Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Digitize Your Financial Advisory Firm
A recent visit to the doctor's office made me think about the importance of technology in creating great client experiences. From my appointment confirmation to meeting with several doctors, it was almost seamless.
It should be no different in wealth management. Financial advisory firms need to embrace technology in order to deliver a great client experience. Here are my top five reasons why your firm should digitize:
1. Attract new business by optimizing your online presence
Before selecting a doctor, I googled several options. Only after I read up on expertise and education did I choose a practice.
Your prospects are doing the same thing when considering working with you. Have you ever searched for your firm online? What about searching for “financial advisor” in your local area to check out where you rank in the list of local firms? If you haven’t done so, you should try it. To maximize favorable awareness of your brand, you want to 'own' your search results and extend your professional brand across many platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, professional societies, etc. By paving a path that leads people to you, you will maximize opportunities for new business.
2. Add convenience by using a scheduling app
My schedule is busy. It’s hard enough for me to make time for doctor visits…and it makes it even harder if the office requires me to make a phone call to schedule an appointment. It takes time, patience and coordination to work with another human being.
I am always very appreciative when I can book doctor visits online – and I know your clients feel the same way about visiting you. The convenience of scheduling online makes your firm more user-friendly. Millennials, especially, expect convenient access to online scheduling tools.
3. Start a relationship seamlessly via paperless onboarding
Although some doctor’s offices have moved to ‘digital’ form-filling, mine has not yet done so. When I arrived, I had to fill out the dreaded clipboard forms (by hand) to update any changes in my health status.
Don’t settle for this subpar experience at your wealth management firm. For your prospects or clients interested in opening a new account, the ability to do so digitally is an excellent value add. Seamless, digital account opening allows clients to simply walk through the onboarding process, digitally sign forms (from your firm and your custodian) as well as complete ACH and ACAT transfers. If you’re not offering a digital onboarding solution, you’re missing out
4. Ensure consistency by utilizing CRM
At my visit, the nurses and doctors all carried laptops. My medical information was available for medical personnel that met with me. This approach made my experience stress-free and gave me confidence knowing they knew why I was there.
Having a reliable client relationship management (CRM) platform makes working with clients and staying up-to-date with their financial world possible. The ability to see everything and make assessments on their financial strategy is the reason why clients work with advisors. They trust you to consider all of their information to diagnose and prescribe solutions. A CRM solution, iPad, tablet and smart screen are all excellent tools to help your firm become digital.
5. Offer a unique experience through modern technology
Unfortunately, once I left the doctor’s office, I was left without a meaningful digital trail of my appointment. If only I had a ‘medical portal’ to visit…I could review my medical information, past activity, doctor notes and diagnoses all in one digital place. Perhaps I could even renew my prescriptions without heading into a physical location.
This digital dream is coming true in wealth management, where firms are offering modern digital client portals. There, clients can aggregate outside accounts, store important documents and contact their advisor 24/7 is a service MOST high net-worth individuals are looking for. Do you provide this level of service?
Whether it’s medical advice or wealth management advice, firms that utilize technology as a competitive advantage are light years ahead of their peers. We’re living in a technology-driven world, where convenience and omnichannel connection are key. Don’t get left behind.
How do you begin digitizing your firm? Start small and choose one option from the list above.
I appreciate feedback and would love to hear from firms adopting new technology - or firms who are already implementing the ideas listed. Make sure you also read how Stonebridge Financial Group has used wealth management technology to grow and retain prospects. Here’s to starting Q4 with a positive and modern approach.
About Stefanie Fetterolf
Stefanie has been a part of the FinTech industry for the nearly a decade, serving as a Customer Service Representative, Trainer, Sales Specialist, Team Lead, and currently as Client Development & Training Manager. She enjoys helping financial professionals and their teams learn about best practices from industry experts. Stefanie's experiences have taken her all over the country - teaching classroom style workshops, presenting at conferences and hosting round-table discussions with top financial producers.