What does the future of advice look like? The onset of virtual advice

Virtual advice disruption: is your business ready?

Virtual advice disruption: is your business ready?

The new digital era charging through our industry brings with it a collision of sales, marketing, social interaction, technology and human behaviour that is truly fascinating.  This collision can also be dangerous for businesses that are unprepared, particularly service businesses.

It’s no secret that we are changing the way we use technology and why we use technology – particularly when it comes to engaging with our service providers. One need only to look at this advertisement for eBay to realise that times are a changing.

It’s not just the new wave of consumers that are recoil from traditional engagement tactics, it’s the quickly becoming the majority of consumers. These consumers shun an elongated process that has multiple friction points – they desire genuine engagement rather than cold sales techniques, look for third-party reassurance through product reviews of previous buyers, value visual aids and relate to a language that conversational rather than intricate and detailed.

If we want to retain these consumers (as well as pick up the up-and-coming ones) we need to be responding positively to this shake up and, to do this, we need to do two things.

  • Provide appealing solutions for consumers that are relatable, meaningful, easily understood and communicated.
  • Increase businesses efficiency in regards to process, communication and engaging with clients in the ways they feel most comfortable. Every client has different needs, so having a variety of different touch points on offer is where successful businesses will really gain a unique edge.

The need and expectation is clear. We need to be providing service options to clients that reflect our client’s current day to day operations. And it’s clear that everyday life is rapidly becoming digital.

So what are the solutions?

Those who have up-to-date tools and processes are not only more productive, but also more likely to succeed during the era of digital transformation. The good news is that technology providers are well onto the mission already, understanding that there is a great need from the consumer – and much of the industry has already began to catch on.

Even more importantly, these technology providers understand that they can’t all provide everything in one solution. Providers are moving toward a “collaborative co-opetition” approach where they link arms to give advisers the choice to tailor their own service offering, via open API – i.e. software integration.

SuiteBox and Midwinter is a perfect example of this being the case. The two companies have integrated their advice solutions in order to provide advisers with the ability to engage their clients via video, in a seamless compliant process – with no double entry or multiple friction points. Each Virtual Advice meeting can be scheduled, undertaken and saved to the adviser’s CRMs (for compliance purposes) in the one process. The ability to screen share, sign electronic documents and take clients through their total portfolio can all be done easily with both software applications speaking to each other during the entire process and all parts of the meeting saved directly to the client’s file notes for reference at any later point.

We’ll be doing a live demo of this during the AFA National Adviser Conference next week and would love you to check it out. Whether you use either cloud applications or not, it will be a great opportunity for advisers to see in real time a genuine example of what the future of advice is going to look like.

Even more importantly, we will be showcasing how technology is working hard to ensure that advisers will not only be able to meet their clients’ engagement requirements, but when it all boils down to it – be able to generate, provide and deliver advice easier, at lower cost, in less time and at scale.

By Andy Marshall & Naomi Christopher


The Midwinter / SuiteBox virtual advice live demo can be seen on Thursday 6th October at 12.45pm at the Midwinter Stand – Exhibition centre – AFA National Adviser Conference 2016

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