The danger of doing nothing: Platform transitions are rarely as difficult as many advisers fear

grown man on beach with head buried in the sand

By AdviceBridge

You may have read about how to choose a back-office system last month. This month, find out why you may fear the idea of a platform transition more than you should.

When did you last review your platform choices? It’s a question we ask regularly, and its one that many advisers may choose to avoid because of the potential hassles of integrating new technology into your business.

Ways to recognise you’ve been putting off the inevitable

Reviewing, refreshing, and upgrading technology takes a significant amount of time; time you may feel you can’t afford to spend if you feel your current business processes are working just fine.

But is “just fine” good enough?

Some have suggested that advisers should re-evaluate the platform they use every couple of years. But having spent a significant amount of time analysing, choosing, and signing up to a platform, it seems unlikely anyone would want to revisit their decision so soon.

Should advisers be making a cleaner transition?

One challenge of choosing a new platform could be that you expand the number of different technologies you’re using in your business. This often means that firms may opt to leave assets on existing platforms and only assign new business to new platforms, which can cause issues later down the line.

There’s also the potential business disruption and having to spend time training staff to work with the new platform.

While there are likely multiple reasons advisers often fail to make a clean transition to fully embrace the new platform, it’s another reason why no action may seem preferable to having to deal with the perceived transitioning headaches.

Platform transitions rarely end up being difficult to execute

As highlighted in a report from LangCat, platform transitions rarely end up being as difficult to execute as many fear. However, stubbornly sticking with the same platform could create risk for advice firms.

PROD rules demand that you segment your clients to meet individual needs. Leaving investment clients on platforms without regularly reviewing either the platform or the client’s needs could end up being a regulatory nightmare.

There’s also the question of whether an old platform is best for long-standing clients. Does being left on the same platform that was in use when their portfolios were set up still serve them?

If a new platform is good enough for new clients, surely it makes sense to transition existing clients to newer technology. As the LangCat report admits, most clients don’t care what platform they’re on, “as long as it works and is safe”.

Therefore, switching your existing clients from an old platform to a new one shouldn’t cause any real issues. In fact, it could be a great way to show how proactive you are in ensuring your clients feel valued and help reinforce your interest in delivering the right result.

What to look for when choosing a new platform

The most important thing to remember when choosing your platforms is your clients. If the platform doesn’t meet the needs of your clients, it will not deliver for you or your business.

And the LangCat report also makes a point that price is only one factor you should consider. So, don’t just look at the cheapest product on offer as this may not serve you well.

All or nothing? How to transition clients on to your new platform

If you’re ready to make a move to a new platform, here are three ways to make a successful transition.

1. Find the right partner, offering the right resources. Do your analysis and carefully vet your new platform to ensure it will deliver all the tools you want to better serve your clients.

Also, consider what they offer to help smooth the transition. Ask about the experience of the platform’s onboarding team and how many successful transitions they have completed.

Another good question is how long a transition will typically take. Ask about any training they offer and make sure you’ll get all the support and information you need to integrate the new platform into your business with as little disruption at possible.

Ensure your new platform delivers world-class technology tools to help your business run efficiently and securely.

2. Don’t ignore onboard training. Once you’ve selected your new platform, make sure you check out the training materials and actually use them. If you skip this part, you could fail to utilise all the potential offered by your new platform and create problems further down the line if staff don’t know how to use the technology to full effect.

Take training seriously and you’re also more likely to transition quicker and start enjoying revenue uptick sooner too.

3. Only tell your clients once you have completed the transition. Your relationships with clients may be strong, and even personal, but there are some things you should keep to yourself. Resist the urge to share your plans to transition to a different platform.

The time to communicate the change to your clients is when you’ve registered with your new platform. And then it is vital.

Clients like continuity, so make sure that you communicate clearly and reassure them by sharing how the change will be better.

Once you’ve shared the news, be ready to answer questions your clients might have.

Why AdviceBridge could be the perfect solution for you and your clients

We developed the AdviceBridge solution to help advice firms automate their processes for new and existing clients. Automation means you spend less time on admin, research, and reports and can dedicate more time to focus on client relationships.

With AdviceBridge, you can reduce the time to onboard a new client from 35 to 40 hours to as little as 5 hours.

How it works

The AdviceBridge platform is a powerful and intelligent advice engine. It collects and analyses all relevant client data before delivering the optimum solution. It then produces a review or recommendation report without you having to lift a finger.

The system does all the following:

  • Fact-find
  • Research of current investments
  • Analysis of what solutions are currently being used, e.g. tax wrappers, investment products
  • Produces the recommendation report or review.

The technology does all the analysis for you and delivers the best solution available to your client, showing exactly how much they will save in fees and tax.

AdviceBridge also helps improve client engagement. The client-side app is accessible 24/7 and the easy-to-use interface can be used to update and check on their financial situation.

The platform is the only system offering this degree of automation. It’s intuitive and easy to use for you, and your clients. And, because it makes financial planning less time-consuming and more affordable, it can actively help your advice firm become more profitable.

Get in touch

If you want to find out how AdviceBridge can help you grow your business, please get in touch. Email or call us on 020 3925 3850.