Technology is disrupting the financial services industry; an industry once driven by paper and human interaction. Now financial services companies are dealing with digital interfaces and process automation on the road to customer satisfaction. It’s driving a huge opportunity for financial start-ups who use tech to remove the inefficiencies of the old customer service model.

The key questions for existing financial services companies are; ‘How do we not get left behind?’ And, perhaps more importantly; ‘How can we improve our customers’ journeys through technology without removing the human aspect?’

Is it really so important to regain the human aspect? Research indicates that it is. PWC reports that more than 50% of investors are dissatisfied with the engagement with their advisors today. We live in a digitally connected world and investors are showing us that they want a faster, smarter and a more personalized experience - one that is similar to technology they are familiar with from the likes of Uber.

Interestingly, 63% of clients want to be able to collaborate with their advisors in real time through their own personal portal, and they want the power to access a 360 view of their assets.

When we look at the concept of faster, smarter, and more personalised customer interactions, what does it mean?

For me, it breaks down to four simple steps that financial services companies need to take to ensure they don’t get left behind by more tech savvy startups in the current climate of digitally-enabled customer service.

1. Find ways to deliver the data/information your clients need in real time

An Auckland-based company, Syndex has embraced this new way of thinking well. They saw an opportunity to improve the lot of syndicate owners and investors and launched an exchange website that listed syndicate assets for sale. They saw a gap and realized that they needed to put their arms around the entire community and introduce the same transparency, information and market visibility that drives mainstream investment marketplaces.

Built on Salesforce Communities, Syndex.Exchange connects syndicators with investors, providing tools for syndicators to run their syndicates and investors to buy, sell and manage their holdings. Underneath, an application built on development platform keeps the marketplace wheels turning, automating the flow of information, alerts, and admin tasks.

The CEO Mike Jenkins estimated that they cut administration workload by as much as 50% and they still communicate with their clients powerfully

2. Use technology as means to manage your book of business while safeguarding that all-important 1-to-1 relationship

Boutique finance firm Integrity Wealth gets closers to clients with a single cloud platform that lets the team work collaboratively with clients to help them grow and protect their wealth. With Salesforce, Integrity Wealth team members can access customer records from anywhere, at anytime, and see what’s happening with a client right now (as well as what has led them to this point). It means their conversations are always relevant and informed. For a business with remote and part-time employees this is critical for driving closer client relations..

3. Introduce automation to remove high margin processes

Cohen Handler is a business that does automation extremely well. It built its entire business on a model of efficiency, choosing a platform that delivers an easy development environment, letting it customise and automate numerous processes very easily. Ultimately smart tech decisions are what helps it to be more connected to its customers. As a financial services provider in one of industry’s most complex environments, if one of your first questions in assessing new technology isn’t around ease of customisation and development, you risk missing the mark with your investment.

4. Create an environment for smarter business actions to deepen client relationships

United Capital needed to provide a pathway for advisers to stay competitive in a changing landscape. It chose the Salesforce Financial Service Cloud to robustly and dynamically engage with clients. It views this technology-based approach to client relations as an industry shift, which lets it interact with every customer as a human rather than a “walking wallet”. Today United Capital is working on a holistic financial life management app that will be deliver a mobile experience giving clients control control of their every day and long-term financial goals.

Essentially, we are living in the new age of the customer and a number of innovators have emerged which are dramatically changing customer service within the financial services industry. If you would like to find out more about how other financial services companies are using Salesforce to get closer to customers and deliver to new service expectations click here.

Click here to to watch our Salesforce Financial Services Cloud demo video.