Advisers missing beat on communication tech

The latest Association of Financial Advisers (AFA)-Beddoes Institute white paper has found evidence of "untapped potential" for advisers on the client engagement front, by utilising communication technology.

The Connecting with Clients white paper found that using a client’s preferred communication channels leads to stronger relationships and greater likelihood of referrals.

“The need for advice is going to increase for Gen Y, and advisers will need to respond accordingly," Beddoes Institute’s Dr Rebecca Sheils told a press conference at the annual AFA conference yesterday.

“There is strong preference for apps [among Generation Y]...definitely untapped potential.”

The white paper reported on the preferences of 530 clients of leading financial advice practices for the survey.

The paper found that despite clients wanting to meet with their advisers face to face, email is still the preferred method of communication for all generations.

However, different generations preferred it to varying degrees, with Gen Y preferring it less than Gen X and baby boomers preferring it less than both the younger generations.

“What is surprising is just how important emails are,” Ms Sheils said. “If you compare phone to email, it shows just how important email is when personalising communications."

AFA chief executive Brad Fox said the results show the growing importance of digital communication for the future of the advice industry.

“There are great opportunities for apps to be used,” he said. “If you Google 'apps' in the financial advice space there is almost nothing."

Mr Fox also announced that the AFA will be launching a 'simulator' - developed by the Beddoes Institute - to assist advisers to act on the findings of the white paper, with further details to be released in the near future.

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