Let’s take a look at the areas which represent a large cost within the advice process. Once we know what these are, then you can seek out digital tools to take those problems away for you and your clients.
These can include but are not limited to:
- Factfinding – For most advisers this is a choice of giving your clients paper forms to fill out before you meet them or you attempt to capture this information with the client in person at the first meeting, often before they see any value in return. It’s time consuming, a hassle, and more importantly results in your clients guessing at much of the data especially in areas like expenditure.
- Paperwork – This is a significant cost to your business (paper, printing, postage, time delays) and then your clients have the job of filing it all away when it arrives.
- Portfolio reporting - It's costly for you to pull it all together and ensure it is up to date, tends to be spreadsheet based which is difficult for clients to interpret, is produced on a periodic basis (when we are now in an on demand world) and it only takes into account the stuff you manage for them so it’s only one part of a client’s financial life.
- Ongoing communications - Market commentaries, general marketing, budget updates etc. to your clients (some of it paper based, some of it via your website, some of it via email) none of which are particularly secure channels of communications. These can be costly for you to deliver and just noise to your clients if it’s not in context with their personal circumstances.
A good digital platform can help automate all of these processes and meet your clients’ expectations without you having to be Nutmeg.
Most firms are still delivering paper based reporting to clients.
How many of you are thinking about the future customer?
The problem is that the data is out of date the minute you send it, its probably sent insecurely through the post or via email and when your client gets it, they have the job of filing it all away. We all have to work harder to justify our fees as even 0.5% in a 3% world isn’t going to wash if all you do is add complexity.
Ernst & Young highlighted a strong digital proposition is a key way to win clients away from existing wealth managers. This is now an area of focus for their strategic budgets to retain existing customers or win new ones.
Our industry tells the client to focus on the long term investment horizon, however how many of you can truly say you have a proposition for the long term too? How many of you are thinking about the future customer? If you are, are you confident you are not making massive assumptions on what the next generation wants?
In my next article, I‘ll get you thinking about how your future clients are using technology today and what this could mean for your business...
Mik Cons - CEO
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