RVS: closer to the customer
RVS is one of the Dutch financial service providers that has its own advisors. RVS offers personal financial advice to clients at home, focusing on pensions, insurance and mortgages. The organisation has more than 170 years’ experience and serves around 1.4 million private clients. RVS is one of more than 61 worldwide companies that belong to the ING group. ING deals with insurance, banking and asset management, and is among the world’s top financial institutions. In January 2012, RVS merged with Nationale Nederlanden.
The market has changed enormously over the last five years, with changing legislation being a major cause. The Dutch Financial Services Act [Wet Financiële Dienstverlening] was introduced in 2006, later superseded by the Dutch Financial Supervision Act [Wet Financieel Toezicht] in 2007. The Dutch Financial Supervision Act requires financial service providers to offer appropriate advice on complex financial products. This advice must meet the wishes and needs of the client. In order to meet these requirements, RVS began working with client profiles based on Figlo’s calculation engine on 1 January 2006, says Rutgers. “At the same time, we started using new advice software, Figlo’s financial advice application, which we call
@vising,” he continues.
Frank Rutgers: “Advisors needed to learn to work differently and integrate the software into their advisory discussions. Of course this demanded considerable effort. For years advisors had been visiting clients with a pen and paper, writing everything down, making calculations at home and then producing an advice report based on these. Now the inventory process begins at the client’s home, through direct input. As well as changes to the advice process, the management of expectations on software releases was a further point for attention within RVS, but also between RVS and Figlo. Clear communication on new functionality as well as its delivery was a real challenge.”
To safeguard the quality of advice and support advisors in the transition, RVS invested heavily in training and education. As well as keeping knowledge up to date, advisors are therefore given a periodic @vising test. Through building up reliable software knowledge, the software becomes something that is not separate, but used by the advisor to involve clients in the advice process.
The advice software is also fully integrated with the CRM systems and the RVS quoting system, and there are built-in process checks to minimise advisors having to input information more than once, and ensure that the advice process is always followed from A to Z by the client.
Figlo always acts professionally. What is important in a good cooperation with Figlo, is clear synchronisation of mutual expectations and working out of details. As a result, the ‘technical road map’ can be optimised, and both parties know where they stand. Paul Janssen, Figlo Product Manager, indicates that ‘”Figlo is currently working hard to better manage client expectations.” The implementation of monthly releases and clear communication on agreements reached contribute to this, among other things.
Results and advantages
@vising has contributed to the transition from product sales to complete advice, by structuring the advice process and making advice reproducible. @vising was also an important factor in achieving the desired quality of financial advice. Using the advice software, the advisor can offer clients complete advice based on a wide range of RVS products and services.
The latest development that RVS is undertaking with Figlo is that clients are asked to complete a questionnaire prior to their first meeting with an advisor. The result of this is that clients have the right expectations of the advice process, whilst advisors can be better prepared. Clients could tick the discussion topics they wished to cover with their advisor, as well as providing an initial picture of their assets. RVS is currently working with an on-line version of this Figlo inventory form, to make the process even more efficient.
The personal financial plan (PFP) generated by @vising is viewed very positively by our clients. 98% of people advised by RVS rate the Personal Financial Advice report (PFA) as ‘Good to Excellent.’* PFP will gradually become a more explicitly separate product in the future, since from 1 January 2013, customers will have to pay for advice. This offers further opportunities for new business models, to be supported by the software.