect with clients.” Building branches in every location the institution seeks to serve would be a cost-intensive and lengthy process. Modern technology in the form of Veeting’s Web Realtime Communication (WebRTC) solution can help them bridge the gap and achieve their mission to deliver wealth management expertise throughout the country and beyond.
“Our goal is to go online over all our offices. Our consultants and clients will have access to more options. They can choose how to connect.”
While reaching new customers is a key part of VZ’s plan, existing customers also benefit from the implementation of virtual meeting rooms. Surprisingly, the early adopters of this solution aren’t necessarily the younger, more tech-savvy customers. According to Shun Chao, “We have many older clients who find it a hardship to travel to come to our office. At the same time, they are not comfortable with having an advisor visit them in their home for a consultation.” Veeting provides a solution that satisfies the need for face-to-face interaction while maintaining professional boundaries. Consultants at VZ can communicate directly from the convenience of the central office or any branch while the customer remains comfortably at home.
Rolling Out Virtual Wealth Management
VermögensZentrum uses Veeting to provide the same services online as it has traditionally done offline, from setting appointments to gathering information, finding solutions, offering advice, and creating agreements. The virtual meeting software provides the opportunity for one-to-one consultations—an essential element in engagements that delve into highly private financial information.
As with any change, there was initial hesitation about replacing in-person meetings with virtual interaction. However, once consultants experienced the convenience of the solution, they were quick to change their minds. Shun Chao revealed, “Now, they are asking if they can use it.”
The response from clients was positive as well. For those who hesitated to travel or who simply couldn’t access VZ’s expertise otherwise, web conferencing proved to be a significant benefit. In fact, online meetings had distinct advantages in delivering even higher-quality service to clients. The organization found they could loop in experts on specific topics more easily.
“We might have one person from Zurich and one in Bern. They can come together to advise clients without the delays caused by coordinating schedules to travel and arrange meetings in person.”
Naturally, there are still many clients who prefer traditional, in-person contact. They can still visit local branches and speak in-person with VZ advisors. Having more options simply helps the institution satisfy the needs and preferences of their entire customer base.
What’s Next for VermögensZentrum?
While only a handful of consultants within the organization use Veeting currently, plans for widescale adoption are in the works. According to Shun Chao, “Our goal is to go online over all our offices. Our consultants and clients will have access to more options. They can choose how to connect.”
While one-to-one consultations are the core of daily client service, the additional features available in Veeting will support VZ in new client acquisition as well. In particular, VZ uses the software’s one-to-many functionality for educational webinars to inform and engage potential customers. With the ability to reach its target audience in Switzerland and surrounding countries without the burden of building infrastructure for facilities on the ground, the company is well prepared to meet its business growth goals over the coming months and years.