Thought Leadership: You may think you’re unbiased, but these four questions will reveal the truth about your unconscious biases Thought Leadership:
The rise of the “Now Economy” has led to an increase in consumer expectations for quick and effortless transactions. If you’re a financial adviser, you sit at the cross section of a colossal data exchange between multiple parties, which puts you in a prime position to respond to these changing expectations. The key is to understand how to use this data and choose the right partners, so you can adapt your business to give your clients what they want and expect.
So what should you focus on first? Here are some strategies that your firm can use to succeed in this environment:
- Communicate relevantly: With all the marketing and spam flooding our inboxes and text messages, it’s important to send targeted, relevant messages that your clients will read and act on. Using data to send timely, relevant communications about mortgage applications, insurance renewals, and other financial products can increase conversions. For example, you can use data to send automated personalized emails reminding clients when their insurance policy is due for renewal or when their fixed rate is coming to an end.
- Use an omni-channel approach: Different generations and demographics have different preferences for communication channels, so it’s important to reach customers through a variety of platforms. SMS and WhatsApp are becoming increasingly popular for quick updates and have higher open and click-through rates than other forms of communication.
- Utilise technology to streamline processes: Automating tedious tasks can help financial services businesses provide a more efficient and seamless customer experience. By using data and choosing the right partners, businesses can make purchases such as home insurance effortless for consumers.
- Offer flexible payment options: In the “Now Economy”, consumers expect to pay for goods and services using a variety of payment methods. Offer options such as credit and debit cards, mobile payments, and online payment platforms to make it convenient for your clients to do business with you.
- Foster trust and transparency: Trust is more important than ever. Make sure to be transparent about your fees and policies and build trust with your clients by providing excellent customer service and being responsive to their needs (which can also be automated).
The biggest bit of advice? Lean on your suppliers and choose partners to do the hard yards. Give them your problems or needs and let them guide you with their expertise. They should be able to help you identify and implement the right technology solutions.
Are you sure you’re as open-minded as you think you are? Most of us like to believe that we’re unbiased, but the reality is that we all have unconscious biases – automatic stereotypes, prejudices and associations that can unconsciously influence our thoughts and actions.
In the business world, these unconscious biases can have a major impact on diversity and inclusion, leading to certain groups getting different opportunities or levels of support.
So, how can you identify and tackle your own unconscious biases? Here are some things to consider:
- Do you tend to surround yourself with people who are like you? It’s natural to feel more comfortable around those who share similar backgrounds, experiences, or interests. But be aware that this comfort zone can also prevent you from being exposed to diverse perspectives and experiences.
- Do you catch yourself making assumptions about people based on their appearance or background? We all have preconceived notions about different groups of people, whether it’s based on race, gender, age, or something else. Even though these thoughts might just occur in our heads, take a moment to consciously admit it and think about where these assumptions come from and whether they’re fair or accurate.
- Are you actively working to challenge and overcome your biases? It’s not enough to simply recognise your biases – you need to put in the effort to actively challenge and overcome them. This can involve seeking out diverse perspectives, having difficult conversations, or simply considering an alternative point of view.
- Are you creating an inclusive environment? Finally, think about your role in creating an inclusive environment for those around you. Do you actively listen to and value the perspectives of others, regardless of their background? Do you try to be welcoming and supportive of all employees, regardless of their differences?
By asking yourself these questions, you can start to identify and address your own unconscious biases. This is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to learning and growth. But by being mindful of your biases and actively working to overcome them, you can play a part in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace.