The shift toward automation has rapidly accelerated in the past five years. As the pace of life seems to quicken and we pile more on our plates, we have less time for tedious chores. Any digitization that can cut through the tedium is welcome. Online shopping has gained traction because it eliminates the chore of driving to the store; customers can order products with a click of a button while riding the train to work.
A similar phenomenon has sprung up in the financial services industry. Because of automation, we have bots executing stock-market trades, consumers gravitating toward online-only banks and robot advisors supplanting live agents.
Sellers of automation peddle the message that human interaction is unnecessary when making financial plans. More than just unnecessary, the angle is that involving a live person may complicate or retard the process.
My belief is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other – advisor or technology. In fact, thinking of it as a choice between the two is a false dichotomy because, in reality, the best option for the consumer is a blend of both. I plan to talk in more depth about the intersection between technology, the advisor, and the consumer, but for now let’s focus on a non-technological way you can increase your value to the Millennial customer.
You can’t afford to exclude Millennials from your client base, as they represent a very big piece of your client pie. According to research from The Center for Generational Kinetics, the Millennial population sits at 80 million and is the fastest-growing generation to date. In addition to being the fastest-growing generation, they now influence Gen Xers and Boomers, as these groups have begun adopting Millennial shopping and buying behaviors.