Electronic communication theoretically lets a single advisor reach out to more clients than the phone could ever reach. But what do those clients want?
SEI Global has just released a new white paper on the way advisor communication channels have evolved.
It's a quick read -- almost a meditation on technology and how it works -- and the key points are even quicker to summarize.
Investors hate meaningless paperwork. They want their statements online in a format that allows their advisor to customize the information they get and otherwise allow two-way communication.
Getting that kind of "enhanced" routine update might take some of the pressure off the phone and office calendar.
SEI discovered that 92% of the advisors they talked to are still focused on face-to-face meetings -- as they should be -- while only 33% are putting as much thought into their email policy, much less a blog or social media.
As SEI says, "there's no doubt that many clients would agree, but that does not mean wealth managers can ignore the channels open to them."
The white paper concludes that "the personal touch is certainly customized, but the big question is how scalable it can be."
In other words, if an advisors wants (or needs) to evolve beyond the high-net-worth market to serve hundreds if not thousands of clients, there's just not enough time to call them all.
This is especially important because the industry has succeeded in convincing prospective clients that the product advisors offer is "relationships."
A full 93% of the investors SEI talked to say communication strategy is important when they choose an advisor.