It’s impossible to ignore the increasing role technology plays in our daily lives. It’s all around us changing our expectations for how we do business and interact with others. And that goes for the financial advisory industry as well.
The client of the future is driving the need for engagement, mobility, transparency and a redefined user experience across all aspects of the business world. The pen and paper model of doing business is changing; making way for new technology that deepens client engagement and allows for increased collaboration, as well as mobility and virtual interaction.
Clients increasingly want a more interactive experience with their financial advisor and to play a bigger role in the financial planning process – from getting started with an advisor, to developing, reviewing and calibrating their investment strategy. They want to be involved from wherever they are in the world, in addition to holding a face-to-face meeting, looking at figures on paper or manually filling out forms and information.
Financial advisors and firms are adapting
These technology tools are making a real impact on how advisors do business and interact with the client of the future:
- CRM. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools can dramatically streamline practice workflow and reduce or eliminate duplicative tasks and data transferring. An integrated and comprehensive CRM system can have a significant impact on advisor productivity, so you can focus on more strategic financial planning and client engagement.
- Digitization/Automation. The pen and paper model of filling out forms and transferring client information between applications isn’t productive for advisors or clients. Automation can auto-populate forms, integrate data and document management and speed up account opening and business processing – all allowing for more productivity and efficiency for you and your staff.
- Robo Offerings Powered by Human Advice. Robo offerings, especially those integrated into more-comprehensive financial planning, are reaching a broader population. The capabilities provided by robos can help the do-it-yourselfers get started and the more experienced investors stay connected to their advisors. This hybrid approach to planning empowers clients to be a bigger part of the financial planning process, but still enables you to advise them on what’s in their best interest.
- Regulatory Compliance. In today’s ever-changing regulatory environment, you need everything you do in your practice to have a streamlined path to compliance. As the financial services industry continues to release new regulations, being integrated through digital platforms with strong Compliance oversight is key.
- Marketing. Marketing and branding are more important than ever for the client of the future, being bombarded with information, advertising and content on financial advice. Customized marketing tools that allow you to connect and stay front-of-mind with clients will be important in continuing and increasing client engagement.
- Social Media. Social media allows for sharing thought leadership, building a strong brand and reputation, provoking new ideas and staying in touch with clients through social interactions.
- Virtual and Mobile. Virtual meeting technology, visual and interactive presentations, graphic illustrators and calculator tools are all ways to improve the overall user experience for clients of the future. These tools make it easier for clients to see their financial planning goals and work collaboratively with advisors from wherever they are in the world.
The world around us is constantly changing. Financial advisors need to continue to evolve and adapt, incorporating integrated technology into their businesses to help meet the changing needs of the client of the future in the new digital world. And as an industry, we will continue to find ways to innovate and offer financial planning, education and wealth management to the client of the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucy Gase is the senior vice president of LFN Distribution Transformation for Lincoln Financial Network responsible for executive strategic leadership and overall project leadership of Lincoln Financial Network’s integrated technology solutions transformation.