The People Vs Technology

Will we one day be replaced by robots??

No chance.

Let’s take a look at WHY, addressing the challenge in financial services- where we’ve worked extensively.

Technological advance is often presented as a great threat to any profession where human interaction is at the heart.

In financial services, the doomsday prospect of being replaced by robots is a frightening one, and new digital wealth planning tools such as Nutmeg do present a challenge to the status quo.

People can equip themselves with an ever-growing armoury of Apps, robo-advice and machine-learning that does empower them somewhat.

If taken advantage of, the financial services industry becomes more accessible and less shrouded in mystery.

That’s good, right?

A chance to add value everywhere:

It’s a positive challenge. Technological advances provide the opportunity to connect with clients in new and exciting ways. Rather than digging heals in, it’s a change to embrace, modernising and adding value to your service.

It’s not human Vs robot. It doesn’t have to be either or. There is no intrinsic dichotomy.

After all, humans invented machines. Let’s harness them to develop our businesses and provide massive improvements in the service that we offer to clients. Everywhere.

With technology, you can reach existing and potential clients through so many different mediums- social media, apps, online content, educational platforms- strengthening the relationship. This goes for every industry.

If you’re creative, bold and innovative, the possibilities are endless when it comes to engaging with your audience. Let’s not get left behind.

Back to finance….

Some Advice for our Advisers:

Financial planning should be a central part of all of our lives. The earlier that we get to grips with it, the better.

Yet, the financial services industry has so often been seen as the preserve of the very wealthy, or something that you put off until you’re older.

Make financial services more accessible:

If advisers make financial planning more accessible and connect with clients at an earlier stage, using not resisting technology, far from making yourselves redundant, you’ll stay relevant.

This takes great confidence and security in the real value of your expertise in delivering human financial advice.

The survival of the role does not, and must not depend on keeping clients in the dark and wholly dependent.

Your strength cannot depend on the weakness and confusion of your clients.

The fact is, this extra education, support and information is out there. If you don’t take steps to empower clients with it, they can get it elsewhere.

Clients will start thinking: “Why am I being kept in the dark? I’m not sure about these fees. Am I being taken advantage of?”

By focusing on keeping clients weak and dependent and seeing robo-advice as a threat, the trust in the relationship is damaged.

People are more independent now. People want to understand exactly where and how their money is being spent.

By providing this information, you involve them in the planning process. This needn’t be a threat to your expertise.

Strengthen your client relationships:

By empowering clients, you may reduce their dependence on you and contribute to their sense of financial independence and autonomy.

However, you’ll strengthen your client relationships in the long-run. No longer dependent on each other, you’re interdependent.

This relationship is “win/win” in the truest sense whereas the previous relationship relied on keeping clients vulnerable and uneducated. This will no longer wash.

Clients will no longer employ you because they are utterly lost and need you. (Well, of course, some will) More and more, clients will begin to employ you because they want you, and they fully understand the value of your expert advice.

The relationship should become more collaborative. The less understanding that clients have, the less ownership they can take over their financial future. I have strong hunch that clients will increasingly want to understand and be involved. I say, great!

When talking about creating mission statements within business, Stephen Covey says, “No involvement, no commitment.” We can apply this logic to the financial planning process.

By involving clients in the mission from the very outset, you’ll get far greater commitment from them, and a greater investment in the relationship.

The Broader Picture:

So yes, technological advances can seem scary, in any profession where human interaction is at the core.

I say turn that fear into excitement. Harness technology to reach a wider audience, strengthen your client relationships and achieve better outcomes.

This is how:

  1. Be Secure in your value
  2. Embrace Change
  3. Empower your clients
  4. Build stronger, interdependent relationships
  5. Think Win/Win

Robots will never replace the human element at the very core of what you do. However, through synergy with rather than resistance to technology, you’ll create a service that truly works for your changing audiences and stay relevant.

Take a look at our post on the Trust Equation for more on this.

By Chris Wickenden, 1st July, 2019

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