Why Relationships Still Matter in a Digital Self-Service World

Published by Emily Traxler, Director - Manager, Marketing
October 25th, 2017

 

Digital self-service technology is here to stay. Today, nearly everyone uses technology to track their finances, and many also use automated wealth management tools to invest.

Today’s tech-savvy investors appreciate the streamlined experience and insights at the tip of their fingers, but human-free investing lacks the personal connection needed to build long-term relationships that withstand the tests of time and market volatility.

Robo Advice Is on the Rise

Human-free advice is the future of wealth management. Its popularity is surging, most notably among millennials, and its efficiency is undeniable. By simplifying the entire investment experience and giving investors unprecedented access to financial data, automated wealth management tools have become a popular, low-cost alternative to traditional financial advisors.

Automating reporting systems and processes has enhanced the wealth management sector. Plenty of new investors – typically younger or lower net worth individuals have entered the space spurring an expansion through a non-traditional financial models of advice. These solutions come with some drawbacks, however.

The most significant element of the investment experience that automated tools overlook is personalization. Clients are more than just their wealth and financial plans. They are people with families, passions, and goals that warrant the care and experience that only human advisors provide. When things go awry in the market and investors need calming, steadying guidance, digital self-service solutions will not allay their fears or fill their needs.

Should automated wealth management platforms take over the market, retention could become a significant problem for firms. Client retention through both good and bad financial times is contingent on the relationships advisors have nurtured with investors. Without trust and personal connections anchoring investors to firms, it becomes harder for firms to maintain client relationships, especially through turbulent times in the market.

How Technology Strengthens Investor-Client Relationships

Despite the popularity of digital self-service tools, relationships still matter. Financial advisors provide expert insights, credibility, and empathy throughout their relationships with investors. They are keen listeners who provide mindful advice. These qualities help to cultivate the trust required for clients to feel comfortable and confident that their wealth is being looked after shrewdly and with care, especially during times of market volatility. Technology alone cannot replicate the personalized support a financial advisor provides investors.

The best way to honor the need for wealth management technology platforms, and the conveniences it affords, is to offer traditional financial advisory services that capitalize on the tools’ ability to help nurture connections between clients and advisors. Advisors who utilize financial technology to the fullest increase the quality of service they provide and cultivate tight relationships with their clients. For example, when an advisor receives notification that a client is reviewing asset allocations, they can initiate a conversation about that particular data interaction and provide personalized support.

The most technologically adept advisors leverage technology to save time and boost their efficiency while gaining strategic insights about their clients. They then use the information they have gleaned to improve the level of service they deliver. They are adept at using the technology to develop their investor relationships long term and expand business opportunities with those clients.

 

 

Tools to Empower Investors and Advisors

Choosing comprehensive technology that enhances efficiency for advisors while providing investors with access to data and greater control over their investments empowers both investors and advisors to make the most of the investment experience. The right tool offers advisors the most current information available to keep their clients abreast of their investment results while streamlining workflow and supporting long-term objectives.

CORE, First Rate’s web-based investment performance and client reporting platform, does an excellent job handling back office heavy lifting so advisors can stay connected with their clients and focused on nurturing investor relationships. By minimizing the manual process burden on advisors, CORE increases their capacity to serve investors’ needs and develop additional opportunities.

 

About the Author: Emily Traxler, Marketing Delivery Manager, has been with First Rate since 2010. In her role she manages the Marketing team to expand awareness of the First Rate brand, fill a robust sales pipeline and maintain a positive image of First Rate and its products and services. Outside of First Rate Emily is an advocate for Jessica Glenn’s Special Spaces DFW changing lives one bedroom at a time. Connect with Emily via Twitter or LinkedIn.

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