Platform service review shows improvement in adviser satisfaction

28 July 2020

Our platform service survey asked financial advisers about their views on the service they received from their platform providers, and the products they recommended in the past twelve months. We also reveal who are the most popular providers and how many switched providers in the past year.

We asked advisers to rate providers in 11 categories – provider strength and brand, transition and implementation, new business administration, technical assistance, pension freedom servicing, provider’s staff, adviser charge administration, existing business administration, platform design and management, reporting and online services and ebusiness. Existing business administration and new business administration remain the most important satisfaction categories for financial advisers using platforms.

There has been a shift in the ranked order of categories, with most moving up or down by one position, but largely the average importance scores have not changed significantly since last year. We also found that while platforms are still the dominant solution for accessing funds, the nature of how they are being used appears to be changing.

A reverse correlation between the importance and satisfaction

Arguably the most interesting finding is that the adviser ranked order of importance for the service categories is demonstrating a reverse correlation across the service disciplines when compared to the measured satisfaction levels.

The service categories identified as most important, such as existing business administration, are the worst performing, while the least important, such as provider strength and brand, are the best performing. This means that for 5 of the 11 categories, expectations are being exceeded, and for 5 they aren’t being met.

Are advisers changing their behaviour?

27% of advisers indicated that they had changed one or more of their preferred platforms has increased a little again up to 27%; the figure was 25% in 2018, perhaps an indication that structured reviews are taking place more regularly.

This is also supported by the trends in preferred and most used platforms, where Old Mutual Wealth (WealthSelect or SelfSelect) remains the leader in both categories, but Elevate has seen a big increase in both usage, and preference, since the previous year.

A more positive story

We have seen a positive trend where advisers have indicated that they are more satisfied with 6 of the 11 service categories than they were in the 2018 survey.

“Overall, this years’ satisfaction survey paints a much more positive story for platforms. However, it shouldn’t be ignored that in the eyes of advisers, platforms still fall short when it comes to the levels of service expected in areas deemed the most important” David Cartwright, Head of Insight and Consulting for Wealth and Protection says. "The percentage of advisers changing their preferred platforms continues to increase, indicating that structured reviews are taking place more regularly. Platform providers should continue to respond positively to adviser feedback and avoid becoming complacent” he adds.

Want to learn more?

For more details, including the individual satisfaction scores, download our 2020 Platform service review for free here.

About Service Ratings

We use the results of the survey to rate providers Gold or Silver based on their overall satisfaction score. These Service Ratings help advisers in choosing the appropriate provider partners for them as they are based on the feedback we receive. They are available to view and use within Defaqto Engage, our end-to-end financial planning software.

You can learn more about Engage, and request a demonstration, here.

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