Financial advice is a personal service – it requires trust between an adviser and client to help people reach their goals. The way to build this bond is through client engagement.
Yet as recently as 2019, CoreData research found that advisers were only holding annual meetings with fewer than three-quarters of their clients.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. The advent of lockdowns pushed those holding out to quickly adopt digital communication methods, creating more efficient client touch points. In Midwinter’s 2021 client survey, almost 50% of respondents indicated they were planning to increase their use of online meetings in the next 2 years.
Research by ACMA found that the pandemic prompted 34% of retirees to start using video conferencing for the first time while 41% increased their use. An estimated 15% of people aged 65 and above started using online legal, financial, or other professional consultations for the first time.
Online meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Skype are now a standard part of advice practices.
It underlines the need for advice software to bolster engagement with digital tools that keep clients on track towards their goals, help increase their financial confidence, and ultimately retains their business.
Digital advice tools can also help attract new clients, who expect more than simple calculators and generic information that they can find for free online.
Calculators need to consider the complex interplay between clients’ multiple goals and the trade-offs inherent in every financial decision. Yet digital tools also need to be intuitive and help guide them on the path to achieving their goals.
Tools should build confidence and boost financial literacy – interactive digital tools convert learning into action, a powerful approach to help build understanding. They lay the groundwork, so clients are more prepared when they see their adviser and better understand the value of personal financial advice.
They can also make meetings more meaningful, helping advisers demonstrate financial concepts and the implications of different decisions to their clients in real-time.
These are no longer a ‘nice to have’ feature but a core component that should be built into advice software.
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