Despite digital technologies being set to significantly enhance processes, dedicated advisers and front-line staff will remain key within financial services According to Avaloq‘s financial industry report, front office staff such as client advisors and relationship managers will continue to be in high demand, particularly those that can blend digital expertise with strong client understanding.
“Technology will play a massive role in the Financial Services sector over the next ten years, but even in a brave new techno world, it’s the human touch that will really matter,” Mutoda Mahamba, CEO and founder of Solvency echoes. “The Financial Services industry has certainly entered a new phase through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and technology, but the human touch may yet remain a necessity for consumers. In fact, with the current explosion of new ways of delivering products and services, brands that use technology, but also include quality human interactions, are likely to outperform rivals.”
International research by PwC also reiterates importance of the human touch as part of the customer or client experience. “Even as technology improves and automation becomes more prevalent, most consumers globally still prefer human interaction. People engage daily with apps, self-service checkouts, websites and the like. But the minute something goes wrong they want to talk to a person.”, says Quinton Pienaar, Customer engagement and salesforce leader, PwC South Africa.
The research of Avaloq confirms this point. It shows that AI, along with cloud-based operating models, data analytics and automation will equip and empower advisers to deliver a far greater, more competitive service proposition. However, almost two-thirds of end-investors in particular (62%) said they would not be willing to use a fully ‘robotic’ service, despite 73% saying that AI, robotics and automation will be defining sector trends of the future.
“What has been most interesting from our study, however, is not that technology will replace back, middle or front office staff, but that it will empower them to do more and deliver a superior service. While there will be a need for new specialisms, and some functions will likely need to adapt and change, the fundamental need for the ‘human touch’ right across an institution remains loud and clear,” Avaloq highlights.
Technology is just the enabler, the value of the financial advisers’ human touch is key to the overall experience, even via Zoom. And please say a silent prayer that those utterly frustrating “call centres” also receive the required facelift to enable it to comply with this demand.