When people describe me or others like me in the industry, they usually say that I am in the business of selling life insurance. This is true, but it does not actually capture what I or the advisers around me really offer in terms of our service, which involves offering advice for the unique lives each of our clients lead.
Advice is not something you simply purchase by offering up your credit card number and signing a contract. For advice to be truly effective and powerful, it needs to enable us to do the things that matter most. But because we’re only human and life happens, we sometimes miss these critical moments.
Empowered through tech
The good news is that, by looking towards the incredible, ever-increasing abilities of technology and artificial intelligence, we now have the opportunity to ensure that we keep our plans and actions pointed where they need to be in a way that’s beyond anything we’ve known before.
Advice can be a long process. It takes time to get to know clients. And it takes clients time to get to know what lifestyle is possible when they engage with an adviser.
But when we get this right, the actual numbers are staggering from a business perspective. Over the past 20 years with our Lifestyle Protector offering, we’ve provided cover for just under 1 million clients, covering 400 000 families.
It’s taken a lot of conversations to get to this point, to put it mildly. Advice is a process that takes time, and if we all had enough of it — both clients and advisers — imagine the things we could achieve in terms of creating the lifestyle our clients really dream of.
From a business process perspective, handling this many lives and the resultant cover needed might seem like a logistical challenge, but when you really search for innovative ways of doing things, you realise there is always a better way.
We always look to innovation to evolve and create better things. Remember just a decade ago, when TVs and computer monitors were big bulky boxes? Remember when buying things online seemed like a novelty?
The point is that innovation is already here for financial advice. One of the key ways in which we see it in Liberty is in an accelerated digital transformation journey which is enabling advisers to have more direct engagements with clients and a more precise understanding of their needs.
Value of time
For us in the advice business, time is the commodity, and this is where we are seeing the power of innovation. We call this new technology our Adviser Workbench. It’s been designed by leading global innovator Salesforce.
Adviser Workbench employs the power of artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to power advice. It does not replace human advisers. Rather, it augments their ability to partner with our clients by helping us highlight the key moments and opportunities in our clients’ lives to ensure that the most important questions we need to answer are highlighted at the right time in the right way. The benefits far outweigh the fear that technology, or even AI, may replace humans. Rather, it’s about enhancing our ability to focus on the things that matter most to our clients.
AI in your toolbox
If you thought of Adviser Workbench as a kind of personalised Chat GPT artificial intelligence for the advice community, you’d be thinking along the right track. With Workbench we are able to create instant access to things like leads, client insights and secure personal client information all delivered in a custom way to meet the individual adviser’s need for information and insights.
The platform provides a consistent, seamless client experience with a single view for everyone, which enables real-time feedback and engagement, and in doing so gives us advisers more time to help more clients and create more business opportunities.
While this platform embraces the power of technology, it is designed to offer more human-based solutions as an outcome.
We introduced this platform steadily into our space a couple of years ago, selecting a few Liberty Financial advisers as our proof of concept. Fast forward to date, at least 80% of our adviser force has adopted this technology to improve their businesses.
These new future tools are clearly working and changing the way we offer advice. This is a technology that brings us closer to people through its insights, creating better relationships through knowledge and the ability to understand clients better through this human augmented digital process. Ultimately, this is the promise of technology used correctly. Instead of being something that takes clients further away from valuable advice, it can rather help us make advice more human and powerful than ever before.