With pressure to keep delivering exceptional service and experience to clients in the wake of unprecedented disruption, advisers and providers alike have doubled down on digital communication channels and innovations that remove the need to interact in person.
Now, almost three months in, and lockdown easing for most of us, we can start to take stock of our successes and be proud of how quickly the advice market has adapted.
I have been blown away by the resilience of the advisers we work with and the dedication of my colleagues to make this happen.
The innovations adopted during this time will affect two key areas – workplace culture and client services
There is now an opportunity to look forward and consider the impact of such an unexpected shift towards a more digital way of doing business.
Covid-19 has given us the clearest glimpse yet into the future of financial advice: a world where technology plays an even bigger part of the working life of advisers and their clients.
In my view, the innovations adopted during this time will affect two key areas – workplace culture and client services.
Starting with culture, it seems like a lifetime ago now, but when stay at home orders first came into force our normal working patterns were completely upended.
After an inevitable stage of firefighting, most of us have settled into a completely digital office environment.
Video conferencing services are now household names, kinks in remote working have been ironed out and the face-to-face meetings that were once deemed essential are being questioned.
And those working from home during lockdown will have most likely learned something about themselves in the process.
Personally, being at home with my family has made me question the amount of time I used to spend travelling.
I have also made an effort to start and stop the working day at a set time to avoid work and home life blending together completely – a lesson I will not soon forget.
Some of the smaller adviser businesses we work with told us they already offered flexible and home working.
But many larger firms said the steps they’ve taken to keep staff connected at home will result in a massive behavioural change for their business in the future.
This takes us onto client services. The biggest impact Covid-19 has had on advisers is their ability to meet clients in person, and technology has helped the industry rise to the occasion.