Peer-to-peer lending. KYC services. AI. Stock & trading apps. What some are calling a “tsunami” of fintech innovation is washing across the financial services sector. Disruption isn’t exactly toppling incumbents left and right. But the impact is very real.
For example, having carved a lucrative niche in wealth management, robo-advisor platforms like WealthSimple have captivated media attention. Meanwhile, leading firms increasingly turn to FinTech companies and other digital solutions to stay ahead in an alarmingly cut-throat market.
If you’re looking for ways to upgrade your practice – don’t worry. Change can feel daunting even for the most innovative teams. But it doesn’t have to be complicated (or even expensive). Consider the following strategies that can help you kick-start your digital transformation.
1. Embrace different ways to connect with clients
As discussed previously, client expectations are changing. Surveys show millennials favour shorter, rapid-fire conversations over the formal sit-down. Embracing their preferred conversation styles and mediums, like email and text, will ensure you cater to their preferences.
Still, you don’t want to lose that personal touch. Face-to-face communication in certain situations, like during an emergency, is still vital to the success of your practice. A video conferencing solution like Zoom or Goto Meeting provides a convenient alternative. These services allow you to set up web conferences in seconds for quick, personal conversations that cost you next to nothing. Plus, you’ll save time by facing less pressure to “fill the hour”.
2. Start digitizing your documents
Advisors have to collect, sign and store scans of forms for each and every client because of stiff regulatory requirements that seem to grow more onerous every year. Thankfully, there are plenty of apps to help shrink the pile (or at least make it more manageable). For example, a CRM with a generous cloud storage allotment provides a safe, convenient place to store hundreds of thousands of digitized documents that you can then retrieve in seconds using search and filter features.
To eliminate tedious print-sign-fax workflows, also consider a solution like EchoSign or Docusign. These are legal and safe for everyday contracts and forms – and can reduce approval times from days to seconds, while cutting down on office paper overhead. As an added bonus, e-sign tools used with a modern tablet and stylus will look slick from the client’s perspective.
3. Turn your marketing up a notch
Another strategy is to up the ante on your marketing outreach. This can help you acquire new clients and doesn’t have to entail hiring an entire marketing team. A few simple outreach strategies and a reasonable monthly investment can quickly boost your bottom line. Consider the tons of user-friendly marketing tools out there already. Solutions like MailChimp can help you automate professional marketing newsletters — while others, including HubSpot, simplify capture of prospect and new client information.
4. Consider robo-platforms built for advisors
While it’s tempting to see robo-advisor solutions as the enemy, you do so at the risk of missing out on a tremendous opportunity. Many have created advisor-facing platforms worth checking out — as has been the case with Wealthsimple and Nest Wealth. These are no replacement for the human touch, but a robo-advisor can make your day that much more efficient, helping you grow your client base without sacrificing exceptional client service.
5. Make CRM the hub of your operations
This will seem biased coming from a CRM provider (and we can’t pretend we’re not), but a Financial CRM can serve an integral part of your digital transformation. It goes well-beyond just being a place to store client phone numbers; it forms your practice’s central nervous system: a single place to capture and organize KYC information; track household members (great for referrals) and set up automated workflows and reminders so you never miss a beat.
Additionally, many CRMs, including Maximizer, include free integrations with your marketing tools, like Hubspot and Mailchimp. With these, you can effortlessly flow lead information into your CRM. Once consolidated into a single version of the truth, you can easily segment your book by age, location, family make-up and more, and discover a deeper understanding of your client personal preferences and financial service needs.
A final bonus is that with Maximizer CRM, integrated with your email and calling solution, you build complete, up-to-date and organized records of client communications. Not only does this create effortless conversations that pick up where they last left off – you’ll make it a cakewalk to retrace your steps, building compliance and auditability into every step.
The bottom line
While change won’t come overnight, there’s nothing to fear. There are tons of cost-effective choices out there to help you get started on your digital transformation. By leveraging digital solutions now, you can help you and your team, while laying the groundwork for a more profound transformation of your practice down the road.