With the introduction of big data and advances in data science, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and bots, there’s been a lot of speculation about how these technologies will affect our industry. Will they replace human advisors? Will they run the markets and become our new overlords? Pushing science fiction aside, I think there are some key realistic expectations we can all start to consider as achievable with today’s technology.

The first area we can look at is improving an advisors’ day through the use of bots, natural language processing, and things like process automation and machine learning. Understanding that advisors traditionally come from a relationship management or sales background – how can we help them scale through automation of common sales or relationship management tasks?

  1. Meeting Prep: imagine the example of preparing for a meeting with a prospective client where you’re presenting a proposal. Wouldn’t it be great if you automatically got a customised presentation delivered to you that pared down unnecessary product proposal details, included relevant non-financial talking points for you, and a summary of the prospect and your interactions to date? It would ideally take into account what it has learned about the prospect’s personality from your past discussions – maybe they’re very analytical, so it will include more about the facts and figures of past performance, as an example. Maybe they like wine and you’re a beer person – but your automated report included this year’s top picks and winners and other interesting wine facts.
  2. Documentation/Notes: between suitability requirements, DOL, and who-knows-what’s-next, gone are the days where you could just easily log free-form text. Your firm likely requires you to document calls, interactions, and recommendations in a very specific way – a very time-consuming specific way. What if you could literally just have a conversation with a robot, that based on the transcript of the call or email automatically just asked you a few simple (human) but relevant questions and transcribed your answers for you?
  3. Proactive Compliance Monitoring: identifying risks or potential risks from transcripts of calls and emails and proactively engaging compliance.

Just think about all the possibilities once chat-bots get involved as a conversational interface. It’s like having a virtual assistant available anytime, anywhere.

Second, I think we can look at how we can use all the available information and analytics/intelligence to provide actionable insight:

  1. Book of Business Optimization: recommending which customers to move to self-service or robo channels and which to spend more time on to maximize AUM.
  2. Customer Profitability Optimization: identify suitable products to recommend or activities to perform for clients that will maximize likelihood of growing AUM or Commissions.
  3. Service and Engagement Model Optimization: suggested service models or engagement models based on client interaction history, sentiment, and previous touch deferrals/tardiness.
  4. Intelligently Recommend Next Actions: for Opportunities, Leads, Complaints, and Service Requests, based on previous cases that closed quickly/successfully.

What do you think? What are some of the most important things you think this technology will help us solve in the near term? Let me know in the comments below, or shoot me an email or direct message on Twitter.