Expectation vs. Reality: Challenging the Traditional TAMP Onboarding Illusion

If you’ve had any kind of onboarding experience before, with either a TAMP or traditional advisor technology provider, it was probably accompanied by several of these popular buzzwords: Flexible. Comprehensive training. Personalized. White glove.

Onboarding should include all of those things – but it rarely does.

In this blog, we take a look at the most common terms TAMPs use to describe their onboarding process, and explore what you should actually be looking for from each.

Expectation vs. Reality

Flexible: A fan favorite, flexibility has become a catch-all for every slight accommodation a provider is willing to make, during the onboarding process and beyond. In reality, most TAMPs are highly inflexible in the ways that actually matter to their clients, unable to adapt their monolith, slow-moving model to meet individual client needs.

What flexible actually looks like: Accommodating different investment management philosophies, such as advisor managed vs. third party, allowing for the adoption of customizable preferences, like billing monthly instead of quarterly in arrears, and, perhaps most importantly, the ability to choose which of the TAMP’s software modules you want to use (without having to pay for all of them).

Personalized: TAMPs are indeed technology platforms, but they’re also supposed to be service providers. Personalized attention, paid to both your business itself and the people who make it up, is key to any successful provider-client relationship – especially in the early stages. However, most TAMPs rarely take the time to understand their prospects’ businesses at all, much less get to know the people that make them up on a meaningful level.

What personalized actually looks like: A dedicated Strategic Consultant that digs deep into your firm’s specific challenges to help ensure you’re using the platform in the way that makes the most sense for you – who also knows the names of your team members, why you got into the wealth management industry in the first place, and that your kid’s baseball team won the district championship last year.

Comprehensive Training: Typically, comprehensive is a misnomer. TAMP training often consists of one to two introductory onboarding calls, followed by direction to “visit the resource center” for further (self-guided) training and guidance – but generalized demo videos and one-sheeters can’t replace a real human answering hyper-specific platform questions.

What robust training actually looks like: Live, tailored training sessions with each department so all of your team members understand the platform, plus weekly check-in calls prior to your official launch date to ensure everything is going smoothly and the plan stays on schedule.

White Glove: The term white glove implies that special care and attention is paid to a process or service – which is exactly what you want as you’re doing the precarious work of transitioning your business to a brand new platform. Unfortunately, most TAMPs fail on execution because their focus is getting as many firms onboarded as quickly as possible, not making sure it’s done with care.

What white glove actually looks like: Helping to repaper custodial accounts, obtaining and loading historical data into the new platform, as well as continued outreach from your dedicated Strategic Consultant about new features or platform enhancements specific to your firm’s needs.

The Importance of Exceptional Onboarding

TAMPs that treat the onboarding process like an afterthought do a disservice to their clients, their clients’ clients, and, perhaps most significantly, their own businesses. Onboarding is the first real experience an advisory firm has with a TAMP (and we don’t have to remind you what they say about first impressions).

For advisors and other employees who may be on the fence about adopting the TAMP model, or switching to a new TAMP, a great onboarding experience can make or break the relationship.

Redefining the TAMP Onboarding Process

GeoWealth built its powerful technology from the ground up to enable flexibility, personalization and white-glove service for every unique business structure, beginning with the very first onboarding and training call.

Our dedication to supporting you doesn’t stop when your firm is up and running. As we get to know your firm on a deeper level, we turn our understanding into powerful growth opportunities, recommending new processes, guidance, and assistance to drive further efficiency and cost savings.

Don’t confuse buzzwords with business results. Work with a TAMP that has your back from the start. Click here to get in touch with GeoWealth today.