Technology is becoming increasingly important to advisors. A study conducted by Fidelity found that 77% of high-performing advisors believe technology is a key component of their firm’s success.
For those already using technology and those looking to implement technology, learning how to maximize the benefit of that technology is crucial.
This guide will teach you how to make the most of your firm’s technology.
What is financial technology?
Financial technology (known as “fintech” for short) is software which automates workflows, making your work day more efficient. There are hundreds of financial technology solutions on the market and many of these solutions were made specifically for advisors. Fintech can help streamline many of your day-to-day tasks like:
- Data aggregation
- Performance reporting
- New-client onboarding
- Account management
- Sales management
- Client Communication
- Investment Research
Benefits of Financial Technology
Financial technology can provide your firm many benefits including:
- Increase efficiency
- Enhance client experience
- Grow your business
The rest of this guide is dedicated to showing you ways to maximize the benefits of your fintech!
Pick the Right Technology
The first step to maximizing the potential of your financial technology to pick the right technology. Much thought and consideration should go into choosing a technology solution for your firm. Rather than rushing to implement a new solution, take the time to consider the following:
Examine your industry and consider:
- What is becoming more popular in my industry? What practices are dying out?
- What are some long-term trends I expect?
- Based on changing trends, is there a way I could use technology to create new opportunities?
Think about your clients and ask yourself:
- What types of clients do I work with?
- Who is my ideal client?
- Are there any types of clients I’m not currently working with but should be?
- Could I use technology to attract more of this type of client?
- Could I use to technology to enhance the service I provide clients, opening up new market opportunities?
- Could I use technology to make myself more competitive against other advisors?
- Could I use technology to change how I serve my clients?
- Could I use technology to redefine my client’s experience?
When considering which tech solution to buy, you should determine which tasks can be automated. A helpful practice is to:
- Write a list of all the day-to-day tasks you and your team members do
- Identify the business purpose of each task
- Determine which tasks could be digitized to increase efficiency
If you are purposeful about the way you select your technology, it will be more effective.
Get Everyone On Board
When implementing new technology, always remember to put people first and technology second. If your staff isn’t on board with the tech changes, it’s unlikely they will maximize the benefits of your chosen solution. To make sure everyone is on board, there are two major steps you can take:
- Discuss the big picture
- Provide additional support
Discuss the Big Picture
Make sure that your long-term vision for your firm in clear to all employees. If it is, new technology will be more widely accepted by your team.
Take some time to speak with your whole team and express to them what your vision for the firm is. Explain how technology will play a key role in achieving that vision. If employees understand the role technology plays in the success of your firm, they will embrace it.
Don’t forget to mention the many benefits technology will bring your firm. Get employees on board by discussing all the time-savings new tech will bring to their work days!
Provide Additional Support
Don't forget that some employees are less tech-savvy than others. Providing extra support can help these employees get the most out of a technology solution. This can be as easy as giving them the name and contact information for a dedicated solution specialist. Or, as simple as sending out an FAQ for your new technology to everyone’s email. There are many ways to give employees a little extra help when they need it.
Understand the Technology
There are many things you can do to better understand your new technology, some include:
- Leverage your solution’s customer support team
- Read resource guides, FAQs, and How-Tos
- Watch tutorial videos
- Schedule a product demo (and ask questions during it!)
- Reach out to your tech provider to establish a point-person to answer questions
If your solution doesn’t provide support tools like FAQs, video tutorials, and dedicated customer service representatives, then it may not be a very good tech solution. Any high-quality tech solution should offer equally high-quality technical support. If it doesn't, you may want to reconsider that solution.
Measure and Optimize
Reaping the maximum benefit out of you tech doesn’t end when you master it. Measuring the impact of your tech on your firm’s performance is important too. To measure your technology’s performance, consider the following:
- User-impact (How is this benefiting my employees?)
- End user-impact (How is this enhancing my client’s experience?)
- ROI metrics (How much has our efficiency increased since implementing this technology?)
When determining ROI metrics, compare how much time you spent on “x” task before with how much time you spend on “x” task now.
Be critical and determine areas where you tech isn’t meeting your initial expectations. Discuss your findings with your tech provider and ask how they can help improve the efficiency of your technology. Your provider should be willing to work with you to find an appropriate solution.
Financial technology can bring many benefits to your firm. Using the strategies outlined in this guide can maximize those benefits. Some key-takeaways include:
- Critically analyze your firm’s goals and needs before purchasing any technology.
- Always ensure your entire team is on board with new technology before implementing it.
- Know that great technology should provide you with equally great resources to master it.
- Take time to analyze your tech solution and find ways to further improve its performance.