Client satisfaction slides, but only amongst men

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Client satisfaction levels with financial advisers have taken a surprise dive, but it appears only to be male customers who are kicking up a stink.

These are the findings of the latest Lifeplan ICFS Financial Advice Satisfaction Index, which has found a divergence in the satisfaction levels of men and women for the first time since the survey’s inception five years ago.

The six-monthly survey, which was carried out last month, found that the overall index has declined from 71.3% to 70% per cent since April.  

Lifeplan head Matt Walsh said that the fall could be largely attributed to a significant decline in perceptions of trust and reliability, which fell by 6.2%.

The other two indicators either increased or only saw a small decline, with perception of performance dropping by 0.07% and perception of technical ability increasing by 3.4%.

Walsh added that the fall in overall satisfaction was unexpected, as there had been a steady upward trend over the last two years – with April’s 3.84% rise indicating a dramatic improvement.

“Historically, the index has moved in the same general direction of the ASX200 but for the first time since the survey started in October 2007, it has shifted in the opposite direction,” he added.

“The drop back to a lower level – although still higher than the previous few years – is cause for concern, particularly as there seems to be no single reason behind such a change in client perceptions.”

Angry men

But it’s not all clients who have changed their tune, said Walsh, as it was the attitudes of male clients that triggered of the fall, while female participants actually gave their advisers a better score than six months ago.

“Across all three drivers, the perceptions of female clients have increased in the latest survey, while male perceptions have dropped significantly,” he said.

“One possible reason for the positive response from female clients could be that women are more attracted to the holistic services increasingly being offered by financial advisers.

 “Another interesting finding of the survey is that women tend to stay with their financial adviser for longer than their male counterparts.

“This suggests financial advisers may find it worthwhile focussing on building their female client base, as women could be more likely to stay with their adviser over the long-term and gain value from the relationship.”

He added, however, that it remains important to address the concerns of male clients, who seem to be more critical of their advisers.

  • Lets get real on 16/11/2012 10:35:45 AM

    Well said

  • Stephen Varhegyi on 16/11/2012 10:18:58 AM

    Enough with the negativity already! It seems the way to make a mark as a journalist or researcher these days is to join the chorus of industry critics. There are people out here who do care about their clients, do work hard and are sick to death of all this rubbish. If you want to have a positive impact on peoples lives why not concentrate on the real issues facing Australians. So many people are underinsured, not saving or investing and wallowing under mountains of debt secured in most cases by overvalued collateral. Most blundering on with no goals or direction for their financial futures. Yet certain groups are willing to capitalise by blaming their competition for market volatility in order to achieve their own ends. From former senior public servants, to ex-union bosses come politicians, they all seek to capitalise on unfortunate circumstances. Let's get two things straight. Firstly advisers do not control the global economy, secondly ours is a hard job and we deserve to be well compensated for our work and the sacrifices it took to get here. Constantly beating our industry up serves no positive purpose. It is counter productive. It's no mystery as to why negative sentiment has picked up, when people are being constantly bombarded with muck, served up by those with vested interests. So what can an adviser do to appeal more to men? Have a Barbie instead of a seminar? Give them an annual subscription to a mens magazine? Invite them to a golf day? How about an annual fishing charter? Better still we could all get on a plane, fly over to Greece and tell them to pull their head in, or send a petition to the US Congress to get them to agree with Obama on measures to avoid the fiscal cliff. Seriously aren't there better things to write about?

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