A new benchmark for providers’ service standards has been launched today with the announcement of the first awards for the Money Marketing Service Ratings initiative.
Provider service ratings have been awarded across 13 product categories, reflecting detailed analysis of more than 27,000 ratings by 885 advisers. The survey has been specifically designed to highlight the service experiences of individuals operating at different levels within organisations across the intermediary sector.
Adviser and administrator respondents were asked to rate providers’ general service performance and were also asked for their opinions on specific service-rated criteria including ease of online application process, clarity of process and communication, overall speed of response to queries, depth of technical product knowledge of adviser-facing staff and implementation of new charging structures post-RDR. Advisers have also been ranked the average amount of time spent each time they communicated with product providers.
Money Marketing head of research Julie Minett says: “An overwhelming 95 per cent of respondents reported that service standards are an important differential when making recommendations to their clients. The attitudes of administrators differed little from that of advisers in terms of the importance of product provider service.
“Many specific comments left by respondents focused on the cost of poor service to their businesses or clients. Respondents also cited reputational damage, caused by poor service from a provider the adviser had recommended as an additional concern.
“Crucially, the survey results showed that there is a gap between perceived and actual levels of service. When asked to rate aspects of service in detail respondents quite often provided ratings that were at odds with their original overall top three provider ratings.”
Money Marketing Service Ratings head of development Paul Smith says: “Service standards are a significant factor in the efficiency of intermediary business, both in terms of costs to clients and profit margins to the business.
“When a product or service provider is inefficient in its administration and offers a poor service, the cost incurred in extra time spent has to be absorbed from the intermediary’s profit margin or passed on to the client.
“To date there has been no reliable independent measure of provider service standards beyond periodic surveys which have only provided a snapshot of opinion for a brief moment in time.
“Money Marketing has teamed up with Dalbar (Europe) to introduce a quick and easy online system which allows intermediaries and their administrators to record the service they receive from product and service providers.
“The system is free to use for intermediary firms and their administrators. It only takes a few seconds to complete a rating, a fraction of the time most people say they are on hold waiting on provider’s service lines. On average it takes about 10 seconds to leave a rating and every rating left earns a chance to win major prizes such as a BMW Mini One. The system generates valuable MI that can be made available to business managers and can act as a compliance tool for product selectors. Registered organisations also get to use the Money Marketing Service Ratings Supporters logo on their promotional material.”
Find out which providers topped the Money Marketing Service Ratings here
SIGN UP TO BE PART OF THE MONEY MARKETING SERVICE RATINGS at www.mmserviceratings.co.uk
Participants will be enrolled into the prize draw rewards programme. The more ratings left the more chances a participant will earn to win significant prizes in the rewards programme regular prize draws. The current prize draw fund is a BMW Mini one. Future draws will include rewards such as holidays, iPads and shopping vouchers.