How are new tech solutions altering the advisor role?
The wealth management industry is in mid-transformation. Digital solutions are the incoming answer to how to reform age-old practices and meet the consumer where they now live. Online. In digital environments where needs are uncovered and met in real-time. Where service is hyper-personalized. Where interactions are channel-agnostic and data follows the client from call center inquiries to chatbots through to portal transactions and even face-to-face advisor meetings.
In this new digital environment, consumers have evolved into experience seekers who are expecting to educate themselves, who want access to information and expertise on-demand‒and have more interest in results than being patient.
That’s not a description of the investor advisors have been dealing with for generations. Clearing the high bar created by these new expectations will require advisors to evolve with their customers. And this evolution will have to be enabled by digital technologies that parallel those that today’s consumer is used to dealing with when they interact with companies in other industries.
The digital advisor is supported by a tech stack of integrated solutions that makes their new approach to the role and their customer possible. This tech ecosystem has a number of goals:
- Deeper faster understanding of consumer needs
- Increasing personalization of solutions
- Streamlined, as real-time as you can make it, processes
- Headache reduction
- Optimized investment outcomes
When those conditions are met, they result in higher customer engagement, greater satisfaction, and deeper, longer-term relationships.
3 Foundational digital advisor technologies
There are three cornerstone technologies that underpin an advisor’s successful transformation into a digitally enabled consultant:
1. Bespoke Client Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for financial advisors
CRM solutions designed specifically for financial advisors can improve prospecting, customer onboarding, client support, and communication‒resulting in increased efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Intelligent forms, auto-completion and electronic signatures are all features of current CRMs that help speed up the data collection process. They align wealth management processes for customers with client experiences outside of the financial services industry.
CRMs also enhance advisor-client communication. Integrated data and email functionality makes it easy to exchange and confirm information. Built-in forms and templates enable advisors to easily build and execute targeted marketing campaigns. Filters and segmentation tools mean advisors can focus on the client sets with very specific needs. And activity management features ensure that no steps, tasks or meetings get overlooked. Everything happens when the client expects it, every time. All client calls, meeting notes and documentation is connected to the client record and ‘frozen’ when a task is completed creating automatic and bulletproof audit trails for compliance purposes.
2. Financial planning solutions
There was a time when financial planning was a back of the envelope calculation. Unstructured and based on ad hoc interactions. That approach is too variable, unreliable and incomplete to work today. Modern investors expect a streamlined discovery process that is participative, easy and fast.
Modern planning solutions are designed to uncover a client’s entire set of personal circumstances, objectives and constraints methodically, strategically and repeatably.
With digital planning solutions that are integrated with their bespoke CRM, advisors can easily access a client's current situation and future financial requirements. There’s no need for advisors or clients to re-enter data and the streamlined discovery process uncovers a full range of investment needs.
This type of holistic and compliance-oriented financial planning software enables advisors to easily build comprehensive financial portraits of their client’s current situation and utilize integrated guidance to create credible, needs-based plans for their future.
Clients can be confident that the solutions they are presented with are the ideal match to their range of future needs.
3. Portfolio design and analytics software
The final foundational technology for the evolving digital advisor is a comprehensive portfolio design and analytics tool. These tools enable advisors to easily create professional and persuasive investment proposals, investment policy statements (IPS) or portfolio analysis reports. They perform institutional-grade investment and portfolio analytics on those recommendations, helping advisors streamline their investment solution due diligence processes.
These tools are a big leap forward for the digital advisor. They enable advisors to up their analysis game and provide even higher quality advice to their clients in a time-efficient manner.
In some cases, these tools include client portals that enable advisors and clients to work in the manner that suits them best. They automate low-level tasks that take advisors away from higher-value activities. And advisors can differentiate the type of service they offer to different client segments‒from fully-automated portal service to hybrid solutions that marry advisor interactions with portal access.
They provide a more omnichannel experience for clients and streamline service processes, bringing the experience in line with modern client expectations.
Putting it all together
Clearing the high bar set by today’s investor requires advisors to evolve into technology enabled, experts who can deliver results while also providing exceptional customer experiences. The foundation for successfully completing this transformation is the integrated array of wealth management solutions that deliver on investor expectations. Advisors who are able to take advantage of the new generation of tools will be successful in meeting more client needs, streamlining processes and providing higher quality advice.