But, taking the step to actually roll out a new client portal has been by far the biggest step and a worry. What if it wasn’t right? What if it didn’t work? What if the clients didn’t like it? What if they didn’t use it?
Then came March 2020; Coronavirus; Covid-19; Lockdown. The team was sent to work from home.
With only one person in the office at any one time, we only had limited access to the decent printer and scanner. Post was taking days and then without gloves, PPE and sanitiser in place, would you want to touch it anyway.
When we first started looking at this project, who could have imagined how all the work to date would all come together in such unprecedented circumstances? All that groundwork has certainly paid dividends and we have now started to roll out the Jane Smith Financial Planning hub to our clients.
We were on our way to becoming “paperless”, but forced into this position, we’ve moved on in leaps and bounds, adapting our systems and processes both internally, but also in how we deal with our clients.
We have all almost been forced into adopting paperless options (though we’re yet to convince many of the providers) as a quick and easy means of ensuring we can transfer documents, data and messages between us and clients.
I think the timing of this couldn’t really have worked better. There’s been so much in the press about scams and data security.
Our attempts to address these issues has been received really well by our clients. We tried to do something like this six or seven years ago, but our clients weren’t that interested.
However, with increasing awareness and understanding of scams and possible breaches of security and data, our clients are now much more amenable to it. They increasingly recognise the importance of being more vigilant online and if we can help them in this, then all the better.
Nicola Watts APFS Chartered Financial Planner, Chartered Wealth Manager, CFPTM Chartered FSCI - director of Jane Smith Financial Planning
After joining the family business in 2000, Nicola qualified to provide advice in 2001, and has been a director of the business since 2006. Since the retirement of her mother (Jane Smith), Nicola bears sole responsibility for the management of the firm, and the advice provided to clients. Nicola is married to David and has two young children, Emily and Olivia, and Poppy the black labrador.