View more on these topics

What advisers are saying- provider service levels

A key principle of success in all walks of life is a willingness to go the extra mile – “the rendering of more and better service than that for which one is paid” (Napoleon Hill 1920). It is difficult to find many instances of enduring success, which were not attained in part by the application of this principle. Unfortunately, it is a notion that has been rationalised out to the fringes of provider culture.

Of all providers and platforms we asked advisers to assess this quarter, only 7IM maintained its service levels. Experience, specialist focus and increasingly 24/7 access (albeit remotely) are the currency of today, yet are in short supply.

Reining in service and support may reduce costs in the short term but fail to take into account that when delivered well (in any industry):

a: It tends to make one indispensable (enabling you to command more than average compensation for services in the future).
b: It protects against the loss of business when business is scarce.
c: It enables you to profit by the law of contrast, since the majority do not practise the habit.

There is no doubt that advisers are evolving advice models that do not depend so heavily on providers. but there is also the recognition that they cannot be (nor should be) experts in everything. There is still an open door for providers that have experience and specialism in technically demanding markets (estate planning, long-term care, and trusts) to help advisers offer the best solutions for a core of increasingly sophisticated clients. Advisers say this is becoming more important, but providers are yet to respond.

Advisers appreciate that providers cannot spend disproportionate time helping with esoteric angles that can never benefit their business. But while needing to recognise the gradually evolving trend of technical and marketing self-reliance among advisers, those providers that look to provide a holistic service to advisers in the broad (and increasingly interconnected) markets in which they have a presence are the companies advisers will turn to first when building client portfolios.

Client suitability is king and advisers will only use the most appropriate solution based on their clients’ unique circumstances. But all things being (relatively) equal, providers who are prepared to go the extra mile have a better chance of winning business.

Phil Wickenden is founder of So Here’s The Plan

All quotes taken from interviews with QCF level 4 qualified fee-based IFAs.

Recommended

SJP founder Wilson gets CBE in honours

St James’s Place co-founder Mike Wilson is among a range of people from the financial services industry recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list. Wilson stepped down as SJP chairman in May 2011 to become chair of SJP’s charitable foundation. He has been awarded a CBE for services to the insurance industry and to charity. […]

1

MAS admits industry engagement has not been good enough

Money Advice Service chairman Gerard Lemos has admitted the service needs to improve the way it consults over its business plans. During last week’s opening session of the Treasury select sub-committee’s inquiry into the service, MPs were told MAS had not effectively consulted in the past and had only started to built up industry engagement […]

5

Hector Sants: Link bankers’ pay to customer service

Banks should link staff pay to customer service, according to outgoing FSA chief executive Hector Sants. In a leaving interview with the Guardian, Sants says there is a “commercial opportunity” for financial firms to improve their treatment of customers. Sants says he hopes the Financial Conduct Authority will look at linking consumer service to pay. […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment

    Close

    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm

    Email: customerservices@moneymarketing.com