Innovation and efficiency are top of mind for Integra. As a 20-year-old business, we must continue to be at the top of our game to keep giving a great client experience.

Evolving the way we do business has been a focus over the last few years. Our client surveys through Business Health and the Beddoes Institute confirmed that clients want communication in a personal way from their adviser.

To build on our communication, we invested heavily in social media and video messaging. New and existing client responses and engagement have been amazing.

Outsourcing is now a part of many small- to medium-sized businesses and within Integra we outsource our paraplanning. The cost and time of writing Statements of Advice and meeting clients’ expectations on timing became difficult for our team to manage; this has been successful for us. Turnaround times have been reduced and we are meeting our client service expectations.

The industry is adopting great technology and we are no exception. One of the first things we did to build efficiency was to begin using smart pens. These are a great way to record client meetings – capturing our discussions and clients’ personality traits. This is great for compliance, too. One of the biggest burdens for advisers is the paperwork after the initial appointment. By using smart pens, we have been able to have our senior client service staff do much more of the preparation of the advice, freeing up our advisers so they can to do their face-to-face servicing of clients. We have also found the recordings are a fantastic training tool for our staff.

Internally, we have decluttered our emails using Microsoft teams, this has been a great tool in the office, creating efficiency around client servicing, team building and time management in the office.

Our latest innovation has been online scheduling, so clients can book meetings themselves 24/7. Gone are the issues of juggling availability!

Being able to streamline basic processes helps free up time and resources so you can concentrate on providing more value-add interaction with your clients.

What are the current processes within your business? Ask yourself why you do it, does it add value, and how you can do it better.

Bring your team into the discussion so you have a variety of ideas and perspectives to get past roadblocks in your business.

I am a huge fan of the RACI Model (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed), which helps identify roles and responsibilities within a project or business processes and highlights any inefficiencies. As a business, we’re about to go through this process and encourage you to consider it for yours.

Every two years, we survey our clients, assisting us in our business planning around client service. We also do online surveys to gauge new clients’ experience and whether we are meeting their expectations.

With the constant disruption in the advice profession we believe we need to continue to evolve and innovate with our services. As the cost of advice rises, it’s imperative that we keep the balance in maintaining our business and continuing to be relevant to the people that matter most, our clients.