Overcoming the 3 big mistakes advisers make when providing digital services to their clients

Cartoon man sitting on branch he’s sawing through.

By AdviceBridge

If you’re keen to introduce some form of additional digital service to your clients but don’t know where to start, this article will help you understand three of the most common mistakes advice firms make.

Once people have a better understanding of how AdviceBridge can be used to enhance their business processes and the services they provide to clients, many conversations turn to concerns around which clients it’s best used for.

Many advisers are keen to adopt a digital solution because they can see value in the potential for easing the time-consuming onboarding process – for business and for their clients.

However, while the idea of being able to provide clients with a self-serve or automated experience appeals, few seem to grasp that they can take things further.

The good news is that advice firms can, and almost certainly should, use technology to underpin their main client service.

Read more: Struggling to introduce automation to ALL your clients?

Have your cake and eat it too

By improving clients’ digital experience while simultaneously simplifying back-office processes and procedures, in effect you can have your cake and eat it too.

Done right, a digital advice solution can save time and increase profits.

So, here are the three biggest mistakes to avoid:

1. Attempting to find a digital solution identical to your current onboarding and ongoing service offering

First things first: tear up the rule book.

During the early stages of onboarding clients to AdviceBridge, many of the firms we work with waste time due to a false belief that they must review their current business processes to understand how they’d use this new, automated service.

While this sounds sensible, if a business hasn’t already documented their business process (and few have) they can easily spend up to three months detailing every aspect of the process involved in delivering their service offering.

Problem is, all that is out.

Digital requires a new way of thinking. Now that you have a system that does everything for you, old processes become obsolete.

Go even broader and you can have a number of pathways which clients can come through, effectively enhancing or widening your client service offerings.

2. Believing that the business benefits of a digital service only apply when using it for less profitable clients

This is a blocking issue that many advice firms need to overcome.

If you don’t understand how to position the technology and automation you are providing to clients, you’re probably at risk of missing opportunities to enhance every client experience.

While one good reason to introduce automation is that it can help make less profitable clients more viable for your business, those slightly less well-off aren’t the only people that can benefit from a digital advice solution.

Some higher net worth clients also want a digital service*, or at least the option to choose.

According to research, most consumers actively want digital automation, and high net worth clients are no different. EY’s 2021 Global Wealth Report revealed that 25% of high net worth and 20% of very high net worth clients see digital tools as their first choice for engagement.

Read more: The figures don’t lie: Why advice firms must provide all three engagement channels (adviser, digital, and hybrid) for all client types

*Not just the ability to onboard a client digitally through a fact-find but provide a live financial plan that the client can access 24/7 and run their own scenarios or adaptations through.

3. Thinking digital services hold no appeal for older clients

Many advisers we speak to think that a digital service will only be embraced by younger generations and are often reluctant to introduce technology to their older clients.

Primarily, advisers believe it will be too complicated. They automatically assume that it will be time-consuming and difficult to educate senior clients in how to use the tech. The overarching expectation is that it will cause countless difficulties.

But research proves that this assumption is wrong. In fact, advice clients in their 50s and 60s are the most active portal users.

This may be because people in this age range are most likely to have engaged with the financial planning process and understand its power. Another reason may be that they are often closer to, or at, retirement and so have a greater interest in how their decisions will affect their income in later life.

Research from Age UK revealed the number of older people managing their finances online in 2021 as follows:

  • 68% of those aged 50 – 64
  • 59% of those aged 65 – 74
  • 44% of people aged 75 and over.

Considering that many older clients have adapted or increased their reliance on technology over the last couple of years, the idea of introducing them to the immediacy and flexibility of a digital client service to stay abreast of their financial situation may be more welcome than you thought.

Improve business processes and reap the rewards

The AdviceBridge platform enables you to effortlessly deliver financial plans to a wide range of clients profitably. The digital solution automates many of the manual, time-consuming processes.

With seamless integration with other elements of your back-office processes, AdviceBridge replaces the unengaging, complicated, and time-consuming tasks with engaging, insightful and meaningful information and recommendations.

Introduce all your clients to AdviceBridge

The client-facing app allows your clients to interact with goals and scenarios 24/7 and you’ll get an instant alert telling you about their actions. This means that you will know when their circumstances may be changing and when they could benefit from additional support and advice.

Get in touch

Find out more about our service and how we can help you and your clients by emailing us at hello@advicebridge.com, booking a demo, or calling us on 020 3925 3850.