Yesterday was fascinating insight into changing ways to interact with clients and the way technology is changing the way services are delivered and what clients and the public expect.
In the morning I took part in a Discussion Panel at a Superannuation Conference. A 10 minute presentation for the three participates followed by questions from the floor. The audience was about 100 industry professionals with a few reporters present to help spread the topics to a wider group. Strangely enough one of those topics was about future challenges to the growing SMSF industry and I mentioned how clients are no longer willing to wait days or months for answers or actions.
In the afternoon I supported a Social Media Event on LinkedIn. It was run on a private group with 4000 industry professionals. In promoting the event we received 14 questions in advance, many of which would have taken weeks to answer if not more in our current delivery model. During the event I helped the Senior Executive answer several very difficult questions within minutes, lots of stress there considering its a permanent record!
So the day showed me the past and the possible future. Speaking and interacting directly with individuals you can really get to understand their concerns and visual clues let you know if they understand your answers and concerns.
The Social Media event allowed us to reach a bigger audience, it limits people asking the same questions again. It also puts a lot of pressure to have the answers ready which goes against my organisations risk avoidance / minimise risk approach. You can also miss some of the context in written questions. Written communication has its limits, it’s a reason lawyers exist after all!
The future appears to be more about pace, breaking down barriers (9-5 contact hours into 24 hours) and creating new ones (non verbal communication). A future in which people who can make quick and logical decisions will do better than those who take a more cautious approach – which will lead to more mistakes but also more efficiencies and services for most.
Am I ready for this? Are we ready? I suppose we will find out.