Successful Advisors Balance Tech with a Human Touch
Thanks to advanced innovation in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA), repetitive tasks have been automated, lengthy workflows have been streamlined, and previously ambiguous insight into customer’s financial patterns has been deepened. However, many firms have struggled to leverage these new solutions while maintaining a human touch.
Top wealth management firms have achieved a balance between adopting new technology and keeping the advisor connection by utilizing new solutions and technologies in processes that are not client-facing, including data entry, risk analysis, performance analytics and process automation. The approach ensures that clients can access technology’s ease and convenience while having access to an advisor should questions or concerns arise.
Clients Still Crave Human Interaction
Even with today’s rapid digital shift, there are still individuals who prefer a human touch. One survey by Edward Jones found that 83% of respondents preferred working with a human advisor compared to the 17% of those who preferred working with a robo-advisor.
When it comes to money, customers naturally prefer to interact with people because money management is a highly emotional issue. Regardless of how much wealth a client has, an individual’s financial goals and priorities will evolve as they move through different life phases. Because of this, many want to communicate with someone who not only understands these emotions but who has possibly experienced them as well.
For example, during the COVID-19 outbreak, thousands of individuals turned to their advisors for advice on their 401K withdrawals or investment risks. Only a human investor could understand the numbers and the emotion behind the current health and economic concerns.
Additionally, an advisor has the emotional intelligence (EQ) to determine where a client is emotionally. Based on a client’s social cues, they can determine when they are frustrated, overwhelmed, or happy and provide the appropriate human response, be that advice or empathy. As advisors become an integral part of their clients’ emotional lives, a deeper, more trusting relationship is formed. Once this trust has been formed, firms can then turn to data analytics, AI, and machine learning to drive results and value for clients.
Leveraging Technology to Deliver Quality Advice
While many clients feel that having a human touch is important, they still expect wealth management firms to utilize new technology. In the same survey by Edward Jones, 95% of those polled stated they expect financial advisors to use the latest technology and tools as part of the advising process. Firms that utilize AI to analyze financial trends, chatbots for customer service needs and data analytics to understand clients’ needs or the financial markets command a competitive advantage over other firms. Additionally, this new technology increases customer satisfaction as employees can respond quickly to customer concerns.
Analytics, machine learning and AI enable advisors to provide personalized, strategic advice based on the current financial market and clients’ unique needs. Additionally, many of these technologies handle repetitive or mundane tasks, freeing up more of an advisor’s time, allowing them to focus on strategic concerns such as ensuring clients have enough life insurance or maximizing investments.
Finding the Human-Technology Balance
The emergence of AI, big data, and machine learning has revolutionized how wealth management firms do business. These technologies enable financial advisors to streamline workflows and automate business processes and bolster the way they care for clients. Rather than spending most of their time crunching numbers, analyzing financial trends, or entering data, they can spend more one-on-one time with clients, discussing future investments, business opportunities, and other large-scale priorities.
Successful wealth management advisors leverage technological innovation to provide more time for human empathy and relationship building. Achieving this balance ensures that clients get results and offers a human connection where it’s needed most.