The new place of financial advisors in customer experience

Study

October 2016

Financial services are still facing today the collateral effects of the financial crisis. Most of their efforts lately have been into responding to the new regulations, stabilizing their finances by making sure they are compliant with the financial requirements imposed to them, and finally trying to regain customer trust.

Banks are deeply aware of the evolution of society and its impact on the way people are banking. They all know that they have to get ready in terms of offer as well as in terms of organization to match these digital changes and new expectations, but it’s been hard for most of them to face all those challenges at the same time. Consequently, only a few have started their transformation, most online and mobile banks are a bit ahead in their customer approach knowing that they did not have to face a major question that traditional banks will have to face : how do I use my branches in the future? What is the new role of financial advisors? How can I ensure that advisors are still a key element in today’s banking needs and that they are a fundamental added value in the customer relationship?

In collaboration with Efma, Wavestone has aimed to point out:

- Which challenges are the financial advisors facing?
- What is now expected from them?
- In this fast changing environment, what is their new role and position in the bank?

We strongly believe that banking in the future cannot survive without a financial advisor that has a clear position and role in front of customers in terms of relationship and personalized advice, and that his new role can only be reinvented if he plays a key part in the digital transformation of the bank.

As the guardian of the customer relationship, the advisor has to reinvent his role by making sure he properly knows his customers and can guide them on the long term, he is prepared to answer all requests, he knows how to get available and he has the right tools to ensure this central key position.

The advisor also needs to focus on his primary role: giving financial advice. Not any advice based on personal objectives but truly personalized advices that take into account the customer’s situation and expectations. The commercial approach clearly needs to be reviewed to win back customer’s trust.

Finally, the advisor needs to develop his image and position in front of the customer to have a bigger place in his day-to-day activities, to create a closer relationship and demonstrate he has all the abilities and tools to maintain the best service level.

In order to go further into understanding these changes of roles, we have interviewed start-ups working on those disruptive evolutions and opportunities. We asked them their point of view on where banks stand:
- How could banks initiate the change efficiently and integrate innovative ways of thinking, tools and customer’s approaches?
- How could they enable their organization to be more flexible and trend adapted in order to offer the level of services aligned with what customers value the most?

Keywords : Financial advice , Customer experience , AI/Robotics