Remote Relationship Management: The Future of Wealth Management?

How does a relationship-led business enable its advisers to give good advice when face-to-face meetings are off the table?

Wealth management is a business that relies on high degrees of trust between client and adviser. When it comes to achieving a highly successful outcome for both the client and the firm, that relationship can make all the difference. So how does a relationship-led business enable its advisers to give good advice when face-to-face meetings are off the table?

Wealth management has long been a business that relies heavily on face-to-face meetings with clients in order to do business. With the majority of people around the industry currently turning to remote working, the opportunity and demand for face to face meetings is likely to diminish.

This doesn’t mean that firms aren’t trying to communicate with their clients. Of course they are. Client demand for interaction will never be higher than when markets are volatile and while this can force firms to rethink processes it also provides a powerful incentive to innovate and improve infrastructure.

Many firms have issued blanket communications by letter or email to reassure clients. Those that have contact centres are bolstering staff numbers and fielding as many calls as possible. The better relationship managers have been calling their clients to assure them that things will get back to normal soon. To hang in there.

Clients will remember these personal touches, and will naturally be drawn to service providers who offer an excellent and consistent customer experience. This is particularly true in times of change.

Markets will eventually bounce back. But does “getting back to normal” really mean going back to the way things were? Or is there a “new normal” that wealth managers will need to adapt to?

The more that people grow comfortable with remote ways of working, the less likely it is that a behavioural bounce-back will occur. Wealth managers would do well to take note of a few interesting behavioural and environmental shifts that could become the norm in the very near future:

  1. Video conferencing has never been more popular. As older generations are turning to popular services such as Zoom and Skype to communicate with their family and friends, they’re also increasingly conducting their own business this way and will increasingly expect to be able to do so with their financial advisers.
  2. The widespread government bailouts to the global economy are a sticking plaster. Once inevitably removed, markets will likely experience further volatility. There is going to be more demand for fast, scalable and effective communication with clients in the months ahead, not less.
  3. The long-held belief that face-to-face advice is the only way to be successful is being challenged. It is unlikely to fall away altogether, but a greater blend of communication channels is likely to be needed and, with it, a different skills-mix for the adviser and their team.
  4. The need to be compliant hasn’t gone away, and it never will. The increased use of unrecorded, or poorly indexed telephony and video conferencing solutions is creating a potential gap in the audit trail of advice.

The desire to react and engage with clients through whatever channel and medium they desire is extremely prevalent right now.

Many wealth managers are turning to technology solutions they’ve never used before in an effort to stay in contact with their clients. This is a good thing. It will allow workforces to be more flexible, more adaptable and certainly more cost-effective in the future.

But doing so blind to the risks and long-term implications would be as dangerous as ignoring them altogether. The regulator will expect the same standards of practise regardless of the channels used, including strong evidence to support the advice and recommendations made.

Firms that don’t have a strong handle on their audit trail and a good understanding of how they kept their clients’ data secure, treat customers fairly or have oversight blind spots will not be able to use “national crisis” as a get out of jail free card.

How can Recordsure help?

The way we live our lives; how we work, how we travel, how we socialise and how we shop may be changing but our wider financial needs and objectives haven’t.

And because of that, clients’ need for good, reliable and compliant advice hasn’t changed either. Now more than ever, the wealth management industry needs to be on its toes.

Since inception, Recordsure has developed innovative tools to tackle common challenges in the industry around compliance, customer experience and risk management.

  1. A reliable and accessible recording platform that supports face-to-face, telephony and video conferencing solutions
  2. Compliance-driven analytics that tell you what’s been discussed and where it was discussed in the conversation; enabling laser-focused interventions and prevention of future complaints, reduction in NPS and even remediation
  3. Drive onboarding and ongoing relationship management efficiencies by removing the need for meeting notes with industry-leading transcription and key fact extraction for populating downstream processes

From guidance on new technological capabilities through to advice on implementation and future proofing, we are on hand to help share our expertise and that of our partner network in these times of change. Get in touch!


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