In a world of digital connections, the modern financial advisor never gets a day off. Especially as younger generations enter the picture, it takes contemporary business communication technology to keep up with a world of evolving expectations around near-instant interaction in an increasingly mobile and online space.
Millennials and Generation X — the financial-services consumers that planners need to reach next — crave sage financial support. CNN Money reports that recent studies show 66 percent of millennials have yet to start saving for retirement; USA Today says that more than one-third of Gen X says retirement is out of reach based on savings so far. Bottom line, there's never been a better time for financial advisors to develop a meaningful relationship with these two demographics.
It's an opportunity that will shift how advisors communicate, moving the emphasis from how quickly to how dynamically. The following approaches are sure to help technology-forward advisors hit the mark with younger investors, one conversation at a time.
Advisors need to dive deep and bring media and platforms to the conversation that correspond to these clients' entire range of expectations: smartphone, video, voice, and real-time communications.
Financial Planning and the Needs of Two New Generations
One of the most important things for financial advisors to understand is that Gen X and millennials often represent entirely new beasts when it comes to contemporary business communication. This means advisors need to dive deep and bring media and platforms to the conversation that correspond to these clients' entire range of expectations: smartphone, video, voice, and real-time communications.
What solutions are out there right now that can keep advisors up to speed? One solution is unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) — a range of cloud-based approaches and systems that allow enterprise organizations to create, deploy, and modify their business–consumer conversation quickly and over time.
The full picture emerges from the details of how UCaaS solutions work:
- Dynamic Seamless Conversations: On-the-go, sophisticated clientele no longer rely upon one device or one format to carry out all their communications. Generation X and millennial consumers in particular are used to conversations that travel with them across hours or days. Mobile web segues to a mobile app, click-to-call leads to voice, and then voice moves to chat or video. Files can be securely shared, referenced, and even signed electronically in real-time. The key to unified communications and the financial advisor is that these omnichannel contact experiences are available and easy to deploy.
- Security from the Start: When nothing less than two-factor authentication will do, the UCaaS space is equipped to provide it. The ability to build out and customize at the API level also means that advanced customer- and identity-security features are in developers' hands every step along the way. Privacy measures and compliance certifications from PIC, SOX, FCC, FISMA, and CPNI are all part of how UCaaS meets the industry's highest standards.
- Document and Innovate: Conversations that move across time, location, and formats create digital histories. UCaaS allows advisors to capture transaction histories, client call logs, deposits, accruals, and investments — analyzing all this cloud-based CRM data from a data-science perspective and developing new insights into how a call about savings can become a conversation about investments. Data means personalization, too. Advisors can create next steps for their clients that truly reflect the history they're building across every point of contact.
- Low Cost to Implement: Dynamic solutions in the cloud ecosystem pack a communications wallop, but they don't have to knock out financial advisors' budgets. There's no in-house hardware to buy, no additional square footage to take up, no in-house maintenance or equipment upgrades to consider. If the financial firm has its own broadband in place, then the cost to implement is even less. Deployment is virtual, vendor-side, and fast — as speedy as a few days.
- Support-Rich Solutions: One of the best outcomes for a financial advisor is that the client feels they've just had a white-glove experience. Advisors want that kind of support as well, and the UCaaS dynamic delivers — most solutions offer on-call 24/7 technical expertise.
Beyond Gen X and Millennials
The benefits of UCaaS go a long way toward meeting the needs and expectations of Gen X and millennials. That being said, it's critical to note that many boomers want these solutions too: some 14 million boomers are expected to migrate to mobile by 2022, reports CNBC. Add to that the rising generation of Generation Z consumers entering the marketplace, and financial advisors can't ignore the potential impact of meeting these demographics at the times and places they'll want to talk.
The secret to staying current with an always-evolving clientele is to stay dynamic. Business communications solutions no longer need to be shackled to older models — rooms full of hardware that eventually break and become obsolete. Success is based on reacting to what the evolving marketplace demands. The UCaaS solutions of today are fueling tomorrow's conversations with the generations that will drive business forward.