How are we doing?
Earlier this year, we asked Ledbury Research to conduct a survey to identify how our private clients feel about our service, both in general terms and with regard to specific issues such as treating clients fairly, how we communicate with them and their engagement with our digital services.
We are very pleased with the results, particularly as they are even better than those for a similar survey in 2012. However, like top sportspeople, we cannot afford to be complacent as we operate in a highly competitive industry and will instead focus on raising our game still further.
Ledbury spoke to clients for 20 minutes each by telephone. We are very grateful to the clients concerned for the time they took to participate in the survey and for their thoughtful feedback. Such feedback is absolutely essential to delivering high standards of service and gives us invaluable insight into what our clients want from us.
Using words such as ‘professional’, ‘reliable’ and ‘efficient’ to describe Rathbones, many clients said their level of satisfaction was high or better and this had increased since 2012. These levels have increased across all client types, but particularly for professionals and entrepreneurs. Our investment managers were a key element in this – 86% of clients said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their investment manager, far higher than the average for our marketplace.
I believe this is a result of our business structure, which gives clients direct access to their investment manager. We do not use relationship managers and this enables our investment managers to understand properly each client’s circumstances and requirements. This direct relationship clearly works: a very high percentage of those surveyed felt that we treat them as an individual and provide a service that meets their needs.
This direct access does, however, present challenges. Our investment managers work within an increasingly demanding regulatory environment, which quite rightly demands that clients are treated fairly and care is taken to ensure that their investment portfolios are suitable. However, this creates time pressures and we note that some clients would like to hear from us more frequently or more proactively.
When it comes to written contact, our client publications, ranging from portfolio valuation reports and annual tax statements to the semi-annual Rathbones Review, are all considered very clear and relevant. There is also greater engagement with digital services: the percentage of clients who have visited our website has nearly doubled since 2012 and two-thirds of them rate it as excellent. Many clients are also making use of the internet to monitor their portfolios and we expect this to increase sharply in years to come, hence our continued investment in online portfolio services.
Our online presence and digital services add to our overall offering and will no doubt be the area of greatest growth in coming years, but we will not leave any clients behind in a rush to embrace the digital future.
Again, I wish to thank the clients who participated in the survey and assure them and our other clients that we will continue to work hard to justify the good feedback we received. We have noted the areas where it was felt improvements could be made and we hope you will see progress in the months ahead.