A smarter, more effective advice cycle

Jul 18, 2023

The abolition of commissions on mortgages created a new dynamic in financial advice. Consumers were billed for services rendered. There must be a value in return, a value that the consumer experiences and is willing to pay for. Commercial companies, meanwhile, continue to raise consumer expectations. Those expectations are in the areas of communication, service, self-service, proactivity, and, above all, quality.

Declining revenues

At the same time, the leveling principle fell away: compensation for mortgage advice and servicing was no longer based on the amount of the mortgage, but on the number of hours provided. A new situation arose in which the bar is higher than ever, but revenues are falling.

Duty of care

That bar is not only higher for the initial advice. The advisor must also take care of the client afterward. This is required by law but also to ensure that the client does not go to another financial advisor the next time he or she needs advice. The portfolio must be monitored.

Inhuman task

In short, the advisor has to do more in less time, for less money and, in doing so, should really not make any mistakes. The only way to achieve this is by automating the entire advisory cycle as much as possible and supporting the human work that is so necessary as much as possible. Only then will the process be efficient and growth be feasible.

Three elements

The way to make that inhuman task achievable is to combine three elements: data, (computational) rules and process.


We are not talking about a single data set, but about bringing together different data: customer data, source data, lender data, external data. But also calculated data, which can be the result of complex financial planning calculations.


Rules can also take different forms: calculations, decision rules, analysis using AI. The basis for these rules are laws and regulations, culture but also positioning. Because with rules you determine how you deal with customers, what service you offer, and thus on the basis of which rules you serve your customer.


Data and rules are nothing without actions: process is therefore the third element. Your unique process determines how you approach your customer in what situation. 

Where Data, Rules and Process come together, you will find smart financial services.

Smart advice cycle

The smart advice cycle consists of three phases:

  • Guided advice
  • Prevalidation
  • Active customer management

The idea behind the smart advice cycle is not to replace the financial advisor with intelligent software. Rather, it is to support the advisor better and more efficiently.

That support for the advisor – or of course the back office employee – can take the form of notifications during personal customer contact. But it is also possible to opt for digital support through a customer portal or through forms of communication such as SMS or email.

Shifting the role of the advisor

Digital support in the form of providing information and possibly a self-service portal may seem to be to the disadvantage of the advisor. After all, what the client does autonomously does not generate paid advisory hours. But by smartly designing the advice cycle, you ensure that you work more efficiently and less error-prone. And you shift the focus of human involvement from administrative, arithmetic tasks to real human contact.

It is precisely the emotion around financial matters where the advisor can make a difference: weighing risk versus return, articulating the emotions around money, translating future plans and desires into tangible money goals, guiding choices. That’s where an advisor can be truly distinctive and add real value.

Emphasizing the added value of the advisor and setting up other processes as efficiently as possible creates a different perception of the advisory invoice. The advisor has more time to pay real attention to the client. The work which is already unseen by the client is lightened and partly automated. If the smart advice cycle is set up properly, it also produces new advice calls. In short, the advisor will do less administration and more advice work.

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