This article first appeared on Nasdaq.
With financial advisors under considerable pressure to strengthen their competitive position through an improved understanding of their clients, adding a behavioral insight tool to the client onboarding process can help advisors obtain new insights about a client’s behavior and financial personality.
In doing so, it is imperative for firms to interrogate this data that is relevant to each client. The way to use data as a differentiator is to know clients at a deeper level. Their decision-making style, spending patterns, goal-setting motivations, approach to and tolerance of risk, behavioral biases, and responses under pressure, as well as knowing each client’s likes and dislikes and life journey.
Measuring and discussing financial behavior is the first step for advisors to get to know their clients. And we already know that, for advisors to provide valuable advice, it is key that they understand clients and client goals.
Gone are the days of form filling. Advisors need in-depth, accurate information at their fingertips. Clients already understand that life requires them to be subjected to an array of technology experiences. They get it.
What many clients do not accept is poor service. For instance, feeling that they are not front and center of the relationship. Feeling they are a statistic. Feeling like the financial advice they are getting or the way they are getting it is generic or ill-matched to them.
When advisors start to deploy technology which delivers a great experience for their clients, then and only then will they gain a competitive edge and restore broken trust.
The use of application programming interfaces (APIs) is presenting a new and exciting range of possibilities to financial advisors. Essentially, APIs act as a sort of plug in, bringing a specific functionality to other, already up and running systems, so an advisor, group of advisors or small or large organization can add bells and whistles to a system without having to invent/reinvent their own.
Such an API can permit the flow of information between applications and give financial advisors the ability to, in this circumstance, easily access on a real-time basis client data, gain insights and offer innovative solutions tailored to the clients’ life plans while complying with regulatory requirements
Through the magic of APIs, “behavior tech” platforms can now be white-labeled and inserted inside organizations so that they can access scalable and easy-to-use online behavioral management solutions to know, engage and grow every client (and their advisor!).
APIs like this are not tomorrow’s solutions. They exist now, waiting only to be embraced and leveraged. This is the power – here and now – to use behavioral insights to create truly unique and robust experiences for advisors and clients. It engages clients in a way that demonstrates the degree to which advisors will go to enhance the financial planning experience – and the success they can have with and for a client.
Every financial advisor should be able to use interactive business intelligence tools to drill down into client information. In advance of every meeting or phone call the advisor should, at the click of a button, be able to deploy dashboards and personalized information to respond to client needs. This approach can and will create an experience tailored to individual clients’ needs.
Clients and advisors alike want “easy” and they’ve got it if the right API or behavior tech solution is deployed. Everything is right there on their mobile devices.