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Personal Finance should not make you Lose your Mind (Part III)

Amongst the huge array of challenges (See Part 1, and Part 2), there is another key challenge when you wish to get a user onboard – those damn forms! Add your KYC Documents (ID documents, bank statement copies, address proof, etc), with a photograph and there is a good chance you’ll delay the signup process.

Forms work as formality, without adding any value

No matter how boring it is to research investment options, the forms themselves are a confirmation of how boring the entire Financial Investment ecosystem is. Take the example of watching a film. If a scene emotes you, you’ll be deeply vested in the story and the characters. The same applies to Financial Instruments – if they raise an emotion, you’ll be vested in its outcome. The insurance sector has realized the value of selling “Fear”. Their value proposition is not misplaced – you need insurance to protect yourself.

In addition, practically everytime you have to fill out a form – the sales representative offers to fill it out for you. That is proof – right there – that the salesman is offering value to you by taking away the boring job.

Name, Address, Phone Number, Email, Date of Birth, etc

There is no denying that certain elements are boring. I mean if a Person’s name is Dharam Kumar Bose, you can’t start singing “Bhaag Bhaag DK Bose”. That’s uncalled for. But my point is, why do these fields have to be first on the form? Why not at the end? If the user systematically is interacting with the offerings provided by the company, why create the impression in the mind of the customer that  “These people are simply taking my information and some call center will keep harassing me till the end of my time.”

If the user has decided to go for your services while going through the form, their contact and personal information should be as good as a signature. A confirmation, if you will, that the user feels that this is something they wish to be a part of.

Dripfeed information

Why is there a need to ask for all the information in one go? Why is there a need for a 4-page form? If the customer has decided to commit to you, you can ask them pieces of information as we go along. When you join Facebook, does it ask to share all your pictures from your entire life in one go? Or Like the pages, you associate with in one sitting? This is a big problem which a lot of matchmaking sites also experienced in the past when they asked the user to fill out a personality evaluation form – which took forever. In Part 1 of this series – I showed a form to calculate your Personal Net Worth. Wouldn’t be better if you collected all this information over a longer course of time, each time giving a gratification of value to them. At the end, you can give them their collective Net Worth – which will pleasantly surprise the user and save them from the pain filling a huge form

Underqualified Investor

Ask any qualified Insurance Salesman or an Institutional Investment Business Manager and they’ll tell you about their customers who don’t know what they want. They don’t understand their very own spending patterns, their short term and long term goals, and what they seek to achieve with their savings. A salesman, more often than not, suffers from this exact same problem.

Two uninformed and underqualified people are trying to buy or sell something about which they have little idea. This is a little easier for insurance but much harder for investment advice. Remember this has nothing to do with the financial strength of the customer, but their literacy of personal finance. You cannot expect to have a stellar onboarding experience when your customer has a minimal idea or a poor opinion about your product.

If the customer doesn’t understand the concept of an Emergency Reserve, Budgeting Expenses, Tax Planning, Insurance benefits, etc than you are really wasting your time with this customer by selling them Investment Advisory.

Emotional Connect

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Like most things in life, there is a simple way to calculate this assumption.

If you scroll down this list, you know that a lot of these items can be taken care of with Financial Security. Anybody who tells you that money doesn’t buy happiness, doesn’t have any money. Happiness is a life-long endeavor, almost as important as a skill – which takes a long time to mature.

On a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers. These emotionally connected customers buy more of your products and services, visit you more often, exhibit less price sensitivity, pay more attention to your communications, follow your advice, and recommend you more – everything you hope their experience with you will cause them to do.

How many of you feel that way about your Bank, or Insurance Policy, or your DMAT holding institution? It is remarkable that institutions that are in charge of handling your money, one of the most important aspects of your life, do not establish that kind of connect with their customers.

About Shobhit Dixit

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