While the pandemic has positively changed the way advisers operate their businesses, it’s important to remember that a financial adviser’s purpose has not changed but adapted to meet changing customer expectations, according to TAL.
Niall McConville, TAL general manager – retail distribution, said expanding technological capabilities could only benefit advisers in helping them to continue offering timely and relevant advice.
“Technology can assist advisers in striking the balance between meeting clients desire for instant gratification, while also addressing clients’ future needs with robust long-term financial plans,” McConville said.
“By embracing new communication methods and being available for meetings via the likes of video conferencing, there is an opportunity for advisers to redefine the way they think and operate to better meet client needs, and in turn grow their businesses.
“To support the financial wellbeing of Australians now and into the future, it’s essential that both insurers and advisers capitalise on the opportunities presented by these changes.”
McConville said the pandemic had kickstarted this by creating opportunities for advisers and clients to connect anywhere, at any time.
“With widespread adaptation to non-traditional ways of engagement, advisers can now work beyond their local area being more selective about their target client as serviceability is no longer limited by physical distance,” McConville said.
“Advisers should take the time to reflect on learnings from their efforts to overcome the challenges of the 18 months and embrace an even more personalised and holistic approach to supporting changing consumer needs. This reflection and change in approach can only lead to a stronger and more successful industry.
“COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for advisers to demonstrate the value of financial advice and it’s been great to see advisers stepping up again to support their clients.”
McConville said insurers also had a role to play in supporting advisers through the post-COVID period.
“The increasing awareness of the role advisers play, alongside the falling adviser numbers, has led to an increased demand for financial advice services,” McConville said.
“As a result, those advisers who remain in the industry – and those who have more recently entered – will face more demand for what they do and they will become busier.
“To maintain a high standard of service while meeting this demand and responsibility, advisers will need to focus on increasing their efficiency and effectiveness in communicating and working with clients.”
McConville said he personally heard great feedback from advised consumers on the strong communication they received from their adviser and how reassured they felt having an adviser.
“With many Australians facing continued uncertainty and change, the ability of advisers to provide clarity and reassurance on their clients’ personal financial situations is more important than ever as people seek confidence in their own financial decision making,” McConville said.
“Successful client-adviser relationships can last up to 40 years and sometimes beyond that, and the growing demand for tailored advice will only add to the value that advisers deliver to their clients and communities.
“It’s fantastic to see an uplift in customers seeking long-term financial guidance and I expect that this growth will continue as the world around us continues to change.”