Digital Transformation Can Be as Easy as 1-2-3
Digital evolution isn’t a new concept in financial advising, though it might have seemed more like a mid- or long-term goal instead of a pressing imperative. But, as in many other industries, a pandemic changes everything — client engagement across digital wealth management channels increased tenfold in the first quarter of 2020, concurrent with the global explosion of COVID-19 and subsequent social distancing measures. The same report quoted 75% of global wealth managers saying that digital services as a top priority in a post-2020 world. Here’s how to jumpstart your digital transformation and ensure you’re making tech-savvy choices.
Choose Right the First Time
There’s certainly a wealth of choice in the digital solutions market, but take care: too many tools can be just as dangerous as too few. Implementation, training, app-switching, and poor integration can all suck time and productivity away from advisors, as well as leaving potential compliance and security gaps.
How to avoid tech bloat? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Know what needs solving. Picking the right tool for the job will save more time than anything. Weigh tech investment against KPIs and prioritize from there. If necessary, hire a digital consultant to weigh in.
- Require integration. Every part of a firm’s digital arsenal should be able to connect and share information, such as data gathered in a CRM automatically populating forms in a document management system. If your platform doesn’t allow easy integration of APIs and other tools, it could cost more time in troubleshooting.
- Leverage automation. AI-driven processes can verify compliance, update client information across platforms, assist onboarding, and reduce errors — ultimately leading to fewer NIGOs and more time for advisors to focus on nurturing relationships and building their clienteles.
Focus on Client-Facing Changes
You can get a sense of which way the wind is blowing by seeing where the competition is spending money. And although increasing productivity and profitability behind the scenes is vital for long-term growth, most wealth management firms say that they’ll be investing the bulk of their digital budgets on two client-facing areas: front-end digital experience and client onboarding.
And it makes sense, because clients want to see top-tier tech competence in their financial advisors — after all, they’ve grown accustomed to seamless digital tools at their fingertips in other areas of their lives. From their first visit to a financial advising platform, through the onboarding process, and on through day-to-day touchpoints and account management, clients should sense that digital coherence matters to the people handling their assets.
Capture Upcoming Investors with Emerging Tools
Though all client segments are making more use of digital options in light of COVID-19, it’s especially relevant to the fastest-growing group: Millennials, who stand to inherit up to $68 trillion dollars over the next decades. Two-thirds of Millennials already use apps to access banking and financial services.
And younger clients, including Gen-Z, are more open to disruptive and emerging technologies, such as so-called robo-advisors. Algorithm-driven investing primarily serves clients under 40 years of age, and is forecast to soon reach $1 trillion AUM. Robo-advising isn’t the right fit for every firm, but it does point to an important principle: that it pays to be aware of new technologies that are attractive to clients. A digital-forward firm can meet investors where they already are, instead of attempting to move clients from face-to-face engagement to a digital platform.
Looking to fast-forward your digital transformation? Docupace combines smart solutions into a fully-integrated platform to fit every financial advising need. Schedule a demo today.