Service Ratings – an unbiased assessment of provider service

Since 2005 we've been conducting service satisfaction surveys across various product areas among the financial adviser community to collate their views on the service they receive from product providers. The findings from the research inform advisers’ choice of product providers based on perceptions of service.

Our service satisfaction surveys are a measurement of service provision. They give advisers a detailed assessment of provider service in the industry.

We use the wealth of satisfaction data we collect to create Service Ratings

These ratings provide a straightforward overall assessment of service to help inform advisers’ choices around which providers they use.

Our Service Ratings:

  • Assist advisers in choosing appropriate provider partners based on their peers’ perceptions of service
  • Provide an easy ‘at a glance’ analysis based on a comprehensive measurement of service provision
  • Assist advisers with panel creation
  • Are backed by Defaqto’s established and independent brand

Service Ratings are available within our end-to-end financial planning software solution, Engage, where advisers can use the Service Rating and the individual category satisfaction scores during the research process, as one of a number of selection criteria. They can also be added to comparison tables.

What are Service Ratings?

They provide you with a simple and unbiased assessment of provider service. From the data gathered in our service satisfaction surveys, providers are rated Gold or Silver based on their overall satisfaction score. Any other providers who do not qualify for these ratings are given ‘no rating’.

What areas do Service Ratings cover?

Service Ratings currently cover DFMs, Investment Bonds, Pensions, Platforms and Protection. You can access the latest ratings by opening the PDF documents on the top right of this page.

How are Service Ratings calculated?

In our service satisfaction surveys, respondents are asked to rate the importance of a list of aspects of service that fall into specific categories (eg provider perception, new business administration, existing business administration, online servicing) using a five-point scale from ‘not at all important’ through to ‘very important’. From this we calculate a mean score out of five to determine the perceived importance of each individual aspect of service.

Following this, respondents are then asked to identify their preferred provider(s) and rate their satisfaction with the service they receive from them, again using a five-point scale from ‘very dissatisfied’ through to ‘very satisfied’ for each aspect of service. Our surveys are whole of market but we will only rate those providers who are preferred by advisers.

To qualify to be rated for a Service Rating, providers must receive a minimum number of responses, which may vary between surveys.

From the providers that qualify, we then combine the ‘satisfied’ and ‘very satisfied’ responses to determine the ‘total satisfaction score’ for each individual aspect of service. Our analysts weight this data by the importance mean score to reflect the perceived importance of that particular element of service.

The weighted satisfaction score for each aspect of service data is aggregated to determine one overall satisfaction score for a particular provider.

The final step is to take all the scores and calculate five bandings in a similar approach to how we determine five DNA levels for our Star Rating methodology. Those with the highest scores are given a Gold or Silver Service Rating based on their position in the banded hierarchy. Those that are rated but do not meet the Silver Service Rating benchmark or do not qualify to be rated, are given ‘no rating’.

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