One of the issues we repeatedly find when speaking with advisers about technology and improving business processes is the view that digital services are only suitable for smaller or lower value clients.

    But while circumstances might differ, there’s no reason why processes should.

    The reality is that some services may be delivered in a very similar way - the processes involved in meeting and onboarding a client aren’t going to be that different for example. In short you gather the information, analyse their situation, make the recommendation, and set them up.

    And yet, we tend to find that advisers struggle to understand how to offer automation as a service to all their clients. Because automation has made the process so simple compared with what you may be used to doing, it feels inappropriate to offer the automated route to those clients you’re making more money from.

    But this skewed thinking could hold you back from growing your business profitably, if you want to enhance your service to all clients.

    Ultimately, everybody wants digital automation

    EY’s 2021 Global Wealth Report revealed that 25% of high net worth and 20% of very-high net worth clients see digital tools as their first choice for engagement.

    We all use apps on our phones to make life easier. For example, we no longer visit the bank on the high street to pay in a cheque. Instead, we take a photo of the cheque, share it in the app, and the money is instantly deposited in the account.

    Why wouldn’t you choose to provide the same ease and simplicity for all your clients?

    Simple doesn’t have to mean lacking value. Think of it from the client’s perspective. Firstly, the level of flexibility and convenience digitisation provides aligns with the busy schedules and global lifestyles of high networth individuals. They can access and manage their finances on-the-go, irrespective of their location or time zone.

    With easy-to-use mobile apps or web portals, they can monitor investments, track spending, and make transactions at their convenience. Automation also simplifies complex tasks, saving valuable time and reducing the burden of administrative work.

    Thirdly, digitised platforms often offer robust security measures, ensuring the protection of sensitive financial information and reducing the risk of fraud. This level of security is crucial for high net worth individuals with substantial assets and financial interests.

    Moreover, digitisation provides access to comprehensive financial data and analytics, enabling them to make informed decisions and optimise their investment strategies.

    Overall, digitised financial processes empower wealthy, busy professionals to manage their finances efficiently, capitalise on opportunities, and achieve their long-term financial goals with ease and confidence.

    Of course, this can benefit firms too. By embracing technology, advisers and planners can streamline their operations, scale their services, and stay competitive, which will ultimately benefit both their high networth clients and their business growth.

    So with that settled, the only thing you’re left to choose is how to introduce it to your clients and offer it as a service. This can become a sticking point rife with indecision.

    Automation shouldn’t be an all-or-nothing decision

    Just because high net worth clients want automation as much as anyone else, it doesn’t mean that they want digital-only – you can still offer them the face-to-face experience that they may also expect.

    The difference is that with your lower value clients, the same choice isn’t available.

    It’s about striking a perfect balance between efficiency and personalised attention: complementing digital services with regular face-to-face meetings or virtual conferences. These interactions allow for in-depth discussions, understanding unique circumstances, and addressing complex financial concerns.

    For lower value clients, a digital-only experience still allows for a relationship based on trust and transparency.

    In conclusion, the notion that digital services are only suitable for smaller or lower-value clients is a misconception that can hinder the growth and profitability of your business. Even high net worth and very-high net worth clients increasingly prefer digital tools for engagement. The key lies in striking a balance between efficiency and personalised attention.

    As the financial landscape continues to evolve, advisers who adapt and integrate digital solutions will position themselves for continued success and deliver greater value to all their clients, regardless of their net worth.

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