Client experience will be a primary measure of advisor value. Exposure to social networks and digitally enhanced and intuitive retail experiences has already begun to transform clients’ expectations. This trend will continue. The same level of digital experience clients enjoy in other aspects of life will erode their tolerance for outdated fintech and taint their overall experience.
Technology will help advisors build trust. Clients trust technology when the applications they interact with are well-designed, intuitive, transparent and accurate. When technology fails, clients lose faith that their advisor has what it takes.
The “I Want What I Want When I Want It” mentality will intensify. Overwhelmed by the volume of information thrust upon them, consumers ignore it until they need it, at which time they expect immediate solutions. Mobile access, the speed of delivery, personalization and a bundled client experience will all be in high demand. Ultimately, the walls now dividing online versus in-person interactions will crumble and new communication paths will emerge.
Advisors will no longer be plagued with as many non-value-added tasks. Advisors of the future will be able to personalize, customize and simplify the digital experience easily. Today’s siloed partners will evolve into interconnected app stacks across the ecosystem of partners, and they will improve navigation and reduce inefficiencies, redundancies and inconsistencies, increasing advisor efficiency and productivity.
Data-driven innovations and offerings. Technology platforms will provide a framework for user data to drive innovations. This will be possible with an open-architecture system that creates a network effect by allowing data to flow between interrelated APIs. The network effect will facilitate what Oliver Wyman recently described as “flywheel momentum.” Flywheel momentum is created by collecting and combining data in ways that enable increasingly value-added services for customers. Artificial intelligence will rapidly gain speed as more behaviors and data are gathered and mapped. AI will evolve from being predictive to having the ability to execute on behalf of the consumer.
Gamification will help identify needs and design solutions. A digital experience that includes elements of gamification will engage with clients and encourage the sharing of information.
Advisors will wield greater influence and value. Open application programming interfaces and the ability to create a unified experience will allow advisors to merge all aspects of the client’s financial life. The likely result will be inclusive of other wellness measures, like physical and psychological. This will allow for a more-streamlined intersection of data and the opportunity for a constructive and meaningful AI overlay.
Clients will use their voices. Consumers conduct all sorts of daily activities by shouting commands into digital home devices. They will soon expect to bellow a directive to move money between their brokerage accounts, too. Not only will voice commands revolutionize clients’ engagement, but they will change how advisors work, as well. Advisors will continue the trend of untethering from a fixed workstation.
The benchmark of “we.” Tomorrow’s clients will have grown up in the age of “how many likes did I get,” which may create a demand for real-time reporting and comparison against a “rank” relative to peers. Social benchmarking may join “performance against goals” and “performance against indices” as a meaningful data point.
Race to the future. We believe the fintech of the 2050s will address these digitally influenced client expectations and deliver an integrated, open framework that leverages client engagement to drive deeper insights and better results. The race is on to see which providers can create a platform of engagement that improves client experience and drives top-line growth.
Lori Hardwick and Mike Zebrowski are co-founders of Advisor Innovation Labs.