Providers who standardise and digitise administrative processes, like Letters of Authority, can help financial advisers deliver a better service to the end client and enhance their own business reputation, says Anthony Rafferty, CEO Origo.
Product providers and platforms can materially help advice firms deliver an improved service to their clients by standardising and digitising their administration processes.
The Letters of Authority (LoA) process is a case in point. Currently, advisers systems can deliver a smooth, client-friendly service to attract and bring a new client on board, only for the process to grind painfully to a halt, as the client has to complete several different forms needed to authorise their adviser to act on their behalf – and then wait as they are manually processed, which can take weeks, or even months, to finalise.*
For advice firms positioning themselves with clients as providing the best experience and service, efficient and client-friendly, to have their brand undermined by administrative processes that are frustratingly outside of their control, does not create a good impression with the client.
Nor does it portray the industry in a good light. Consumers are now used to a high standard of customer service, swift interaction and Amazon-style administration. Paper, fax and weeks of waiting no longer cut it.
At the same time, the advice market is continuing to consolidate, with ever larger companies accruing significant assets under advice and able to wield greater muscle in terms of the service they expect from providers with which they do business.
Those advice companies are working in an increasingly competitive marketplace, and they will be looking to grow market share rapidly. With that in mind, they are employing digital onboarding systems, looking to create more of an Amazon experience for their clients. They will want provider service on a par, which is cost and time efficient, helps them look good in their clients’ eyes, and facilitates bringing on of new business.
The business implication for providers is that whether large or small, advice firms will want to work with providers that deliver great service and which help them create the best experience for their clients.
Providers have had plenty of calls on their internal resources, particularly over the past two to three years, but since manual processing by its very nature is a time and cost drain on the business, moving to a faster, more efficient and ultimately more cost-effective process, to deliver a better experience for advice firms and to the end customer, has to make sense.
Standardising and better still, digitising essential processes, like Letters of Authority, is one way to improve the administrative journey for all participants.