We currently find ourselves in a strange twilight zone; things are changing. We didn’t predict the transition to remote working would come as fast as it has, but COVID-19 has proved to be quite the catalyst.
The traditional approach whereby advisers would visit clients at home, or clients visit their practice has proven to work well. This approach is both logical and suitable in an industry where success is achieved through building great client relationships. However, this is no longer the optimum for as long as we remain in lockdown.
Social distancing has woken us up to the importance of business contingency planning. Now that we have access to fast and reliable internet connections for the most part, we should capitalise on this period to maximise opportunities in “video advice”, and do our best to digitise the financial advice process.
As an outsourced paraplanning service, IPS are fortunate to have a paperless office, completing our case work online via our bespoke case management system. This has provided us with the much-needed agility to continue working from home once our office building was closed in early March. Although it did start off as quite a culture shock, we’ve really benefited from having online work and it’s allowed us to maintain capacity. We keep in touch via frequent video calls and instant messaging and without sounding too cliché it’s helped pull the team closer together despite us working further apart.
As we are all stuck at home, video calling is now becoming the norm. People can be a little hesitant to jump on a video call, but as this is the best alternative to meeting face to face, it has largely been accepted with open arms. Obviously, it’s difficult to replace the value of meeting in person, and it might be challenging to bring on new clients via this new medium of communication. However, advisers can certainly work with existing clients over video and by telephone to support them in this current climate and beyond. Whether that’s via annual suitability meetings or providing your clients with market updates, there’s no better time to experiment with this technology and maintain client relationships.
So, what benefits can video advice really bring?
- Reduce your costs and increase capacity – Reduced travelling will save money and free up your time to focus on your business and draw in more clients.
- Contact your clients more frequently – You may not be able to meet your clients as frequently as you would like, but you can reach out to them regularly and quickly via recorded videos or digital meetings.
- Business continuity – No need to postpone meetings in the event of another pandemic. It also improves your business agility, if you can’t easily visit clients you can continue to work with them via the phone/video call.
If you are an IFA and require Paraplanning assistance don’t hesitate to get in touch.