“Boomers”, one of the most anticipated and analyzed demographic event of all time. For the next 20 years, the Financial Services Industry will focus on selling and servicing this market segment. �Boomers� will experience substantial changes in income stability as well as in spending behaviors. The following have been recognized as the most significant factors that may influence retirement behaviors:
Government pension plans only account for a portion for retirement,
Health expenses will be increasing as people age,
Fear of outliving their income,
Inflation and taxes may increase beyond what they can afford.
In one sentence, “boomers” are afraid that they will not have enough to retire in style. This is a great opportunity for FS organizations to assist them accumulate precious assets before retirement. Having done so, these companies will be positioned to provide them with products and services through their retirement years. FS organizations need to start NOW, if they want to be ready. To do so, organizations will need to re-think product offerings, distribution/servicing channels as well as technology.
Products to service �boomers� will need to cover the spectrum of their retirement needs. Managing �boomers� with a holistic approach will ensure that all retirement needs are covered. Initially, FS organizations should help investors transition to retirement by ramping-up their assets to then assisting them in consolidating and drawing from their wealth. Product packaging will be required to address each part of the total retirement plan.
Multiple channels for both sales and servicing based on customer preferences will become necessary. Although most FS organizations all have pieces of this puzzle, the key business driver will be the volume of clients and service requests generated by �boomers�. Companies will need to think about the client experience, ease and flexibility in accessing channels, and the costs associated with these channels. The definition of products will not only include the benefits but also the client experience.
The face-to-face channel involving brokers and agents will also need to change. In the past, they were considered sales force. To become successful, these people will need to re-educate themselves to become financial advisors with the purpose to successfully bring their clients to retirement.
Overall, FS organizations will need to leverage the power of multiple channels at different points during the relationship. It will be too late in 5 years to start thinking about this. Right now, what is important is to acquire and retain these clients.
The technology environment will need to provide functions that may not have been as important in the past. Capabilities such as:
Determining preferences and life cycles of clients
Identifying affinities between products and services
Providing the same client view throughout all channels
Providing experiences in line with expectations
To answer these specific strategies, an integrated architecture with new and existing technologies will need to co-exist. But more important will be the alignment of the business objectives with these applications and infrastructure. Technology like Business Process Management, Service Oriented Architecture, CRM, Call Centers, Internet and Business Intelligence will be at the center of successful FS organizations. Boomers have been identified as the most important market segment to service.
Are you ready?
We are consultants to management in insurance, and wealth management with the sole aim to create lasting value for our clients in their products and services, distribution, business processes, and information technology applications. More at www.newlinkgroup.com.