Client research: 5 findings from 2020

Top advice
4m read
Feb 2021
Aaron Coates
Chief Product Officer

In 2020, the Money Alive Team conducted a series of research with both groups of our viewers, and individuals not familiar with our platform. In total we surveyed or interviewed over 5,000 individuals.

Our goal was to understand how clients perceive the world of financial advice, and where technology can fit into improving the customer experience. If you like this report, you might want to consider subscribing to the Money Alive platform where you can take part in our 2021 client insight programme and submit your own research questions.

2020 key findings

#1 Technology plays an important role however, 80% of clients are still looking for more personal communication from their advisers.

At the start of 2020, we asked over 100 individuals who were not Money Alive viewers whether or not they felt that advisers needed to improve their communication, and a staggering 87% agreed!

Interestingly, after a year of on-off lockdowns and the gradual adjustment of what is now the ‘new normal’, this figure had decreased to 80%, which although is still high, shows a noticeable improvement. This decrease could be attributed to technology allowing advisers to be increasingly more proactive with their client communications, whilst in the comfort of their own homes!

So what do these improvements look like? A few examples include:

  • Sending “checking in” video calls or video messages to clients, purely for the purpose of staying connected.
  • Offering free access to educational material on financial wellbeing topics such as Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and State Pensions.
  • Allowing clients to book calls when it suits them. Using simple and cost effective tools such as, to make the complicated, less complicated!

#2 A willingness to use Zoom calls with advisers is up by 85%.

At the start of the first lockdown, all that time ago in 2020, we asked 121 individuals their opinion on using Zoom calls as means of communication to speak to their advisers, this figure came out at just 27%.

In February 2021 however, we asked the same question, only to see the figure almost double to 51% This could be a direct result of both Zoom becoming a household name of lockdown communication, and an increased willingness of clients to engage through new mediums.

Additionally to this, 67% of people stated that they would be happy for their advisers to send video messages. However to keep things professional and secure, we advise using messaging platforms such as or Money Alive’s Video Messenger feature instead.

#3 9⁄10 people would like access to impartial information before making a financial decision.

Through conducting further surveys, we have seen this figure increase over the last few years from 85%, to this month’s figure of 92%. What is of particular interest, is the growth of individuals reaching out to us independently of an advisory firm, suggesting that there is a rising awareness of the availability of educational content online.

The combined results of this year long survey found that 93.9% of Money Alive viewers “agreed they were better informed ahead of their advice meeting” after viewing our videos. (This figure is taken from a total sample size of more than 3,500 people) These results are clearly a combination of how our video animations have been broken down into easily understandable segments, and the ability for our viewers to watch at their own leisure!

#4 Your clients may not understand the UK State Pension system

We will shortly be launching a State Pensions box set following research about people’s knowledge of this universal benefit. Our survey was based on responses from over 100 fifty to sixty year olds and shows engaging education is desperately needed in this area. For example the majority (51%) of respondents still believe men and women have different State Pension ages and only 4% understood the inflation protection offered by the Triple Lock.

#5 Many clients believe they know more about their pension until given access to impartial information

From the results of these surveys, we could not ignore the consistent feedback we have received from our clients who have shared with us that they had previously believed they knew a great deal about pensions, only to conclude they indeed did have a lot more to learn.

Sample comments include:

  • “I had previously undertaken extensive research but these videos confirmed my understanding and hence still valuable to support my decision”
  • “Found the information to be very good, I did have some knowledge in regard to the pension fund but am now clear of what my decision will be”
  • “Having done a lot of research prior to watching these short videos, I found it reassuring that my understanding of my current pension situation was confirmed.”

We want our clients to feel secure and confident in their knowledge, for our mutual benefit. Therefore, our conclusions from these surveys are that regardless of how knowledgeable a client may be on a certain subject, it is worth sharing both engaging and impartial educational material with them, even if only to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

See also