Choice Matters – Enabling advisers by measuring impact

28 June 2023

advisersCommunicationConsumer DutyDigitalHybridMindful OfWealthTech Matters

Expert: Alex Whitson, Managing Director at VouchedFor


Meeting an expanding and diversified customer base with rising expectations means more choices in the advice journey to deliver a better service.

A carefully constructed combination of digital, hybrid, and traditional advice is therefore key to achieving competitive advantage, thus enabling the wealth manager to extend their client base down the wealth scale and increase overall AUM without a huge rise in cost.

Going beyond compliance, the key question to answer is, what do clients actually want? Most clients are happy and say they would recommend their adviser. Delighted clients make nearly two and a half times as many actual recommendations as everyone else. So, the idea is to spend time understanding what moves clients from being happy to delighted.


Communication is key in the journey from happy to delighted. If communications are clear and open rates, click rates, portal logins, and dwell time are also good, firms will generally be in a much better position to delight clients and better understand engagement, as well as where to make adjustments and improvements.

Clients having complete confidence they are on track to achieve their goals is also a very important factor in satisfaction levels. That, however, relies on clients having defined their goals and knowing how the adviser will help them to meet them.

To better understand these issues, advisers need to engage with data. An adviser dashboard that shows them the client experience and what they bring, areas where they are doing particularly well or least well, versus the industry, is valuable.

This will be an issue for advisers who have had their business for a long time and are entrenched in the provision of solely returns, rather than overall goal planning.

Another way to evaluate satisfaction was to ask clients for feedback. There were a number of ways to do this, and it was thought that care was needed to not disturb the client-adviser relationship.

Sentiment analysis also came up. Phone calls could be recorded to give a better understanding of whether a client was really engaged and what their attitude was. This was thought to be a good training opportunity too.

“There is a lack of specificity about what value means. Because if it is value in your pocket, that’s easy. But if it is value in terms of the way that your service makes you feel, then that is more subject to opinion.”

However, one participant was not keen:

“Asking for recommendations feels embarrassing for both adviser and client. The younger ones tend not to be as embarrassed as the ones who have been conditioned over the years to feel like that client relationship is sort of sacrosanct.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Firms can now use the Consumer Duty to ensure all advisers behave the same way and meet Consumer Duty expectations
  • Value goes beyond the Consumer Duty. The Holy Grail is getting clients to recommend their adviser, but for that to happen, they need to be delighted with the service they receive
  • An adviser dashboard is highly valuable
  • Sentiment analysis also came up in measuring adviser performance
  • Asking clients to make recommendations was also This was thought to double the number of recommendations, on average