Mission Portfolio

Voice of Customer (VOC) Mission Portfolio: Why Customers Prefer People to Machines


A financial services firm wanted to better understand why its customers still preferred human advisors while its competitors all had made the transition to automated online tools. Maintaining a large-scale human network put the firm at a margin disadvantage compared to its rivals, and the firm’s CEO was under increasing pressure from its Board of Directors to make a change. Was it the quality of the firm’s online tools? A quirk of the firm’s customer base? Or some other factor?


Through a series of client interviews, Aurora GPS was able to understand the nature of its clients’ reluctance to switch to an online-first advisory model. Clients did not feel a positive association with the firm, and they remained loyal to their advisor. Previous attempts by the firm to add online tools (and their rollout plans internally) pitted advisors against the robots. While the online advisors certainly could handle many routine client needs better than a human advisor (who might need to break for lunch), clients did not trust the tools without the support of their human advisor – and that support was not forthcoming.


Using this information, the firm rethought its approach to online client service. It engaged its human advisor network to pose a new question: How could online tools complement and build your client relationship? The subsequent relaunch saw a significant share of wallet expansion, quickly quieting concerns that the human advisors were “too expensive”.

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