As a result of the coronavirus you will have found the usual ways of interacting with your clients has changed, but the need to support and communicate with them is just as important.
These materials are designed to guide you on how to stay connected with your clients and continue delivering valuable financial advice during these difficult times.
Using Intelligent Office has been of significant benefit to our business during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The efficient workflow management system available within Intelligent Office has enabled us to transition to homeworking with relative ease, the market leading client portal also provides us with a secure way to keep in touch with our clients during this challenging period.
Given recent restrictions, we at Mercer Financial Planning were able to transition our working practices from an office to home working based model overnight. The combination of all staff working from a laptop and our use of the best practice Advice Flow in Intelligent Office, linked with the iO Document Storage and Personal Finance Portal, has allowed us to seamlessly service our clients and meet their Tax Year End Requirements.
At TFA we are fortunate that the current requirement to stay at home has had minimal impact on our day to day operations. This has been due to our investment in cloud-based technology over the last few years enabling all our advisers, administrators and management to have total flexibility with regards to where they can work from. Our approach has been to build on our core cloud-based platform, Intelligent Office. By using Document Designer and DocuSign via PFP we have an almost complete digital end to end process for our clients and advisers, they communicate and share documents quickly, easily and securely which has been of particular value, to quote one of our advisers: “PFP has been a godsend in this crisis.” In addition, our telephony system being cloud based has meant we could move everyone to home working, with the exact same functionality via app-based mobile integration as they had in the office, to clients there is no difference, we remain contactable on the same numbers and extensions. Technology at its best, thankfully!
Salesmen will tell you anything… When I was told that by using Intelligent Office as my back office system, could save my business operations during an emergency and that it could be used anywhere, as long as we would link up to the net, I smiled and though it was just a ploy to get me to sign on the dotted line.
Nearly ten years to the day after picking Intelligent Office as my back office provider, I realised the foundations of the statements, and how important my choice of provider was, and will be during this medical emergency.
My team relocated, working from home, with access to the back office systems, and as important, client in touch with us using the portal where we can exchange confidential correspondence, not being reliant on the postal service. Immediately before the fiscal year end is never the best time for a lockdown over the UK because of the Coronavirus, but, I have to say that other than the day to day post we have to manage, we have operated close to our usual operating standard with our teams sat in bedrooms and kitchen tables.
Thank you Intelligent Office, without you this would have been far more difficult.
LEBC Group already had plans to enhance our technological support. The Covid – 19 outbreak meant that what would ordinarily have been achieved in months has taken weeks.
We have introduced AI to support our report writing and paraplanning, use Microsoft Teams to communicate with each other and clients and have adopted web based Intelliflo's client portal, enabling the secure exchange of documents and information.
For some time, we have offered multi-channel advice, including our bionic advice services which enable online access for advice on wills, mortgages and life cover. We introduced an app, Hummingbird, in January which uses open banking technology supplied by Moneyhub. It enables clients to collect all their financial data in one place and share it with us, speeding up the fact-finding process.
Our telephone-based services are configured around Voice over internet portal (VOIP) so that we can share calls around the business when we closed our offices and divert these to our PCs This means that calls to our offices are seamlessly transferred. Clients are delighted we are maintaining full services for them, apart from face to face meetings.
Product providers and platforms have largely amended their working practices by accepting electronic signatures and scanned documents.
Team meetings and briefings have continued and to keep up staff morale we have introduced a virtual kitchen, our own radio station which is holding a Eurovision style contest and Friday after work virtual pub.
As the Director and main adviser of the firm I never really had the time to embrace and understand the benefits of using IO when we become directly authorised in January 2019. However during the lockdown following the Covid-19 pandemic, I actually had no choice than to quickly have to learn how to use the system and master even its basic functions ranging from adding a plan and fee on to updating tasks.
I decided to take full advantage all this extra time I had available to me to really start to understand the systems full functionality, in particular the integrations, client portal and the advice flow. In a matter of weeks and with the excellent support from Martin our account manager, the community and the academy videos I have now massively seen the benefits that the system can give and our vastly improved Adviser index score of 599 shows testimony to that.
We are now much better positioned to service our clients and run the business easier whilst working remotely and with very limited staff. Clients now really like both the security and functionality of the portal and have all mostly embraced our modern and new way of working.