Equisoft recently attended the 2019 Wealth Professional Innovation & Strategy Summit, and the theme of the summit was, “Innovating for a changing landscape in modern financial planning.” The presentations throughout the day repeatedly illustrated how enhanced client engagement and new technologies intersect to create greater opportunities than ever before.
Separate yourself from other advisors
When it comes to client engagement, advisors do a great job of managing the core discussions with their clients around wealth management, but in several different presentations the point was made that there are lots of other conversations that advisors could be having with their clients. Speakers highlighted the importance of engaging customers in discussions about other financial issues that can significantly impact a client, family and business—like, long-term care, succession planning, and pro-active tax discussions for example.
These types of less common, but vitally important conversations, can deliver surprising and greater customer experiences. They uncover needs a client may not have even considered and that can be a real differentiator—setting an advisor apart from his or her competitors. As one speaker said, the key to creating deep client relationships is to, “Be so good, they can’t ignore you.”
Top advisors understand this premise and build their practices and their approach to client engagement around that principle. They leverage technology to ensure they uncover all client needs and present the best solutions.
Making the most of a scarce resource
The pace of innovation in financial services continues to accelerate. A key question facing all stakeholders in the industry is, how they can leverage emerging or innovative technologies to streamline their practices and find more time for their clients.
Consider that, globally, we only scratching the surface of how interconnected technology is making us, and what effects that might have on how we live and work. One of the presenters pointed out that today, 4.6 Billion people are connected to the Internet through their phones. It seems like a huge number, but there are 7.6 billion people in the world—so there could be as many as another 3 billion phones connected to the Internet in 5 years. And, for every phone connected to the Internet, there are 8 Internet of Things (IOT) devices (watches, cars, thermostats, televisions, etc.) that are also connected.
All these billions of devices compete for our time, sometimes to our benefit—such as technologies that enable us to serve clients anywhere and anytime they want—but sometimes to our detriment—like when we have to sort through volumes of communications that don’t have value or relevance to us. At Equisoft we believe strongly that technology should be a remover of roadblocks, an enabler, and a creator of our most precious resource—time.
A look forward
We foresee that, over the next 5-10 years, our industry will be transformed by new technologies like robotics and AI. New advances will help us make better decisions, and free us from low-value, manual tasks, so we can spend more time with our clients. Analytics engines will leverage huge volumes of data, enabling us to build innovative solutions that deliver deeply personalized service—and guide our customers and advisors towards improved behaviors and outcomes.
In conjunction with our partners, we envision a future in which all industry stakeholders find efficiencies that enable everyone to work at the highest level of their capability, in service of creating great client experiences and exceeding their expectations.