Don’t ignore the pulse of your marketplace.
If you do, you run the risk of leaving serious opportunities on the table. Business leaders who are in-tune with the influences shaping their industry are in a better position to evolve as their customer needs evolve. They are the pioneers. The ones who stay at the forefront of innovation year after year.
By understanding the effects of these outside forces, you place yourself in a better position to satisfy your clients and continue to find success. Below, you’ll find three of the major influencers affecting the customer experience in today’s financial service industry.
The Digital Disruption
The people have spoken – and with enthusiasm. Across industries, consumers are siding with businesses that offer on-demand and digital experiences. And the companies that embraced these digital experiences, such as Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb, have won big.
It’s easy to see why. Business models built on “disruptive” technology follow a philosophy to create less roadblocks between services offered and consumer demands. In a sense, the digital disruptors made billions of dollars by saving clients both time and effort.
- Almost half of U.S. households use streaming media services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Many are disconnecting their cable TV packages.
- In 2012, the ridesharing industry was valued at $0. Today, it’s valued in the billions.
- Warren Buffet endorsed Airbnb, encouraging stakeholders to use this service when looking for lodging for Berkshire Weekend.
New online and on-demand services pop up every day, from legal advice, to tutoring, and even haircuts. Have you ever used video to chat with a friend? Or shared a picture on social media? Guess what – you’ve already joined the digital revolution. And chances are your clients have too.
Transfer of Wealth
Over the next 30 to 40 years, $30 trillion in assets will transfer from Baby Boomers to Millennials.
Put the numbers aside for a moment. You knew, eventually, that Millennials would inherit their parents’ wealth. But what may not have been obvious is that a majority of your client’s children don’t consider you their financial advisor. In fact, more than half of Millennials say they would fire their parents’ advisor after they receive their inheritance. If you haven’t made a real connection with the next generation by that time, you could see your client-base shrink, and your AUM and annual production along with it
Understanding what motivates Millennials starts with technology. Think of Millennials as the poster children of the Digital Disruption. When it comes to tech-driven experiences, their expectations are sky-high. And when businesses don’t deliver the experience they want, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth.
- 74% of Millennials think technology makes life easier. And 56% said new tech allows people to use their time more efficiently.
- Affluent Millennials are twice as likely to use social media to inform their financial decisions.
- 75% of investors under 50 prefer a mix of digital and human sources of investment advice.
The transfer of wealth is a big reason why many businesses have catered their experiences around technology. To deliver their value to the next generation, they need to have a presence where Millennials are online. Financial professionals who position their experiences towards Millennials will find similar success in the future.
Progressive Fintech and Government Regulations
The financial services industry shape-shifts year after year. With every new regulation passed, and every new tech trend that emerges, the way you deliver your service and present your experience has to change. You’ve seen the headlines:
- Advisors Fear DOL Fiduciary Rule Could Hurt Their Service Models
- Vanguard’s virtual RIA adds $10 billion in last six-month period, an acceleration to $1.6 billion per month of net new assets
- Robo Advisers to Run $2 Trillion by 2020 if This Model Is Right
Influences such as these make clients question the value of your service, whether warranted or not. So unless your client relationships are rock solid, they may wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else from time to time. Finding ways to create strong, collaborative relationships with your clients will keep them engaged, calm their fears, and establish you as their trusted financial guide.
How Does Your Experience Hold Up?
The influences shaping today’s financial service industry can give you a baseline to improve your own financial experience. With this baseline, evaluate aspects of your experience to see whether they align with your clients expectations.