It’s essential that financial advisors do all they can to attract and retain the best clients. This is why the latest data analytics technology is focused on identifying business opportunities both for new business and to give current clients the best possible experience. According to a recent survey from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, however, advisors rank among the lowest in the financial services industry when it comes to tech literacy. These findings demonstrate the importance of prioritizing growth strategies, and prove that advisors can make a big difference by making the right knowledge investment.
“Many advisors haven’t responded to new digital trends.”
The PwC report was based on interviews with financial professionals including wealth managers, executives and financial technology firms, as well as data from 1,000 high net worth individuals from around the world. By integrating insight from both parties, the study was able to pinpoint weaknesses in the traditional strategies of some financial services firms, and make specific recommendations for how the industry should move forward.
One of the primary findings of the PwC report concerned the low digital response of most financial advisors. According to the study, only 25 percent of wealth managers offer their clients access to some digital channel other than email. At the same time, 69 percent of high net worth investors said they used multiple digital finance applications every day, like mobile banking.
Perhaps as a result, few clients surveyed said they would recommend their current advisor. Just 39 percent of the entire group said they would refer others to their wealth manager, and only 22 percent of investors worth more than $10 million reported the same.
As it turns out, high net worth individuals may be among the most receptive markets to new finance tech. Almost half of those surveyed told PwC they were considering roboadvising services as an alternative, but many recognized that this wasn’t the ideal solution. With this in mind, it’s clear that financial professionals who slack on innovation are likely to fall behind the pack when it comes to client retention.
How can traditional advisors compete against the growing competition? In many ways, they just need to keep providing the same high level of service they always have, just from a different angle. According to recent studies on the impact of roboadvising and other disruptive financial technology, it’s up to advisors to market themselves as the smart choice for clients who want a personal touch.
Financial firms don’t just need to include automated investing services into their product mix. Allowing clients to get a more hands-on look at what advisors are doing, and even ceding a little more control to them, can be helpful. Mobile banking apps have proven hugely beneficial for most conventional banks because they allow customers to accomplish routine tasks quickly. Advisors could take a similar approach by developing a mobile app or revitalizing their website to make it more client-friendly. When clients can stay apprised of all the goings-on with their investments at all times, they may be more generally satisfied.
Modern-day financial professionals must walk a fine line between innovation and tradition. Neither of these things have to ultimately limit business potential, however. With the right strategies in place, financial advisors can see major boosts in client acquisition and retention, leading to bigger gains throughout the business. The important part of accomplishing this is keeping an open mind and always looking ahead. These are the qualities of a successful financial partnership.