Automation & Empathy for Clients (and future Clients)

Posted by Frank Parker and Philip Kessler, JD on 5/31/19 8:45 AM

One of our obsessions at SWS Partners is thinking about the role of the advisor and how to build the most value for clients.  One powerful driver of value comes from automating everything that can possibly be automated within a firm’s business, especially today where the actual products and investments in any given portfolio are increasingly commoditized.

The goal should be to deploy automation for everything outside of the actual dissemination of advice. By deploying automation for services like portfolio management, CRM, rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting, efficiencies are created, mistakes are reduced, and time with clients can increase.  Given the high stakes, this is particularly true for Family offices and High Net Worth Investors where access to information and actionable advice is paramount.

Automation activation

Automation through the broad application of technology is the best way to create more time for the client-advisor relationship and thereby add true value to the client and their goals. Advisors who understand that human empathy, the one-on-one engagement, the conversations around “what am I missing?” or “am I going to be okay?”, addressing the questions that keep clients up at night, will be the ones who achieve the highest level of client experience.

Conversely, advisors not addressing client concerns over transparency, access, technology or the desire to be ‘understood,’ are missing the potential offered by technology to improve their client’s experience. As millennials come of age, any thought of working with this generation will be difficult if not outright impossible without technology supporting the relationship. Then again, we are finding that Gen Xers and Baby Boomers aren’t scoffing at the fruits of technology either. Rather, their expectations are growing increasingly aligned with younger cohorts with each passing day.

Technology has invaded all aspects of our lives in one way or another.  In doing so it has created the expectation that the consumer will have direct, or seemingly direct, access to the information or products they are consuming. Achieving this goal will require advisors to adopt automation, thus allowing them more time to address their client’s needs. This is the true value for the client (and future clients).

Topics: Technology & Investing, Financial Planning

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