The beauty of the age we live in is that our service is even more customizable than ever. The number of ways in which we can communicate with our clients has also never been greater. There is no longer a one size fits all method of communication.
Thinking back 20 years ago when I first started at Hewison Private Wealth, there were limited ways we could communicate with clients, quite simply, phone calls and post.
Today ‘snail mail’ still exists and is still necessary, however; email, text messages, video conferencing, and app notifications are also frequently used to share information more quickly and engage with people more effectively. However, let us not forget the significant value of face-to-face interactions which we still believe are the most valuable method for building relationships between Hewison Private Wealth staff and our clients.
With the rate of technological change in the world today, and the evolving preferences of our clients, we are likewise busy evolving our business to meet, and in some cases, exceed our client expectations in this area. It is a work in progress, but an area we are already starting to receive positive feedback on from our clients.
When deciding how to communicate with our clients, our priority is to deliver maximum value at all times. For example, sending investment recommendations used to occur via post and more recently email. However; both methods can result in delays. When dealing with time-sensitive advice, delays may mean a diminished outcome for clients, so it is important to deploy rapid communication, making it easier for people to respond. As such, in addition to an email with advice, we recently added a text message, enabling clients to respond to advice more efficiently. Client responses to either the email or text message are sent directly back to our back-office system for implementation. The outcome has been an increase in advice implementation and the possibility of errors has reduced, not to mention no more lost emails! We believe this adds greater value to our clients.
Clients were also recently sent a text message from us asking about their hobbies and interests. We felt this was a terrific opportunity to gather this information more efficiently so that we can better tailor events and experiences for our clients. Once again, we endeavor to use technology to provide greater value and will continue to improve this experience.
I have no doubt that some may perceive our use of technology as a sign we are reducing the personal nature of our service. I assure you; this is not our intention. We want to use technology to deliver efficiency and add value to tasks where a human interaction does not, and save those personal, human interactions for the tremendously important stuff, like building personal relationships.
It would be remiss of me not to discuss the continually increasing compliance obligations of financial services businesses, such as Hewison Private Wealth.
Over 37 years, Hewison Private Wealth is yet to have a claim on our professional indemnity insurance, yet in the last three years, our premiums have risen but by 300%! This is due to increased claims across other industry participants, including the banks following the royal commission.
Additionally, the increasing compliance obligations of our business continue to grow. Facilitating annual ‘opt in’ and ‘financial disclosure statements (FDS)’ is part of these requirements.
How we can better utilise technology in meeting these obligations efficiently and effectively determines other major business decisions, such as how we manage client portfolios and what we charge to do so.
Just like the bespoke management of our portfolios, our communication methods are not a one size fits all model. If, as a client, you prefer certain communication methods over others, please provide the feedback and we will do our best to oblige.
While we will embrace technology to meet our obligations and satisfy changing client preferences, the way we construct and manage portfolios to deliver unique client outcomes will never change. Most importantly, building trust, and long-term personal relationships is what we live for. It’s by far the best part of our days, every day. Rest assured we continue to believe the best way to do this is in person, not via technology, however operationally it certainly has a role to play, so we can focus on what matters most, our relationships with our clients.
Hewison Private Wealth is a Melbourne based independent financial planning firm. Our financial advisers are highly qualified wealth managers and specialise in self managed super funds (SMSF), financial planning, retirement planning advice and investment portfolio management. If you would like to speak to a financial adviser on how you can secure your financial future please contact us 03 8548 4800, email email@example.com or visit www.hewison.com.au
Please note: The advice provided above is general information only and individuals should seek specialised advice from a qualified financial advisor. The views in this blog are those of the individual and may not represent the general opinion of the firm. Please contact Hewison Private Wealth for more information.