Wealth management will always be a relationship-driven profession. And, even as advisors introduce new toolsets to manage portfolios, they must ensure that their customers continue to trust them. Leveraging technology in wealth management is a delicate balance. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
When AI is introduced into workflows, advisors should be aware of their customers’ varying preferences and expectations. Some customers may feel adequately supported by high-level monthly reports and interactions with robo-advisors, but others may prefer a personalized, traditional, high-touch approach. And, of course, there are plenty of people in the middle of the spectrum, too.
Implementing AI is imperative for wealth managers, but the key is learning how to balance AI adoption with a tried-and-true, people-first approach to wealth management.
Why Trust is Important to Wealth Advisors
Trust is the advisor’s most valuable asset. It is as important as the customer’s portfolio performance.
Customers want to feel that the things they value are understood (and also valued) by their wealth advisor. This is sales 101, but it bears repeating, especially in an age when AI implementation could cause depersonalization. The last thing that a high-touch, relationship-driven client will want is correspondences that are AI-generated and impersonal.
Advisors need to be wary of whether they are leveraging AI to hyper-personalize or have fallen into the trap of being impersonal. Remember, the main value AI can bring is data-driven, rapid processing—something that even the smartest humans cannot achieve at the same rate. The key to employing AI is to play to its strengths—data, numbers, etc.—and to use the time saved to focus on the human relationships that will grow your business.
The Power of AI and Human Synergy
AI-augmented advising is beneficial in the long run because AI and automation can do the heavy lifting of data work while human advisors focus more time on cultivating relationships with their customers.
Spending more time building relationships will create space in conversations to explain how AI plays into building customers’ portfolios. Providing customers with transparency—explaining that number crunching is left to machines that are highly data-driven—will help to alleviate any objections. You could even consider using QadvisorGPT to generate explanations about how AI helps with personalizing investment portfolios.
By providing clear and transparent explanations about the way you work and the role of AI in your business, you are giving them visibility into how you think about their investment portfolios and advising altogether. Building trust happens through these human-to-human conversations.
Advisors Can Leverage AI to Build Trust
By now, you have heard that AI will not take all jobs; it will create new ones. When AI and automation are in the picture, they can be trusted in processing and querying data and analytics. Where the human comes in is verifying if and when the data applies to a given use case.
For instance, using QadvisorGPT or another AI advisor tool, you might generate an email to your customer base. However, there might be stocks or events mentioned in that AI-generated email that do not fit your customer’s investment profile. Rather than sending the AI-generated notes immediately, you should create alternative versions of communications to cater to customers’ unique circumstances and read through them to verify alignment. This will prevent you from hitting a customer’s nerve and empower you to send out multiple versions of emails based on individual preferences and portfolios. Consider yourself like an editor: AI drafts the content at a rapid pace, and it is simply your job to review it to make sure it aligns with your audience.
Advisors Building Trust Through Communication
AI allows advisors to focus on the areas where their expertise is needed most instead of spending time on administrative work or number crunching. However, advisors need to be more communicative than ever to retain their customer base and maintain trust. Since leveraging AI will free up your time, reinvest that time in establishing stronger connections with your customers and communicating more effectively.
You, the advisor, should be the reason your customers feel comfortable working with you. AI certainly gives you an edge, but the person-to-person relationship is the foundation. It always has been.
Building trust is directly correlated to business growth. There’s data to prove it. Vanguard found that 94% of investors are likely to make a referral when they trust their advisor.
Advisors can be the most helpful in personalizing financial planning, understanding their customers’ life goals, and offering a human touch. Advisors need to clearly convey their ability to complement AI and not compete with it by showing empathy and concern for customers’ lives.
Advisors can build trust by learning about the AI that they use to build customers’ portfolios and speaking intelligently to outcomes. As AI becomes more advanced and robo-advisors evolve to be more widespread, some advisors will struggle to balance the power of AI and data with the human touch that wealth management demands. Customers will reach points where robo-advisors cannot help with their complex goals, and this is when advisors need to be ready.
Advisors who integrate AI into their workflow while communicating how and when they use it to customers will thrive. Building trust should be your foundation as you navigate the AI revolution. Advisors will be pleasantly surprised at how their people-forward approach makes them stand out and attract new customers who value the complementary relationship between AI and human advisors.