These were the amusing words uttered by one of our clients the other day, having failed to ‘hook-up’ on our zoom call. For some reason, her iPad wasn’t playing ball; “I must get a new iPad” she said… “but I refuse to pay these extortionate prices”.
I empathised with her plight. She doesn’t use her iPad much, but she uses it sufficiently to feel marginalised if it doesn’t work. A frustration being felt by many as they experience the judder of this technological transition. Very exasperating!
The lady in question is in her mid-70s. On the one hand, she marvels at what is possible, but on the other, is eternally frustrated by how reliant she has become on things she doesn’t understand.
The new Smart TV being a case in point. She was told all about the features, the improvements, catch up TV etc . She was given a demonstration… easy peasy!
Until that is, she was left on her own. Twice the engineers came back and now she has a pathway for working the TV and she dare not use any of the other features in case she can’t get it working again.
I share her pain
When it comes to technology, I definitely feel her pain. To the uninitiated, I’m pretty good at using technology. To those who know what they are doing… well, let’s just say it’s not the most natural thing in the world for me!
The other day someone sent me a link to a golf app. I use the one for my club (Broadstone) to enter my scores but this one records the variances of your shots, number of putts etc. Could I get it to work? I kept pressing the same buttons, sometimes in a different order, but kept getting the same outcomes. The conversation about the Smart TV came to mind!
Is technology working?
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about various service propositions and how supposedly they have been enhanced by technology. I think we have all experienced poorer service through automated offerings, particularly if you can’t get through to someone who can make a decision.
We are having our own frustrations at Blue Sky. I think it’s fair to say that we are seen as being innovative in our sector and are always seeking to improve our client experiences. However, we have challenges as compliance requirements are so onerous that it generates a huge amount of paperwork. Well, it would if we weren’t digital and didn’t have client portals.
But there lies the problem. We are reliant on external technology offerings. For example, the concept of having a client portal is great, but the problem is that we are also reliant on the company in question to adapt to changes in regulations and to create updates which improve the whole experience… and to tell us when these updates occur.
Our sector, mainly due to compliance requirements, is notorious for not having a smooth technology architecture. In other words, the technology in different aspects of a business like ours, does not always speak to each other as well as it should.
Most people wouldn’t notice this frustration, but it has stimulated us into action and we are excited to be engaging with a tech company from abroad who are willing to bespoke a technology offering which places clients first and makes the whole client experience more intuitive. It will in turn, further enhance our offering. More on this in the months to come.
I suppose our experiences just highlight the shortcomings of technology. It can create efficiencies; it can help us all access information more easily but if the technology is not developing as fast as our own requirements, then it can be very frustrating.
Using technology to help younger people engage with money
I have always been committed to improving financial education but trying to deliver this and engage young people whilst also running a business, is very difficult. However, now we think we have a solution looming.
The technology we have explored will help us engage and interact with young people in a way which we haven’t been able to before. It won’t require intervention by any planners (until they need further expertise) and will allow users to familiarise themselves with investing at low levels and create an understanding of what this means for their future.
Just in case you were wondering
Despite our client saying she wouldn’t pay those extortionate prices for a new iPad, by the end of the call she had agreed to press ahead and buy one. With no cruises on the immediate horizon, I did ask “what else are you going to spend your money on”?
It was agreed that she could afford to buy a new one, as she couldn’t afford not to buy one!
Gary Neild B.Sc.Hons. DipIP PFA