Our last article, which is based on research from our new report, covered some of the practical difficulties that mass affluent customers face with financial planning, often having busy lives and demanding jobs. This week we are sharing our insights about the ways mass affluent consumers gather information and advice in their financial planning journey.
Our research showed that mass affluent consumers use a variety of sources to gather information and advice and are both willing and able to seek recommendations to help plan for their financial future. Many of those surveyed value professional advice, with 56% still using financial advisers. However, 73% of our respondents said they look for advice and recommendations from their family and friends. This shows that personal networks are still considered a central tenet of information and validation in decision-making.
Personal networks have evolved in the recent past, and our research demonstrates the impact this has had in the financial advice space. Social media is becoming a more accepted platform to gather advice and recommendations, with 85% of investors below 45 years of age using it to this end. New and meaningful relationships with customers will be built through positive experiences that are then shared among customer networks.
Thus, organisations wishing to better engage with mass affluent investors should pay attention to their digital experience, including apps, planning tools and website content. These aspects are critical sources of information for your customers, and they also provide important information about customer activity. These experience analytics can (and should) be used to significant ends; to inform the development of future products and services that tackle emergent or currently unmet customer needs.
Through the development of new digital experiences, which enable your customers to better plan for their financial future, organisations will establish themselves as purpose-led brands that are truly invested in their customer’s financial well-being.
Download and read our full report now for all of our insights and recommendations, gleaned directly from research with affluent customers. The report is structured in accordance with moments in the financial planning process as experienced by the customer.
If you have any questions about our research, or would like more information about our services, please contact Peter Neufeld.
EY Advisory Partner &
Head of FS Digital Customer Experience EMEIA
Peter works with Financial Services clients in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa to help them embed new capabilities into their organisation, build innovative new products and services, and transform their business through customer centricity, rich insight and service design.