A new LIMRA study found 92 percent of financial professionals agree consumers expect faster responses to their questions than in the past.
Nine in ten advisors surveyed say technology allows them to provide service, such as emails, personal websites, virtual meetings, texts and social media have become important tools for advisors in finding clients and keeping them satisfied says LIMRA, an industry research group.
LIMRA adds that’s not surprising with the increase of multichannel expectations consumers have about companies with whom they do business. Consumers reported whether they contact a company by phone, online, text, or in-person, today’s consumers want a seamless experience.
Two-thirds of advisors already have their own website for their practice, with most reporting they offer basic information, the ability to check account balances, as well as market updates and retirement calculators. Affiliated insurance and affiliated investment professionals (71 percent) have a personal website, while 64 percent of independent advisors offer one.
LIMRA reports men (71 percent) are more likely than women (54 percent) to have a website and a majority of advisors encourage the use of online services, allowing clients to obtain service on their terms while keeping the advisor involved. Among generations, Gen Y and Gen X advisors are more likely to encourage online services than Boomers.
About half of financial professionals already use virtual meetings with clients and prospects, and many expect to increase using tools like Skype, FaceTime, and WebEx in the future, LIMRA says. In the survey, 16 per cent of Gen Y advisors used virtual meetings weekly, while 11 per cent of Gen X and eight per cent of Boomer advisors also used the platform that often.
“By increasing their use of technology, advisors are able to gain efficiency without losing the important relationship-building qualities that make them successful,” says LIMRA.