Over the past 30 years, technology has played a huge role in the way advisors run their business.
Typically, this role was predicated on customer needs, which we know change at the drop of a hat. It seems as though the minute everyone jumped aboard the information super-highway, they were already looking to adopt the next big thing.
Desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, wearable tech. These advances in technology dictate how businesses operate today.
But what role will technology will play in the future? We can only speculate. But by looking into the past, we may start to envision how technology will shape our business relationships in the future.
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The Way Things Were
The financial industry got its first real taste of software efficiency when Microsoft rolled out their Office line of products.
Microsoft Word, Outlook, and a little program called Excel allowed you to digitize your workflow and backup your work. Presentations were either made with PowerPoint, or printed and handed to your clients in a three-ring binder.
While this system could get you from point A to point B, it didn’t exactly help your business thrive. Nothing was comprehensive, nor did it help you improve your client relationships. It was merely a way to organize your process.
The Way Things Are
Today, there are dozens of financial technology solutions that help you run and grow your business.
Financial planning software allows you to easily update plans without fat-fingering your data entry. Digital document management systems let you ditch the filing cabinets and paper statements so you can pass important documents back and forth with your clients quickly and easily. And customer relationship management software helps you identify new business opportunities.
There’s also account aggregation software, performance reporting software, business analytic software, collaborative communication tools, and client portals just to name a few. Depending on your area of financial expertise, you could use any number of combinations.
Even with tech adoption on the rise, there are still some financial professionals who use the Excel-approach. Unfortunately for these advisors, the customer experience grows more digital and on-demand by the day. And as their competition caters to these experiences, the spreadsheet-and-calculator advisors will have a harder time keeping up using archaic technology, losing time and business in the process.
The advisors who’ve adopted technology will be in a better position. Progressive FinTech companies will begin packaging various tech solutions under a single platform, making technology more affordable.
And as FinTech companies continue to develop tools with the advisor in mind, they’ll not only have an edge over old-school advisors, but also self-directed financial solutions, otherwise known as robo-advisors. These advisors will combine the power and efficiency of technology, with the human touch and expertise only they can provide.
This is the kind of customer experience clients expect, which helps future-proof the advisor’s practice.
Of course, this is simply a prediction. But one thing is certain: as time marches forward, technology will continue to play a big role in scaling workflow, automating tasks, and winning the advisor new business.