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No room for guesswork in platform service and delivery

Platforms need to interact regularly with their users or risk losing them, says Garry Mckuckie, communications director, Nucleus

Teamwork is valuable in almost any business but in the world of platforms it is more than that, it is fundamental. A joined-up approach to running a platform, which engages the people using it, is the only way to ensure that the service evolves and grows in the way it should.

Analysing the sentiment of those utilising a platform can identify black spots, raise areas of concern and highlight what the platform is doing right and, just as importantly, what it isn’t. Without this insight, platforms are in danger of falling out of favour with the people who matter the most. Regular interaction with the end user not only ensures that their concerns are acknowledged but, even better, encourages forward thinking; something which is needed in an industry which feels like it changes and adapts week by week.

Understanding adviser views on industry issues is one thing but disseminating and actioning them is a different beast.

The fact that platforms play such an important role in advisers’ day-to-day business today is why it is so important to get it right. Our platform is not a product which is used once and then discarded; it is a daily tool, owned by adviser firms and developed over many years with their input. This is why the long-term trust of advisers is central to the success of the business. This is why collaboration matters.

Each year we survey our 2,000 users to assess their views on their businesses, clients, industry issues and feelings on what the future looks like for advisers and platform providers. This sort of insight is invaluable. There is no room for guesswork in modern financial services.

This year 89% of our members said that they felt very (or extremely) positive about the future of their business with 60% saying that they were expecting client numbers to increase. Worryingly, a mere 2% described re-registration in the market as ‘simple and straightforward’ – a clear sign that there is work to be done – and quickly, too: 88% of those surveyed said that they planned to move some or all of their legacy business onto platforms over the next twelve months.

Ultimately, this stuff matters. Adviser engagement with platforms will only increase further as regulatory changes across the retirement industry come into force over the coming months and years, so understanding the needs of advisers is as important to our business as understanding the needs of clients is to theirs.

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