OpenAI, an artificial intelligence (AI) and research company, launched ChatGPT on November 30, 2022. ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that simulates conversation with human end users using a process known as natural language processing (or NLP).
In hindsight, ChatGPT’s launch feels like one of those moments where there is a “before” and an “after.” Similar to the personal computer and the internet, we’ll tell our children about a time before AI. The impact will be and is already profound. ChatGPT is only one small example of how AI could impact the way we work in the future.
Many industries in the world are advancing quickly to understand how this technology might benefit them and help them to be more efficient and more effective than ever before – the opportunities are plentiful. The financial services industry is no exception. In fact, AI is helping advisors improve their practices today.
1. Data analysis
"As the competitive race intensifies to find, capture, and retain customers, the need for robust, timely, high-quality data has never been greater."– Farouk Ferchichi, President of Envestnet | Yodlee
Data doesn't inherently provide us with answers; we must actively handle and examine data to uncover the insights needed. Because AI tools are built to quickly analyze large quantities of data and make informed recommendations, they could be used by advisors for data-driven decision making. Here are just a few possible examples where advisors can use AI tools to improve their practice:
- Savings and investment advisory services. Advisors can use robotic advisory technology to assist them in making specific recommendations about investment strategies, analyze portfolios, change asset allocations, and offer other proactive support based on a customer’s investment goals and risk profile.
- Debt management. Similar to insurance advisory services, advisors could provide clients with suggested loan balance transfers, if any, and relevant loan products, based on their specific needs, risk tolerance, and other factors.
- Expense management. Using an AI-powered tool, advisors could provide their clients with an analysis of their historical spending with recommendations for how to optimize spending, savings, and budget allocation.
- Year-round tax management. We know that year-round tax management strategies can help improve client outcomes, but they can be prohibitively time-consuming and complex to execute without support. Using AI-powered services, advisors can deliver an “always-on” approach to strategic tax management across their book of business, ensuring that their clients have the information they need to optimize for tax-efficiency.
- Insurance advisory services. AI-powered advisory services can provide targeted recommendations about insurance coverage amounts and type, based on a client’s stage of life, personal details, level of affluence, spending allocation, tax savings, and other factors.
Many AI tools and services utilize Natural Language Processing or NLP. Think of NLP as a bridge between human language and computers. It enables computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language. NLP tools can scan vast amounts of financial news and reports to provide real-time insights, helping professionals stay updated with market developments.
Fun Fact: NLP can also merge qualitative information (textual data) with quantitative data (numbers) to provide a more comprehensive view of the financial markets, helping professionals make more informed investment decisions.
2. Client service
75% of all customers expect consistent cross-channel service experience. To meet these high expectations, the financial services industry is turning to AI. In global banking alone, McKinsey estimates that AI technologies could potentially deliver up to $1 trillion of additional value each year, of which revamped customer service accounts for a significant portion.1 There are two main examples of how that could work.
- Advisor responsiveness. One of the great benefits of AI platforms and various chatbots is the ability to assist with routine customer interactions, like scheduling and administrative questions. If used correctly, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants have the potential to improve the overall client experience by responding almost immediately to inquiries and to effectively reduce a financial professional’s overhead.
- Client engagement and wallet share. As soon as prospects become clients, AI-powered analytics can help to strengthen the advisor/client relationship. Let’s look at the onboarding phase. Advisors might use an identification engine to determine a financial health score that consolidates information from different sources into a single metric that helps to determine the optimal level of service and product mix for that client. Similar tools can apply AI algorithms that might identify “hidden affluence”—client assets held with other wealth managers or institutions. This type of information can help advisors to have a more holistic picture of each client’s financial situation.
Of course, every advisor wants each client to feel like their only client. Unfortunately, even with a strong office support team, there are only so many hours in a day to take phone calls, participate in meetings, and respond to email.
The top content marketing challenges for financial organizations are lack of resources (37.2%), inability to measure effectiveness (36.7%), and lack of budget (35.7%).2 AI-powered marketing tools, as they become more available, may be able to address all three.
- Routine task automation. AI-powered tools can automate routine marketing tasks, such as sending follow-up emails, scheduling meetings, or updating client records. These tasks are critical, but relatively easy to automate, which frees the advisor’s time to focus on more strategic activities.
- Social media analysis. AI-powered tools can track social media conversations and sentiment related to financial topics, arguably more quickly and effectively than most humans. Advisors can use this information to engage with potential clients and provide insights in real-time.
- Marketing ROI analysis. AI-powered tools can measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and provide insights on which strategies yield the best results. This analysis helps advisors to allocate their marketing resources more efficiently.
- Content generation. AI-powered tools can generate blog posts, white papers, and other content to establish advisors as thought leaders in the industry. While AI can't replace the advisor's expertise, it can help create high-quality, customizable content more efficiently.
- Email marketing optimization. The best email campaigns continuously evolve. AI-powered tools can analyze client interactions with email campaigns and recommend improvements to increase open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
In general, AI can help advisors to spend less time on marketing tasks, but to also be more effective in their efforts.
Humans are still the heroes
As an industry, we have moved beyond thinking about AI as “replacing” advisors. Rather, AI-powered tools may have the potential to make advisors vastly more efficient in their day-to-day work, so that they can do what they do best — provide human support and experience to their human clients.
So often, the most valuable conversations a client has with their advisor aren’t directly related to their investments. Their most valuable conversations are when they pick up the phone to discuss how their families are doing and what they are planning for the in the future. AI-powered tools have the potential to empower advisors to have more time for those important conversations.
We can help you move your business forward.
Visit https://www.envestnet.com/wealth-data-platform to learn how.