The Robo[t]s are Coming – are you Ready?
The robo[t]s are coming, and in reality have already made themselves comfortable with our clients. The disruption of robo-advising for its relatively low fees and online convenience will go down as a game-changer in our industry. One thing is eminently clear, according to a Southern California-based top advisor with whom I like to discuss extraordinary client servicing: advisors better have a plan to demonstrate the value they deliver to clients. To make meaningful contact, routinely.
He learned this critical component of client service early on from his father, a prominent cardiologist who constantly— and a bit more bluntly— reminded him that, “Patients don’t sue when they feel they are being heard by their doctor.” The prescription is simple: create a systemic mechanism to regularly and meaningfully connect with clients.
Key ways to do so include:
- A strong, engaged team equipped to support clients in this new environment
- A clear value proposition that clients easily understand and embrace
- A sound investment policy
- A strong focus on client service for existing clients
- The ability to engage clients in conversations about changing financial relationships
Value demonstration in a post-robo world must go beyond the investment policy statement. A government regulator or attorney, as well intentioned as he or she may be, needs to see, touch and feel the value of a financial advisor or planner to the client. Otherwise, the scope defaults to the quantitative, to fees alone. That’s a race to the bottom in client experience, and ultimately, for all.
The robots are here – in the race of man versus machine, make sure you have the tools to compete.
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