Why every financial adviser should create an omnichannel advice solution

Future technology concept, woman on laptop in the foreground and two more in conversation looking at a phone in the background

By AdviceBridge

We all want choice and flexibility. In the high-tech world of scrolling and swiping, we expect to be able to make and execute pretty much every decision on the go.

Omnichannel banking is already popular with clients around the world. Pre-pandemic, more people were doing their day-to-day banking online or in-app, and the Covid crisis accelerated more users to relying on digital banking services.

In February 2021, research from Finder.com revealed that 14 million people had opened a digital-only bank account. By the end of 2021, 38% of Brits will either have or intend to have a digital-only bank. If this plays out as expected, almost 20 million Brits will be doing their banking online.

Digital, or omnichannel, banking offers customers a high degree of adaptability. They can choose how they wish to communicate with their bank, whether that be by sending a text or chatting via video link. This ready and reliable choice boosts satisfaction and increases loyalty, which helps drive sales.

No wonder omnichannel is popular – with businesses and their customers. Read on for more reasons why financial advice firms should shift their service offerings to align with customer expectations.

First, let’s examine the terminology.

Omnichannel versus hybrid – is there a difference?

Omnichannel is a multichannel approach to sales that links together. It seeks to provide a seamless customer experience, whether they’re shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by phone, or in a brick-and-mortar store.

Omnichannel meshes channels together

Exceeding the operational tactics of multichannel, omnichannel is a business model that meshes channels together and shares data between them. This enables customers to conduct business with companies however and whenever they want.

Customers’ expectations continue to grow. They want instant, and consistent, information available at their fingertips, regardless of the channel they choose to engage with.

Research from McKinsey shows that more than 50% of customers engage with between three and five channels during each journey they take toward making a purchase or resolving a request.

Hybrid in the world of wealth management and financial advice

In the world of wealth management and financial advice, hybrid advice models combine digital solutions and a professional adviser to create a versatile experience for both the client and the adviser.

When the traditional approach of giving financial advice in face-to-face meetings was disrupted by the pandemic, hybrid advice became vital to survival.

Face-to-face morphed seamlessly into video calls, and this transition has caused increased demand and take-up of other digital solutions to improve customer experience. The good news is that these technology changes also decrease demands on advisers’ time.

Large corporations have already entered the hybrid space. In the last six months, M&G and Vanguard have both launched hybrid offerings to consumer clients with Quilter joining the party in recent weeks and these early players will lead the way for followers.

Clients are actively willing to embrace even more digital solutions

EY’s 2021 Global Wealth Management Report highlighted how Covid forced clients to accelerate their use of digital technology and their willingness to adapt the way they engaged with their wealth manager.

When asked if they intended to make greater use of digital tools in the future, the response was overwhelmingly positive: “Globally, 51% of clients plan to make even greater use of digital tools in the future and the figures are higher among millennials (78%) as well as clients in Latin America (74%) and Asia-Pacific (64%). One in two wealth clients also plans to engage more with their adviser virtually moving forward.”

Age is a key differentiator, with millennials twice as keen as baby boomers to receive advice virtually.

Here’s the full breakdown of results:

Source: EY 2021 Global Wealth Management Report

EY surveyed 2,500 wealth management clients in 21 geographies.

Other highlight findings were that clients now expect a greater range of tailored services than many firms can provide alone. And nearly half of respondents wish to consolidate all their financial activities in one place.

The growing use of digital tools is changing how clients view their providers. Many expect their wealth relationships to become less personal, for example, to be less face-to-face in the future.

They are also far more open to sharing their data than many wealth firms realise. This is especially true for younger generations seeking tailored experiences.

Why all this is good news for financial advice firms

In the traditional business model, financial advisers spend a lot of time on paperwork. Generating reports, setting up meetings, and collaborating with colleagues and compliance all take time.

And often, the necessary business-oriented communication between advisers and their clients can be more time-consuming than is ideal because operational processes are tedious.

Providing integrated digital financial advice will enable advisers to deliver even more highly customised advice, more effectively.

And because the right technology can help speed things up, you have more time to service more clients who are ready and willing to embrace this new digital approach.

Automate repetitive and administrative tasks

Financial advisers spend a large chunk of their time carrying out tasks that simple software can undertake such as reviewing customer portfolios, checking data,  and scheduling and planning meetings.

Technology is better, faster, and more intuitive than ever before.

Through complete automation, AdviceBridge saves you time and money.

By integrating the right technology into your business, you can increase profitability by working more efficiently. You have more time to service more clients profitably and can offer all your clients a wider range of service options.

And provide an ideal hybrid solution to your clients

The illustrative AdviceBridge client-side app creates greater touchpoints and helps increase familiarity and greater 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 benefit your business and your clients, please get in touch. Email hello@advicebridge.com or call us on 020 3925 3850.