Annual reviews the key to client and business success

From

Matt Lippiatt

While an annual review with an adviser is essential to ensuring clients understand their life insurance, and it’s what they’re asking for, only half of advisers are doing regular reviews, according to a new report by MetLife Australia.

The MetLife Adviser-Client Relationship Report 2018 examined consumer and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) attitudes to purchasing life insurance through a financial adviser, surveying consumers and SMEs with up to 20 employees.

The report found that 86% of people want to be contacted by their financial adviser every year. However, 56% of consumers and just over 50% of SMEs had conducted a review of their life insurance with their adviser in the past 12 months. Around half of those modified their insurance cover as a result of that review. This indicates annual reviews help clients understand and keep their insurance up to date with their changing circumstances.

Having a regular review also makes both groups much more likely to refer their adviser to family and friends. Undertaking an annual review increases the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to +30 for consumers and +9 for SMEs, compared to a respective -25 and -20 without a review.

Commenting on the findings, Matt Lippiatt, MetLife Australia Head of Retail Sales said: “Many advisers are missing a trick by not talking to their clients on an annual basis. Our research showed that people want their adviser to show they genuinely care and they want to be kept up to date on a regular basis. An annual review delivers on both of these attributes. It helps to build trust – another essential ingredient in a successful adviser-client relationship.”

“Reviews are crucial to the ongoing relationship, with the NPS results showing they dramatically increase client satisfaction and likelihood to recommend for both consumers and SMEs. This indicates an opportunity for advisers to check in regularly with their clients on their insurances, and to reinforce their value. Advisers have told us doing an annual review leads to increased referrals.”

The research also found that SMEs have higher expectations than consumers when it comes to the annual review process. Just 41% of SMEs rated their annual review ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, compared to 62% of consumers.

“Overall we found SMEs demand a higher level of service than the consumer group. They are likely to be highly engaged with reviewing their own business on a regular basis, and when it comes to their insurance they are looking for a personalised service from their adviser to fit their individual requirements.”

“Ultimately, well-structured annual reviews benefit both clients and advisers. This is a great opportunity for advisers to strengthen their relationship with their clients, demonstrate they genuinely care about them, and reinforce the quality of their advice,” Mr Lippiatt said.

MetLife Australia recently launched MetLife Protect, a modular life insurance product enabling financial advisers to meet the needs of SMEs and families. The product is designed to be tailored and flexible over time to meet specific and evolving individual needs. For more information, visit https://www.metlife.com.au/partnerships/advisers/metlife-protect/

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