Connecting with Clients through Videoconferencing

Gary Weinlein, CLU, ChFC, BFA™, Practice Consulting, Regional Director
March 15, 2019

Many talk about creating the “Amazon-like” or “Apple-esque” experience for financial services, but I think future-focused financial advisory firms can stand out from the crowd by creating a client experience similar that of Peloton bicycles.

My Peloton Story

It was a snowy January morning outside as I recently hopped on my Peloton exercise bike for my first live class, a 60-minute “tailgate ride.” Myself and over 2,000 riders from across the country joined a live instructor in New York City to complete an energetic and engaging ride.

While I’d already tried the bike’s on-demand trainings before, this first live session blew me away. The workout and instructor were great, but I was really amazed that more than 2,000 people had foregone the traditional gym experience for this new exercise experience. While the bike itself costs a little more than $2,000, the $39.99 monthly membership to participate in the live classes (it’s only $20 for access to on-demand only) is on par with a premium gym membership.

While the experience isn’t exactly the same as it would’ve been in person, Peloton’s video conferencing capabilities were “good enough” for thousands of riders like myself to join in from the comfort of our own homes.

This had me thinking – how many wealth management clients would say “yes” if given the opportunity to connect with an experienced financial advisor from the comfort of their own home?

Selecting the Right Video Platform

Technology innovation, proliferation of tools and better high-speed connectivity have placed the “virtual experience” at the feet of the financial advice industry. One you have financial planning tools such as MoneyGuidePro and eMoney and a modern CRM platform like Redtail and Salesforce implemented, the next technology investment many firms should make is in a reliable video conferencing platform. Integrating the right platform could bring the firm’s technology stack together to create a leading-edge client experience.

When it comes to videoconferencing systems, there are many options to choose from.

The one that I use and am most familiar with is Zoom. I wanted a conference calling platform that could host several advisors at a time, one that was easy to use, both from my end and the participants in the call. I wanted to be able to share my screen and have others share their screen. Zoom does all of that for me and at $15 per month, it checks the last need on my list, which was being affordable.

There are many options out there, and the first step is to consider any compliance obligations that may be around conference-calling technology. From there, determine your needs, choose a platform and create a plan to implement your chosen platform. As with learning any new technology, it may take a while to master how to best use videoconferencing technology to connect with your clients. Once you have, though, it’s just like riding a bike. 

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