Expectation vs reality
Think for a moment about cars. They are necessarily complicated things with quite literally a lot of parts. Just taking the features on a central digital display in to consideration, the driver can pair their phone, connect music via bluetooth, set climate control, even start the engine with a touch of a button. Yet the user experience from their in-built technology is often flawlessly personalised - something each of us hopes for when we encounter a new set-up, but don’t always get.
Like cars, back office systems also have many moving parts. So isn’t it reasonable that adviser users should seek, and expect, the same personalised user experience?
"Through close collaboration end users should be included in all elements of the design, test and build processes of back office software production."
It needn’t be complicated
A back-office system is the vital tool kit advisers and planners use to create and manage their services based on business and client needs. These needs will be different from firm to firm and even adviser to adviser. It’s almost a form of alchemy but, through close collaboration end users should be included in all elements of the design, test and build processes of back office software production, so the act of meeting those personalised needs shouldn’t be complex.
Advisers shouldn’t have to spend time and money shopping around for all the different elements and then more time and money trying to get all the different technology applications to speak to one another. Everything should be there, connected, ready and waiting to be turned on or off, in that virtual tool kit. And the process of adding or removing services or functionality should be logical and intuitive, or, if you prefer, it should be easy to personalise.
"Advisers shouldn’t have to spend time and money shopping around for different elements."
Your back office system is what enables you to deliver your own differentiated advice proposition. Time and energy are precious and are much better invested in your clients or developing your business, not hanging on the phone in the hope that the support team will let you salvage something from your otherwise wasted day.
"We’re now in the age of mass personalisation brought about by “highly configurable” software."
The age of personalisation
Henry Ford once famously said “A customer can have a car painted any colour he wants as long as it’s black”. Apparently, what he meant by that was that his product was good enough and didn’t require any modification, and therefore was able to be mass produced on an assembly line.
But the times have changed and we’ve moved on. We’re now in the age of mass personalisation brought about by highly configurable software. Technology has advanced to the point that we no longer need to settle for a one-size-fits-all back office system. We all have different needs and expectations, as do your clients.
Adviser technology has moved on too. Extensive software solutions are available that come with the ability to intuitively personalise the functionality ‘dashboard’ to best meet your advice proposition and your clients’ needs. It’s all about making the complex simple.
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