Mik Cons, CEO of moneyinfo Limited.
Last week, I talked about how it is a great time to be an adviser but that as an industry we need to adapt to make things simpler (click here to read article). In my article next week I’m going to talk about areas that could be improved and automated. First, let’s take a look at what your clients are saying:
The key headline is that some 73% of clients want digital options to allow access to their own account information. This isn’t a differentiator, it’s just a basic expectation and hygiene factor which many firms still are not meeting. You are always going to get a handful of clients who still want everything on paper. However, they are not the future of your business.
So is digital and robo-advice the answer? We are seeing emerging trends suggesting that although investors are increasingly seeking more digital interaction from their advisers, ideally they want a hybrid approach and access to advice where and when it suits them.
The research shows that few investors will be comfortable letting a machine handle all their investments; only 6% would trust this to be delivered by robo-advice, whereas 40% say they want financial advice mostly from a human adviser but with a digital component; another 27% said they want digital tools mostly but with access to a human adviser as needed.
The issue is, our industry is nowhere near as advanced as other industries in meeting these expectations. I’m sure there are people reading this who believe ‘my business is different’ or ‘our clients don’t want that stuff’. Maybe some don’t, but the trend is only moving in one direction. If you build your business based on what your clients say they want now, don't be surprised when they find a better way of doing things and you are not in a position to react.
What’s more, none of this stuff has to be difficult. To begin to create a better digital experience to support a robust and compliant advice proposition, one which is underpinned by an adviser, you just need to look at the stuff you do other than the advice itself, which is cumbersome, time consuming and frankly a pain for you and your clients.
In my next article I will look at how many of the more mundane processes can be automated by using a shared digital interface with your clients.
Mik Cons - CEO
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