When Lisa and I first set up Thomas and Thomas in November 2006, we wanted to deliver the best financial planning service in the country.
This was an ambitious goal, as delivering financial advice is fraught with risk. The complex nature of our profession and the fact that we are all only human, means extreme levels of diligence and commitment being repeated on a daily basis – without fail.
Undeterred by this, we put in place robust processes and systems to enable us to deliver what we promised – and we promised a lot.
We were disenchanted with the lack lustre levels of ongoing client care that we could see in our industry back in 2006. It was clear that new clients were more important to firms than existing ones. This was evident in the way that the financial advisers were being paid with large initial commissions for new business and little ongoing incentive to look after existing clients.
We set about changing that and today much of the financial planning profession is moving in the direction we first headed over ten years ago.
We wanted to report back to our clients on our annual service questionnaire. Many of you will know about these as you will have been sent them in the past.
This years’ service questionnaire focussed on three core areas that we wanted to know your views on. We wanted to know how you rate our ongoing service, our annual reviews and how likely you would be to refer and trust us.
We designed fifteen key questions across these three areas and asked clients to score us on a spectrum from 1-5 with poorer scores at the lower end and excellent scores at the higher end.
We then picked a random sample of about 60 clients which represents around a third of our client bank. These clients were spread across our different service offerings and the time they have been with us to give a true reflection of their experiences.
With any client survey, it is rare to get a high response rate – even if you put a stamp on the return envelope as we did!
The response rate was very high at 73% of the clients contacted. This was a good sign and correlated with previous questionnaires that we have sent out. The questionnaire was three pages long and allowed for anonymity and a place to make other suggestions of which was had a few great ones!
We hoped for high level 4 and even 5 scores, but also to find any gaps we could improve upon.
Just some of the findings were:
How easy is it to get hold of us?
100% scored us a grade 4 or 5 for our accessibility
How good are we at getting back to you within a short time frame?
100% scored us a grade 4 or 5 for our rapid response to messages
How do you find the content of your quarterly reviews?
95% said it was ‘just right’ with 5% asking for an occasional extra graph
How would you rate us in terms of value for money?
84% of clients scored us a grade 5 with the rest again scoring us a grade 4.
50% of clients confirmed that they watch the videos we send out and they forward them on.
100% of respondents said they feel our news articles are ‘just right’ in regularity.
100% of clients scored us a grade 4 or 5 for regularity of contact
100% of our clients would recommend us to a friend or family member.
We took note of comments to add more graphs to reviews where appropriate and to continue delivering short videos which our clients appeared to like forwarding on to help others with financial questions such as Pensions or ISA’s.
We were delighted with the response to this survey and we can hand on heart state that we will continually strive to deliver the highest level of service we can offer our much treasured clients at Thomas and Thomas.
Thank you to all clients who responded and please always feel free to share your experiences and thoughts with us. We don’t like standing still!
With best wishes as ever.