1.1. Current status & challenges
Keeping up with customer expectations can be challenging. Customers expect a whole lot more today than ever before. Their needs and wants are being reshaped by digital, social and mobile innovation. They want immediacy, simplicity and customized advice, and they want to communicate with their advisor whenever they want.
Contrary to the doomsayers, the trends in digital innovation are not a threat to the future role of the financial advisor. They are, in fact, forcing the role to evolve and become more service-oriented and customer-focused. To be successful, advisors need to know their clients well, understand their needs and keep pace with personalized big data analysis and corresponding system-driven investment proposals. This means being digitally prepared to communicate with clients on the channels of their choosing. Digital transformation must also consider the combination of advanced profiling with personal advice on investment alternatives.
1.2. Impetus to change & potential benefits
Banks have generally focused on technology as a means to drive efficiency, rather than enhance the customer experience and make it truly personal. One example are robo-advisors. It’s easy to see why these solutions have a place in the market as it is very useful for the customer to have access to information and personalized advice based on existing data and patterns. However good financial advice depends also on things that are beyond robotic capacity, such as intellectual capital, nuance and emotional interactions. Like other sectors of the industry, wealth management is grappling with a major question: What should be automated by robo-assisted services and what should be left to human expertise to best service clients? Most experts agree that it has to be a blend of both human and automated help, combining powerful technology with the guidance and expertise of an advisor.
Our belief is that clients don’t want to be left alone to browse and transact in a self-service universe at the detriment of a relationship. That means that there is a growing gap between well-delivered self-service and the actual sharing of human knowledge. The challenge is to bring them together so that digital is building personal, meaningful relationships, not disenfranchising them.
In our opinion, wealth management institutions should focus on making human conversation available for every online interaction and on every channel. Ultimately there is no replacement for building a trusting relationship based on the very human aspects of needs, hopes and fears.
When human touch and expertise is combined with technological capabilities, the financial advisor can provide truly holistic expertise, delivering value to end customer while driving revenue for the bank.
1.3. Opportunities & actions
Every conversation is an opportunity to get to know your customers, to be helpful, relate to them and ultimately guide them through their financial decisions. By implementing a conversational interface on their digital channels, they can be well-positioned to take the conversation to the next level with customers. The time is ripe to use conversations to drive these valuable, personal interactions that build loyalty. In our experience, the institutions that use conversational interfaces have the best shot at moving from being reactive to proactive. Advisors can have more frequent conversations with customers that lead to more business transactions and higher customer satisfaction. Effectively using digital channels provides the bank and their advisors with a unique opportunity to increase the level of client touch within the current resource capacity.
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This article was originally part of The Wealth Mosaic's WealthTech Views Client Engagement Report. You can access and download the full report here: