Faced with the very real prospects of clients coming down the track with less pension and housing wealth, how can you make the cost of servicing lower-value clients viable for your business, without losing the human relationships that are crucial to delivering trusted advice? The answer lies in using technology. It can drive efficiencies, streamline processes and deliver some of the journey, leaving advisers more time to spend on the more valuable aspects of advice. We see the future of advice as hybrid, with the adviser at the centre and technology providing robust support.
Let’s consider when a client first comes to you for advice. You can give them access to your client portal and ask them to complete some of the information for the initial fact find. They can upload their ID documents, so they don’t need to remember to bring their passport or driving licence for your first meeting.
Automatic prompts can encourage the client to start completing their personal details, family information, employment details and upload existing product information. They can record as much or as little information as they want, but asking the client to do this at a time convenient to them, when they are more likely to have all the details to hand, can save significant time in the face-to-face meeting. It also means the information should be completed correctly from the start.
If the client is comfortable doing so, they can also link their bank account and credit cards to the portal via open banking. This integration can help populate some of the income and expenditure information so neither of you will need to complete this manually. As the data is drawn directly from their banking information, it can also create a more accurate picture of the client’s wealth and outgoings, rather than the guesstimates you might have to come up with during a face-to-face meeting.
The portal may also include some simple forecasting tools, using their own data and basic scenarios to help the client think about how much money they might need to achieve their goals and inform their expectations. This can also give you a lot of insight into their financial aspirations, even before the first meeting.
Asking the client to complete a lot of the groundwork in advance frees up time in the face-to-face meeting to have a more meaningful conversation and better understand the client and their needs. With the client data already available you can hit the ground running at the first meeting. You can also use the time more effectively, to understand your client’s objectives and deliver a better outcome instead of having your head buried in a laptop writing down their date of birth and national insurance number.
By fully embracing technology, you can deliver advice efficiently and profitably. And you’ll also have time to build strong ongoing relationships that instil confidence and trust in your expertise and recommendations.