Patrick Leary and Breana Macken of LIMRA‘s distribution research team joined me in a special webcast last week to share insights from their extensive research on how customers want to connect and interact with financial professionals when seeking information, education and advice.
Although technology has increased consumer expectations and regulatory changes continue to impact the industry, the establishment of trust remains the biggest indicator of success.
Our webcast sought to answer the question, how are financial professionals today leveraging technology to build trust? The answer is quite simple: By listening, educating and engaging with customers.
Whether clients are concerned about having money for retirement or planning their kids’ education, being in tune with client priorities is the first step to effectively helping clients make wise decisions with their money. Once you listen and ultimately understand your client, you can propose personalized solutions to address their priorities. New York Life’s “Be Good at Life” campaign was cited as a great example of truly listening to customers.
People readily admit that they are not too knowledgeable when it comes to financial products; LIMRA research shows U.S. consumers give themselves a C+ when it comes to what they can do on their own.
This lack of knowledge and confidence provides an opportunity for financial professionals to educate and help clients navigate the complexity of financial services, as well as the decisions that they need to make to ensure they meet their goals and address their priorities.
Robo advisors may be able to crunch numbers and provide guidance in a straightforward, non-emotional way; however, consumers are looking for hand-holding and the professional services that can only come from a live person who understands their concerns and objectives.
In a nutshell, financial professionals equals confidence. And confidence is gained over time through regular engagement and the availability of financial professionals to be there when the client has a need – whether the client realizes it or not.
The cornerstone of a strong relationship is trust, and although technology continues to change client expectations and speed up the delivery of products and services, financial professionals that prioritize listening, education and engagement are well-suited to not only survive in the digital age, but thrive.
Watch the full webcast here: