When Deploying New Customer-facing Technologies, Financial Services Firms Must Educate Advisors, Too.
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Article courtesy of Mark Officer, Qstream.
The wealth management industry is experiencing an unprecedented level of change, including increasing regulatory burdens, changing demographics, competitive threats and pricing pressures, all of which are coming together to form a perfect storm of disruption. One of the largest accelerators of change in this market is the availability of new, customer-facing technologies, and firms both large and small are rapidly embracing them to facilitate better communication, drive operational efficiencies and ensure regulatory compliance.
As has been the case in numerous other industries, tech-savvy clients are demanding increased access to self-service tools, resources and information. (For example, the rise of algorithm-based “robo-advisors” that can automatically allocate and rebalance investment portfolios.) Once seen as a threat, these tools are now being paired with “human advice” for a hybrid approach.
These changes are not without consequences for advisors and other customer-facing personnel charged with helping clients make and execute smart investment decisions. Advisors must adapt their client relationship skills to clearly articulate value and ensure clients understand how to use and benefit from the resources they bring to the table.
[US reference] Despite the uncertainty shrouding the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, wealth management firms who work with retirement plans or provide retirement planning advice are nonetheless gravitating to a fiduciary model of financial advice that limits the possibility for conflicts of interest. Technology can help in two ways. The first is in providing new financial planning solutions, such as online portals, that enable advisors to serve as a trusted advisor. Secondly, advisors will be looking to technology to help streamline new reporting and documentation requirements.
Wealth management firms that embrace this paradigm shift and position their financial advisors to leverage new technologies will be best positioned for success. However, this only comes to fruition if the advisors understand how and when to use these new tools for the benefit of their clients. The cost of these technologies and the new processes that go along with them are a significant investment in and of themselves, not to mention the investment of time and money to ensure that advisors are properly trained. So how do you know if your advisors have retained the requisite knowledge to apply new technologies to the client experience? Are they fully aware of all the available capabilities and how to position their use with clients?
Qstream offers a clinically proven approach to reinforce the adoption of new technology and business processes and prevent your team from reverting to old habits. Brief scenario-based challenges delivered to advisors’ desktop or mobile device every few days provide the opportunities for them to recall and apply their knowledge of new technology. Scenarios are delivered repeatedly over determined intervals of time until the new information or skill is mastered. Requiring just minutes a day, Qstream is clinically proven to increase knowledge retention by up to 170% while durably changing behaviour over the long-term.
An important part of Qstream’s broad appeal is the specificity and volume of data the system captures and then translates to provide management with a full picture of their team’s capabilities. With fluency heatmaps, visually displaying the initial and current performance levels of their team, managers can easily determine knowledge gaps and plan for appropriate coaching or remedial training. At the heart of heatmaps is a robust tagging system that lets organisations view performance trends in different and meaningful ways. Managers may find that the advisors’ baseline knowledge of a new technology is solid, but they lack the skills in how to apply it effectively with clients. Or, perhaps evaluate the knowledge and skills of your advisors based on tenure, region or specific job role.
Competitive conditions and shifting paradigms in client relationships will foster further investments in new technologies, including the redesign of current processes. Financial advisors have no choice but to embrace technology changes as an important tool in client satisfaction and their own success. Qstream helps wealth management organisations that want to ensure the return on their large-scale investments and redesigned processes. It’s scalable, mobile approach, takes only minutes a day of an advisors’ time, is highly scalable and secure and optimised for busy advisors. Request a demo today.