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

Three dice showing three alternate ways to communicate hovering above male hand

By AdviceBridge

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know the important role technology plays in engaging clients in financial advice.

Last month, we looked at why financial advisers should create an omnichannel advice solution to service client needs. This month, join us as we dive into the data and show why advice firms must provide three engagement channels for every type of client.

EY’s 2021 Global Wealth Research Report surveyed 2,500 wealth management clients in 21 geographies and found that clients’ preferences divide pretty evenly:

  • 35% prefer adviser-led engagement
  • 28% favour digital-led advice
  • 37% sought an equal mix of both.

Appetite for digital-led engagement declines from 37% of mass affluent clients to just 6% among ultra-wealthy clients. And baby boomers are twice as likely as millennials to prefer adviser-led relationships.

The report also highlighted unexpected insights

So far, no real surprises. But the EY 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.

Added together, these findings mean that advice firms who insist on taking a myopic view by focusing solely on adviser- or digital-led models risk overlooking a highly lucrative middle ground.

The hybrid model is the most popular model, and not only in western nations. The same is true in markets as diverse as India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Singapore, and Sweden.

This hybrid mix of adviser and digital interaction is also the preferred choice for the ultra-wealthy and is sought by almost half of clients looking to move between providers.

Most clients prefer to receive customised financial advice directly from their adviser

And the research helpfully goes a step further, revealing that 76% of clients favouring hybrid advice would prefer to receive customised financial advice directly from their adviser. This may be via phone, video call or face-to-face.

Despite having to resort to video calls during the pandemic, appetite for face-to-face engagement trumps the desire for digital interactions when clients need advice on key life events. They prefer human interaction for retirement advice, or when making a career change, as well as other life events that require nuanced tailoring for a change in circumstances.

Here’s a detailed breakdown showing what advice clients around the world really want:

Source: EY 2021 Global Wealth Research Report

How AdviceBridge helps advice firms deliver what clients are seeking

You’ve got face-to-face advice down. Even if you’ve been providing in-person tailored advice via phone or video call since the start of the pandemic, your clients will know and trust you to deliver advice according to their personal circumstances. And they know that advice is only ever a phone call away.

But what about the digital side of things? Are you currently providing an option for your clients to use online tools to help them – and you – manage their wealth and engage in updating or reviewing their financial situation online?

This is just one area where AdviceBridge can help.

The illustrative client-side app creates greater touchpoints and helps increase familiarity and strengthen trust.

The goals-based tools enable your clients to see how altering their finances will affect them now and in retirement. And, crucially, they can access information 24/7.

The app will alert you to any updates or changes in their financial situation, enabling you to deliver timely, on-point advice with minimal effort.

Get in touch

If you want to find out how AdviceBridge can help you deliver the service your clients now expect, please get in touch. Email or call us on 020 3925 3850.