What a difference a month can make! Never in their wildest dreams would financial services companies have thought they would have the majority, if not all, of their employees working from home, online and in most cases doing it successfully.

In a swift few weeks, Covid-19 has seen companies scramble to find new ways of doing business to keep their ‘virtual doors’ open. It may not be ideal, and there has no doubt been teething problems, but it is primarily working.

So now that it is working, how can financial services companies use this as the push they needed to create new ways of operating? Now more than ever, they will want to be focusing not only on keeping their costs low but retaining their members and customers too. Sure, growth would be great, but at this point in time, just retaining your customer base goes a long way in enabling companies to stay afloat. And what about those companies that have some of their services delivered from offshore? Now that the world has closed, has the cost cutting and retaining profits for investors, left financial services companies in a vulnerable position?

Does the Covid-19 crisis open the door for businesses to rethink how they operate?

Our Covid-19 working arrangements have shown that you can do the majority of things working from home. This includes call centres and back office processing. Where previously the argument has been that a call centre and processing can only be run from an office where everyone is together, the Covid-19 situation has challenged this thinking.

For some this has become an opportunity to rethink their offshore strategy and they are now embracing the opportunity to set up at least a portion of their operations onshore; such as work from home call centres and processing.  For some this new hybrid model which includes work from home solutions not only provides economic advantages, such as a reduction in office space; it also provides balanced working options for employees.

This new thinking is not limited to how we operate. It also extends to how we communicate.

Now is the time for financial services companies to increase communication and find new ways to help educate their members as well.

Research from the UNSW Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing indicates that by increasing members financial literacy, members demonstrate more positive behaviours when it comes to planning for their retirement.

By creating and producing online education material, members are provided with the information they need to take control.

At IQ, we want to embrace this change and continue to navigate new and different ways of working for our customers, our industry and for our people.  Let’s find solutions that build trust and integrity and continue to prove why we are living in the lucky country.

The IQ Group is here to help and support you as you explore our changing world. If you would like to utilise our services, please contact us at: info@iqgroup.com.au.

Angela Perry

Senior Consultant