The challenge

 

"What if we could position money alongside broader life goals? How could we use digital innovation to improve the experience of seeking financial advice? How could we help remove the uncertainty people feel about their finances, while helping financial advisors deliver a more efficient and relevant offering?"

If you’ve ever sat with a financial adviser, you know the first meeting can be daunting. Sharing your financial history, wading through the quagmire of strange sounding products and knowing the decisions you make will affect you and your family into the future. From a business perspective, Old Mutual Wealth wanted to drive preference of their products over competitors’ amongst their financial adviser audience, by facilitating a better conversation between them and their customers.

So what if you could hit the ground running in the first appointment? What if your adviser was already familiar with your situation, your priorities and your life goals before you even walk through the door? What if you came armed with questions that helped start a better conversation and you already had a heads-up on what you would be discussing?

The approach

We mapped out the experience people go through when seeking financial advice to understand the opportunities for introducing a new touchpoint into the journey. From the first phone call or email, to walking through the door of the adviser; we stripped down the key points where the customer may feel unease or could be motivated to explore for themselves.

We learned that a first meeting usually consisted of a ‘fact-find’. We hypothesised that if we could speed up this process by moving some of this to before the appointment, it would set up the tone and frame for the session to align the advisor and customer’s expectations, while focusing time in the meeting. We proposed to create a tool which could be used prior to, as well as during the appointment.

An adviser’s first job is to move beyond money, drawing out the person’s life goals. Customers told us that they felt their health and happiness were intrinsically linked to their money, and that both are made easier when their financial future is assured.

We investigated underlying dimensions and motivators associated with health and happiness. We saw that financial advisers would not be comfortable talking about areas outside their expertise. So we partnered with Action For Happiness, a charity committed to building a happier and more caring society, to shape how we could talk about health and happiness with customers. Bringing together their insights on Happier Living with financial considerations gave us a foundation to create the Prosperity™ online tool.

The solution

Combining happiness and financial services research with experience mapping gave us the unique insights to create a differentiated online discovery process.

The Prosperity™ tool became a double-sided, multidevice activity. The adviser could focus on setting-up new clients, recording their progress and reviewing the results through the lens of giving better financial advice. Whereas, the customer took time to reflect, compare priorities across the different areas and discuss with partners and family. Prosperity™ then intelligently analysed the responses to present an overall review, as well as offering mini-focus tools for customers wanting to dive deeper into their life priorities.

 

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The outcome

Prosperity™ encourages people to consider their health and happiness when thinking about financial planning. It provides a robust framework to discuss aspects of health and happiness and complements the financial advisor’s expertise.

Prosperity™ was trialed with financial advisers, using customer feedback to refine all aspects of the design and content before rolling out. Customers commented how it helped them understand more about what they wanted from their financial advice sessions, and advisers have used the tool to understand the customer’s needs before they walk through the door, to streamline and provide a higher value financial advice service offering.

Value creation through design thinking

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