In July I had the pleasure of attending the Adviser Innovation 2015 - Building Next Generation Advice Practices in Sydney.
The event had many inspiring speakers such as James O’Loghlin - TV host of ABC’s The New Inventors and Matt Heine – Joint Managing Director of NetWealth.
The day covered many areas of innovation and how advisers can build sustainable practices to harness digital disruption and understand the threats, opportunities and cutting edge developments that will shape the future of our industry. As a valued adviser, we want to share these insights with you to help support your innovation activities.
Matt Heine spoke about The 10 Types of Innovation while highlighting that innovation isn’t just about creating an app. Innovation is about a new method, product, process or idea to connect with clients in fresh ways and using technology to find efficiencies within your business. We live in a time of massive disruption which has created a new breed of customers – one that’s connected 24/7 and demands relevant and timely information and tools.
How can your practice meet the needs of these clients?
Via innovation! Here are my top picks from Matt Heine’s recommendations:
Structure – How you organise and align your talents and assets.
Structural innovation is reflected in the culture you create and the people you hire. Empowering staff to be innovative is critical and you should encourage suggestions from all your staff. Schedule an ‘ideas & innovation’ day with your team out of the office to get the ball rolling.
Service - How you support and amplify the value of your offerings
It was Maya Angelou who said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is essential to our industry as we’re a service based one with no tangible product where we can differentiate, so it’s the level of service and how you make your customers feel that sets you apart. Wow your clients with a personal touch (like a card on their birthday or a phone call after their holiday), deliver consistently and you’re on your way.
Channel - How you deliver your offerings to customers
The ways in which we can communicate to customers has multiplied in the past few years. The occasional phone call and face to face meetings no longer cut it. You should consider delivering your offerings in multiple formats like video face to face meetings for time poor clients, tablets used in initial meetings to explain your offerings, personalised eDMs and interactive webinars to cut through the noise. Use award winning tool, SuiteBox, to record your virtual meeting to capture discussions, signatures and agreements. Via SuiteBox you can also take your client through a document by section and page to ensure they are following the conversation and visuals.
Customer engagement - How you foster compelling interactions
Customer engagement is how you develop meaningful connections with customers outside of the services you sell. It becomes the difference between first time customers purchasing once and return customers that you establish a long term and fruitful relationship with. Engage your customers often and not always with making a sale in mind. It’s all about experience and getting your clients to pick you over others.
Another valuable session was the Meet The Adviser Innovator Panel. The panel discussed the latest innovations in technology and how you can find more time through outsourcing, process improvements and using systems to ‘set and forget’ parts of your business. These can give you back valuable time in your day to focus on what you do best – advising.
Sarah Riegelhuth from Wealth Enhancers shared her insights into the value of offshoring and outsourcing. Don’t get bogged down in the admin side of your business, spend more time in valuable parts of the business that need your attention. For example, you can enlist the services of Grow My Team, a Melbourne based recruitment firm that offers the services of bookkeepers, digital marketing assistants, virtual assistants and more at a reasonable fee.
Peita Daimantidis from Caboodle Financial Services highlighted the opportunities found in redesigning business processes and how using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like InfusionSoft can save you a lot of time and effort. Infusionsoft’s tagline is Organise. Automate. Grow which is exactly what it does and can help your business in many ways. It can take care of marketing by automating lead capture so you don’t have to worry about missing any leads, sales automation that sends follow up emails and appointments regularly, high level reporting on all your leads and clients plus it also offers a digital shopfront for you to use.
I hope the above has given you food for thought and you can use these insights to help innovate initiatives in your practice.