Building Client Trust

What are the most important things that financial firms can do to build trust with clients?

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Sep 03, 2019
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Q1 What is important to you when recommending a provider? 

Response from Simon Goldthorpe, Group Chairman for the beaufort Group: “One which will provide the best outcome for my client, taking into account individual circumstances. Efficiency and speed of underwriting and administration are very important. Cost is also important if the product that matches my client’s needs is straightforward and readily available.” 

Response from Alistair Cunningham, Financial Planning Director at Wingate Financial Planning: “For me trust in a provider should come as a default. It tends to be the cases where trust in a provider has been eroded that stick most in my mind and so they would not be recommended. However, trust (or a lack of it) has a small impact on any recommendations made as they tend to be more influenced by measurable factors, such as cost.” 

Q2 What factors affect client/consumer trust? 

Response from Simon Goldthorpe, Group Chairman for the beaufort Group: “Reputational damage caused by adverse publicity and poor client/customer service, which is key. In terms of protection, a straightforward claims process is critical.” 

Response from Alistair Cunningham, Financial Planning Director at Wingate Financial Planning: “There are certainly firms who have acted above and beyond expectations – these stick in my memory. For example, I read about Aviva’s treatment of a claimant who had to cancel a policy due to falling on harder times due to health issues, but Aviva then honoured the claim. This is an example of how a provider can win significant trust. Particularly with insurance where reliability of meeting claims matters.  

“An untrustworthy insurer damages the relationship advisers have with their clients, as the adviser is viewed negatively for recommending a provider that does not honour their commitments. Conversely, positive actions help erode some of the negative feelings advisers and their clients may have for an insurer (or large companies more generally).” 

Q3 What makes a provider trustworthy to advisers? 

Response from Simon Goldthorpe, Group Chairman for the beaufort Group: “Pretty much the same as the previous question. A good reputation, track record and experience of dealing with the provider as well as the views of fellow advisers and admin staff back at the office.” 

Response from Alistair Cunningham, Financial Planning Director at Wingate Financial Planning: “By not being a provider who has a ‘we know best’ attitude to dealing with advisers’ clients either directly, but also through changes to platforms, products etc.” 

Q4 What do you believe would improve consumer trust in financial services? 

Response from Simon Goldthorpe, Group Chairman for the beaufort Group: “Honesty, transparency, slick customer service and regulation that is effective and brings unreliable advisers to book. The major threats to consumer trust are scammers and fraudsters that get away with it and providers that appear not to care about customers who have been ripped off or been the victims of poor customer service.” 

Response from Alistair Cunningham, Financial Planning Director at Wingate Financial Planning: “Innovations by providers that are not to the end benefit of the innovator, but rather the end consumer.” 

Q5 What are the main points discussed when recommending a provider to a client? 

Response from Simon Goldthorpe, Group Chairman for the beaufort Group: “It all depends on the client’s circumstances and whether the product meets the client’s needs. The provider’s track record, the adviser’s past experience of dealing with the provider. Although cost is a factor, getting the most appropriate cover in place, for example, is much more important. The ease of underwriting is also a factor when there are known health issues.” 

Response from Alistair Cunningham, Financial Planning Director at Wingate Financial Planning: “Recommendations are more influenced by measurable factors, such as cost and whether a product meets a client’s needs. However, those certain firms who have acted above and beyond, do stick in the memory. So, where there is little to differentiate one provider from another, then the positive actions by a provider, will influence the decision making.”

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Vitality

We’re the first insurance company to reward people for healthy living. We aim to be the best at what we do, offering comprehensive and award-winning Health and Life cover and positively different investments to our members. We believe in the idea of ‘shared value’: we help you take a more active role in managing your own wellness, which can encourage you to develop healthy long-term habits that are good for you, good for us and good for society.

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