We’re different now.
We have changed in ways big and small since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March 2020. And let’s face it, when we finally put this experience behind us, things will never be quite the same again.
But I believe some very good things can result from this bad experience. In fact, you’re already seeing them at work in your office. And if we manage this opportunity wisely, your firm can emerge operating more efficiently than ever before. Here’s how it can happen.
Like every other profession, the financial services sector has been forced to adapt to the numerous changes that COVID brought our way. And we did a pretty good job of rolling with the punches by embracing new technology. Software and applications viewed as options in 2019 are part of our daily toolbox in 2022.
We did such an excellent job of adapting that many people say our profession is five years ahead of where we were just two years ago. But before you pat yourself on the back, we must make sure we keep that progress moving full speed ahead. Because we’ve still got a long way to go to reach our full potential.
Necessity is the mother of invention, the old saying goes. And we suddenly found it necessary to switch to new ways of meeting our everyday duties once the epidemic hit. That meant transitioning into the digital world. It was scary for someone, easier for others, but we all made it together.
And what we found after that changeover was eye-opening. A recent Charles Schwab RIA Benchmarking study concludes that we’re operating more efficiently than ever before. It found that top-performing firms now spend 25% less time serving clients than their competitors.
Those high performers discovered what happens when you harness the power available to us through technology and apply it to our daily routine.
Operating at this heightened efficiency level is valuable to both your firm and your clients. We are now offering more client services faster and with less hassle.
So, here’s my message: Don’t stop now! This isn’t the time to take our foot off the gas pedal. Yes, we have zoomed ahead five years in the past two. But guess what? Most of the technologies we’ve been forced to embrace have been around for a decade, sometimes even longer. That means we could have been operating at this level of increased efficiency in 2012!
Now that we have proven that we, as financial advisors, can successfully step up to a new level of operations, let’s keep the momentum going. Let’s build on our progress and take it even further.
Another thing the pandemic revealed is a serious need to update your office’s best practices. For instance, preparing an incident management protocol. Accidents and mistakes happen while updating systems. Having a plan in place in case something goes wrong will keep your firm operating smoothly while the experts resolve the problem.
Next, we all need to rethink how we engage with clients in light of new technology. That means reimagining both the customer experience. We need to dig deeper to discover the best channels for meeting new clients and how to micro-target them. Personalization will set you apart from the pack. Honing that skill now will give you a leg up on your competition.
And expect to see digital services playing an even more significant role in the client experience very soon. Mobile communications will soon be the backbone of your relationships with them. It will evolve from occasional one-off messages to an ongoing dialogue with them.
Finally, don’t think of all this as still more “change.” Seize the moment and view it as a limitless opportunity. Make the most of the countless new ways enhanced technology and streamlined oversight are coming together to make your job duties smoother and easier and create happier clients.
There has never been a better time to work in the financial services industry. And it’s just going to get better, thanks to technology and our willingness to use it.