If you study for years to perfect your skills, you are presumably motivated by a desire to be the best you can possibly be. When faced with a potential threat to your long-term career security, you willunderstandably want to prevent it. Most financial advisers we speak with take pride in their ability to construct robust financial plans which help clients feel more secure and in control of their finances. At the heart of all this for them, is the quality of the client relationship. The connection that an adviser has ultimately builds trust - a hard feat for the best of robots.
We all know the world is changing. The demand for a fantastic customer experience has not changed. However, if anything, experiences are what set human-centred brands apart from those who exclusively employ automation. The channels through which people expect to receive this experience have also evolved and become more digital-centric, a fact that often frustrates bastions of ‘hands on’ or ‘practical, solid’ industries. Jumping on the inevitable digital band wagon and meeting your client where they are (often scrolling through Instagram or logging onto the FT online) does not mean placing all your adviser eggs in a purely digital basket! A great ‘advice experience’ should happen through all channels (face-to-face included), regardless of the rate at which tech continues to pervade our lives.
Adopting this approach is not just about moving with the times, but to future-proof one’s business and ensure you stand up to the benchmark of ‘the new normal’. Cultivating a positive picture of your adviser service and ensuring it combines the speed and efficiency of tech whilst maintaining that human experience is essential for building trust. Another thing we all know is that the advice gap is growing. There are millions of people wanting financial advice and only 26,000 advisers to serve the market in the UK.
We all need to get used to the idea that a digital and human advice experience are not mutually exclusive. Instead, the perfect marriage of technology and human expertise is enabling human advisers to bridge the advice gap to better serve the existing market and realise their piece of the pie, which can only get bigger given the potential growth that still exists within the advice sector.
The component parts to any advice journey have the potential to harness technology to make the advice process more efficient. Wealth Wizards recently conducted a study that found that using technology to improve the advice experience, could reduce each new advice case by 13 hours. Having the ability to free up this time is something we would all want, surely?! But still, the pace of digital adoption in the industry is best described as ‘cautious’. Why is that?
We believe that this slow pace is based on a fear of being replaced by technology. This is compounded by the fear that the next step forward, i.e. the increasing prevalence of the digital ‘front end’ for advice will replace the human connection that the industry is based on. Again, the rise of the machines does not mean the decline of the humans! There is an overriding fear of the unknown and the perception that technology is still unproven in the advice sector. We beg to differ, and having seen the results first hand, we know there are many ways in which advisers can embrace technology to improve both their own and their customer’s experience.