Technology is transforming the entire professional services industry, and financial services is no exception. This is good news for forward-thinking providers set on delivering the best client experience. This is bad news, however, for those advisors unable to embrace change—even if it’s inevitable. Everyone now has the opportunity to harness the power of technology to improve their business. There’s never been a better time to put in place the following credos:
- Embrace the reality that technology is a must have, not a nice to have. Move on from any dated ideas about what technology can and can’t do for financial services. To be blunt, adapt or die.
- Liven up your client experience. Oftentimes people associate professional service providers with painful or dismal encounters. Technology can change this, and make our client interactions exciting.
- Experiment small and win big. You can usually try before you buy when it comes to technology. Find what works (and what doesn’t) for your business. Not sure where to start? I like Entrepreneur.com and Inc.com for timely, digestible ideas.
- Use technology to improve your relationship with your team. Video conferencing, online surveys, etc. can solicit digital feedback from your team and communicate your mission. Happy employees are the key to happy clients.
- Recruit the best team by deploying the best tech. A championship team wants to use the latest and greatest technology. While some are set in their PC ways, in my opinion, Macs project a tech-first image and work well with traditional business apps. (If you don’t think so, you probably haven’t used a Mac recently.)
- Partner with cutting-edge firms by being a cutting-edge firm. In order to grow your business, be the business in which you’d want to collaborate.
- Deploy technology to make your business more attractive to would-be acquirers. Professional service firms, including financial advisory firms, suffer from a lack of enterprise value. While there are many contributors, integrating technology into your offering will at least get you over that hurdle.
This is just the beginning. Technology changes so quickly, not only do firms need to get ahead, but they also need to stay ahead. Do not succumb to a “wait and see” mentality with technology. Neither your clients—nor your competition—will wait for you.
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