The fear of having to make common financial decisions should be the last thing on your clients’ minds. In an industry where calculating, budgeting, and investing has become commoditized, technology should not only calm your clients’ anxiety but also help you provide concierge-level service.
The opposite of delight is what we call “frustration.” This is the angry feeling you get when an application feels like too much work, is hard to use, or just doesn’t work as expected. In practice, this is the feeling you might be giving to your clients when they make a commitment to work with you and are met with a stack of paper forms and a list of tasks that require hours to complete.
The FinTech industry is booming with new and innovative technologies to bring delightful experiences to your customers that keep them coming back and strengthen the advisor-client relationship. Here are some technology predictions that will soon be changing the user experience for your clients.
Technology will truly become an extension of the advisor.
There’s more to your brand than your logo. The language you use, the process you run, and the methodologies and philosophies behind your plans are why your clients choose you. The technology you use should be an extension of this.
Clients are used to having access to their most important assets 24/7 from their pocket, whether it’s checking their bank statements via their bank’s mobile app or paying a bill. Financial technology puts you right in that game. The important part is putting your advice and personality in there to help the client feel heard and understood any time they engage with their application.
When your client can engage with your online presence and get the same satisfaction of interacting with you or your staff, they’ll keep coming back and maybe even refer you to a friend or two.
Predictive analytics will let your clients be proactive instead of reactive.
Part of working with a financial advisor is having the peace of mind that someone has their back and is looking out for them. What if your financial technology could do the same?
Proactive messages that know clients’ behaviors and predict their next move are key to creating a more engaging experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to alert a client on their Friday drive home from work and remind them that they have $100 left in their “dining out” budget? How about reminding them that their accounts have had outstanding performance and that they should not sell on a day when the market isn’t doing well?
Knowing that the technology is proactively working on your behalf creates an engaging experience and a new level of credibility for your practice and gives you time back to address other tasks.
Clients will interact with their finances in new ways.
Logging into websites from desktop computers is quickly becoming the “old way.” Clients expect to have access to these features from wherever they are and whenever they want. Building off of this, we are starting to see completely new ways of interacting with these technologies that feel more natural and unobtrusive.
Conversational interfaces are one way of doing that. The future alternative to those lengthy paper forms is having a conversational interaction to obtain the data much like you would do in an in-person meeting. The recent open-sourcing of chatbots from Facebook and Amazon have really opened the doors to some exciting possibilities in this area. You have certain ways of talking about certain subjects that bring a level of humanization and understanding to the table, and soon your technology will too.
But, it’s not all about how your clients will interact with technology. It also matters how this technology will interact with them in ways that feel natural and compelling. Interesting facts that tell your clients things about their finances that they don’t know will keep their interest level high and provide those tidbits of delight. For an investment-focused client, a morning text message on the state of their accounts could be helpful, but helping them understand why they are in that state and what the next steps are saves time and surfaces your value as their advisor.
Smart actions and benchmarking will put the data to work for the client.
Data entry is one of those necessary evils for a financial advisor. A financial plan is only as robust as the data behind it, and it is often a hard sell to get a client on board with helping you gather that data. One of the dilemmas we often face is how to make this process more enticing to the client beyond “getting them organized.”
Data is a really powerful thing. So, in addition to making the data entry process work for the advisor, we also need to make that data entry process work for the client, too. Smart actions would allow a client to kick off quick actions for real-life use cases. We all know the list of things needed for buying a house, leasing a car, or taking out a loan, and much of this is data you have already collected. Optimizing for these real-life situations could put these comprehensive packages of information together with one click and remove that burden from the client so they can move on with their lives.
This data can also be used for benchmarking information. It’s human nature to be competitive, and the world of personal finance is no different. Comparing a client’s data to their demographic is one of those areas of delight that helps them “keep score” and gamify their finances.
What differentiates you and your practice from the others is the user experience that you offer. They aren’t buying your services, they’re buying your expertise, experiences, and the way you make them feel. Technology is rapidly helping to expand your brand and user experience to new audiences and use cases, and it’s just getting started.