Clients expect access to their finances from 5 am to 11 pm – extend your office hours or ???
The Covid-19 pandemic caused people to change their habits and alter the way they live their lives. One of the significant impacts of the pandemic was the way we use apps on our devices and their increasing role in helping us to complete everyday tasks.
Banking and financial services could not be accessed during the pandemic as easily. So, using apps (where available) helped people keep on top of their finances, transfer money, and make payments.
Financial services apps also help with budgeting and saving. People who may never have thought to use a mobile app for these services were forced to do so. When they discovered how easy and convenient they were to use, they began to rely on the technology more.
The past few years have seen vast numbers of financial services move into the digital space, and customers are making the most of the changes.
The use of digital financial services has exploded
According to the Ipsos-Forbes Advisor, 76% of Americans have used their banks’ mobile app for everyday banking tasks. While in the UK, 80% of people use some form of online banking. According to research from Statista, a whopping 93% of people are projected to use online banking this year.
But where does that leave traditional financial services? Should you follow the digital trend for your business, or should your office open for longer hours to make access to your services more convenient for your customers? Let’s look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of both.
Benefits of providing a digital service
Digital apps provide access to accounts at all hours
Traditional financial services companies are typically open on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm.
However, that does not match the needs of many of their clients. Customers may find it challenging to visit within these traditional office hours or have to plan around their life to fit it in.
With digital services, customers can gain 24/7 access to their finances, as well as some types of guidance and advice. This is more convenient for the customer and can save them time and hassle.
Digital can provide more options
People like a choice, especially when alternatives are convenient for them. Going digital can allow your clients to check their balances, pay funds in a variety of ways, and provide various degrees of advice.
Additionally, if they want to speak to someone, they can more easily schedule a call or a meeting with their advisor using calendar scheduling within the app.
Going digital can save your business money
It will reduce outgoing costs for you. You won’t have to hire extra people outside of core hours to ensure you remain available at a time convenient for your customers. Your operating costs will be lower, and you could have the ability to streamline your back-end processes. This could have the additional advantage of reducing the number of potential human mistakes.
Going digital will keep your business competitive
With many different people and companies in the financial services sector, staying competitive is essential. Making your services digital will increase your customers’ options, which will go a long way in retaining and attracting customers. This is especially true of pre-retirees and younger generations, who tend to prefer digital solutions.
Drawbacks of providing a digital service
Poor technology could cause customers to move elsewhere
A survey by Deloitte found that people in the US are more comfortable completing their finances online. 30% of millennial and Gen X consumers stated they preferred an app or online portal to access a customer service agent or financial advisor.
However, if they feel let down by the quality of the technology being used and poor customer service features within the app, the customer will find somewhere else that offers them what they want.
Customers prefer a hybrid model
Many financial service clients enjoy the ease technology has added to their lives. They love that they can access their finances and advice quickly, at times suitable for them. Yet, numerous people also prefer interaction with another person.
For instance, EY’s 2021 Global Wealth Research Report, found that clients’ preferences between digital- and adviser-led engagement divide pretty evenly:
- 35% prefer adviser-led engagement
- 28% favour digital-led advice
- 37% seek an equal mix of both.
To appeal to as many prospective and current clients as possible, applying a hybrid model may benefit your business. Keep certain hours for your office to be open and make advisers available to talk face-to-face or over the phone, while also providing an underlying digital option so clients can access their financial information on the go, anytime and anywhere.
AdviceBridge helps clients manage their money better
The AdviceBridge app could help your business provide that hybrid model going forward. The online service can help your clients manage their financial situation at the touch of a button.
The goals-based system enables your clients to see how altering their finances will affect them now and in retirement. They can access information 24/7, providing the speed and convenience that everyone wants.
Get in touch