From the traditionalists, to the new kids on the block, everyone can learn a thing or two from the fintech revolution
Financial advice is anything but a new phenomenon. Steeped in tradition and upheld in academic practice, most people at some point in their life turn to a financial advisor when making a decision on where to place their hard-earned cash.
Such is the level of analysis and detailed interrogation of statistical evidence required to conduct a reasoned piece of financial advice, it’s understandable that the Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) industry has developed a reputation of being somewhat laborious.
However, given the easy access plug and play nature of the digital age, there’s no excuse for any industry not to turn to modern tech to kick their customer service offering up a notch and alleviate any potential pain points in the journey.
Live chat: Reducing friction to enhance the journey
Navigating potential customers through a miasma of intake forms and nuanced question sets can be a major blocker in terms of conversion, so anything that reduces the friction and white noise around this intake process has to be a good thing for those in the IFA industry.
For example, the simple addition of live chat functionality to an IFA website can serve as an invaluable route to boost lead numbers and collate them straight into a CRM tool to be actively pursued.
The impact of chat and instant messaging for improving lead conversion is hard to dispute; recent studies have shown that these online conversational platforms can increase revenue per hour by up to 48%, and increase conversion to sale by as much as 40%.
The logic behind this would be that many potential customers can be over-awed by the number of options they have in front of them in terms of supplier and product. A quick live chat session can eliminate many concerns they have, and help guide them to a point where they become a qualified or valid business lead.
Most users will have a rough idea what service they require, and if you can defuse the one or two concerns they may have, simply and effectively, then the path to conversion becomes much more promising. There’s even the added bonus of being able to lead capture via form fields when your live chat agents are unavailable or offline.
New tech to go the extra mile
If the IFA service offering is a more phased approach, then perhaps co-browsing may be more suitable as a replacement for, or supplement to live chat.
Co-browsing allows a user to share their screen with a customer service or sales agent at a company, with a view to talking the user through a more complicated journey, or series of options. Given the number of variables at play and the obsequious adherence to technical jargon in financial services, it makes perfect sense for any grey areas to be removed by way of co-browsing.
A recent case study by Glance Networks indicated that the introduction of co-browsing directly cut down the time taken to convert a new customer to a sale by 60%. An efficiency gain of this magnitude would be a stellar enhancement to any IFA’s bottom line, and can be achieved via a fairly modest tech spend.
Technical enhancements of this nature defuse potential drop off points throughout a sales journey; depending on the nature of the IFA, or the market they operate in, the deployment of live chat or co-browsing software can be tailored to maximise the potential returns. It may be the case that both tools contribute positively to performance, but proper analysis should be conducted, so as to plan out a bespoke implementation for maximum effect.
While a competitive advantage is gained not solely by a smoother online journey, it’d be foolish to discount the impact it can have if integrated after a proper analysis of key points in the journey. Through close attention to the site’s analytics, the users’ behaviour will show where they are becoming confused, overwhelmed, disinterested, or dropping off the site entirely.
An increased bounce rate in particular on a web journey should serve as enough of a stimulus for any IFA to review the information they are presenting to a user, simplify is where possible, and add a leverage point like live chat or co-browsing to ensure that a higher proportion of their traffic reaches the next stage in the journey.
These types of tool can give an almost immediate return for IFAs, but beyond that, they can serve as the first step in a longer term development strategy. For example, if trends emerge via live chat or co-browsing feedback, this can help shape where an IFA takes their approach. Themes could be anything from pricing, product suitability, or transparency of the terms; all of which could be modified over time to be more enticing for a customer.
There is no one size fits all approach, and the market never stays still, so constant analysis and iterative creation is absolutely necessary. Anything an IFA can do to make life easier for a potential customer lost in the consideration phase of the sales funnel will have a benefit for both parties.
Analyse the setup, spot the opportunities for improvement, and smooth out the rough edges with the help of on-site enhancements.
Boost your customer experience with Ibby
At Ibby, we are combining the latest tech for financial advisors to optimise their customer journey. From chatbots to messaging workflows, open banking features and co-browsing – we can empower your journey to make sure you are equipped to deliver a truly exceptional customer experience.
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