As the party season kicks off and the 2021 work year begins to wind down, I imagine the thoughts of many will have started to turn to Christmas shopping.
If you’re the kind of person who ticks off this task pre-December, then well done. As for me, I’m a bit more last-minute – not quite Christmas Eve in the local Esso, but not far off. (In fact, as my wife will tell you, this extends to other occasions, too – like the birthday I may have forgotten to acknowledge until the day after…).
Luckily, technology has my back. In today’s world of same-day deliveries, even presenting procrastinators like me can easily get their festive house in order – and all without the traditional aggro of navigating a packed and stressed-out Oxford Street on the last shopping night before the big day.
In fact, Christmas is the perfect proof of just how drastically our expectations have been changed by advancements in technology. And not just in retail, either. Across almost every industry, we have become used to a level of speed and convenience that would have been truly unthinkable even just ten years ago.
Except, of course, here in wealth management.
The ghost of software past…
While big strides have been taken over the last year or so to remove unnecessary paper – owing largely to the pandemic – the investing journey is still littered with convoluted, outdated processes that are joined together and patched up by manual intervention.
We see it at all levels. Advice or investment management systems that don’t integrate – meaning staff have to rekey data. Payments that aren’t automated – meaning large cash operations teams at platforms have to manually reconcile cash to clients’ accounts. Fund transactions that involve a range of time-consuming tasks – resulting in late settlements that cost investment managers time and money, and damage client relationships. To name just a few.
Throwing people at problems might have helped the firms in our industry to get to this point. But as clients start to demand the same fast and seamless customer experience that they receive in other walks of life, it won’t get them any further.
Hiring big teams of long-suffering support staff simply isn’t scalable. Not only does the model inevitably crumble when put under serious strain, it also – and most importantly – wastes the dedication and empathy of hard-working individuals whose talents could be put to far better use.
A look to the future: the P1 Platform
Technology, on the other hand, is not only scalable, but a force multiplier. Automating a manual process doesn’t just help a firm to execute that process many more times and much more cost-effectively, it also removes the need for their teams to do the heavy lifting.
With the time saved, they can now focus all of their energies on doing what they do best: delivering a value-add customer service that is personal and memorable.
There’s no better example of all this than the Seccl-powered P1 Platform, who recently capped off a stellar year by topping the lang cat’s Platform Analyser Adviser Rating for the 4th quarter in a row.
Since entering the chart in pole position in 2020, the P1 Platform has maintained its lead at each subsequent quarterly survey, testament to the winning combination of a great team supported by cutting-edge technology.
As P1 CEO James Priday put it, “although the P1 Platform is fully digital, the human element of client and adviser servicing is crucial. When you’re dealing with a client’s hard-earned wealth (and their future well-being) it’s so important for there to be an individual on the end of a phone, email or chat to assist when needed.”
As many advisers will appreciate, getting a human service from their platform can sometimes feel like getting blood from a stone. And bad technology has a lot to answer for here.
After all, if platform admin staff spent less time pulling their hair out trying to manage something in a spreadsheet that could be better handed via an API, then maybe they could spend more time at the end of the phone…
So, as you turn your attention to your loved ones’ presents this year, spare a thought for the long-suffering operations teams throughout our industry. The best gift you can give them – and your clients – this Christmas? Well, some cutting-edge technology might be a good place to start.