Yesterday I was writing a post about the benefits MiGuide and Intelligent Guidance bring to Financial Services. How it reduces costly errors, puts your best expert over the shoulder of your agents, ensures your compliance practices are followed and generally makes for a better process when I thought; yes these are all true and valuable but are they really what the consumers of Financial Services websites are really looking for?
I think most people find financial Services websites yawn inducing; they are usually full of text and make even the simplest things mind stunningly complicated. Financial Advisers need to study to become competent and take exams to prove they know what they are talking about but consumers don’t so why do so many websites make the consumer read long and complex guides just to get to a few basic facts.
Many websites say they offer guides but very few (if any) offer guidance and there is a massive difference. Guides need you to read all the information before you can sort what’s relevant to you; guidance enables you to get information and help which is relevant to you and your situation. An example of this is shown in the Stakeholder Pensions demo which can be found by clicking here. It starts by asking a simple question about your employment status, are you employed or self-employed? So, if you are employed you don’t need to wade through all the information about what might be if you were self-employed – important if you are studying to be an advisor but completely irrelevant to the consumer.
The same can be applied to so much of the information the consumer needs to make informed decisions about their personal financial planning. To reduce the yawn factor it needs to me easy to digest, relevant and presented in a way in which it is useful; the right information, in the right format at the right time.