Barclays new website is also noteworthy for its high-tech approach to helping clients get the most out of the service; its back-end booking system will allow clients to check the availability of the events/experiences and book direct, which will in turn trigger an email to their banker to keep them in the loop. The initial concept behind the project was “time well spent” and so Barclays is keen to make the portal as time-efficient to use as it is enjoyable.
Clearly, Barclays isn’t launching this service just out of the goodness of its heart, as providing clients with money-can’t-buy experiences is a popular method through which wealth managers attempt to build up good will and do more business with their biggest clients, most of whom are multi-banked. It also goes without saying that such offerings help firms to gather invaluable information on where their clients’ passions lie and to exceed their expectations in terms of client service.
Lifestyle information which naturally accrues to a relationship manager over time may have historically been carried “in the head” of bankers (and away with them when they changed jobs), but firms are increasingly looking to gather this data systematically to mitigate so-called “key man risk”. Otherwise, an employee’s departure could mean that incredibly valuable information as to a client’s interests is lost forever – simply because it was never formally recorded.
Jacqui Brabazon, group head, marketing and philanthropy, at Standard Chartered Private Bank, who served on the editorial panel for Reaching Out To The High Net Worth, said this on the issue:
"As an industry I don’t think that we have terribly good systems in place to capture information which enables us to make the client experience better – to the extent to which other industries use that type of technology. Other industries use technology a lot to drive their client experience. We don’t as an industry; instead we rely on the private banker."
While data capture systems may have historically been regarded with suspicion by the old guard of private banking, it seems that firms are increasingly recognising the role technology can play in delivering “the personal touch”. In this regard Barclays would certainly seem to be at the vanguard of a new wave of tech-savvy wealth managers.