CS1: Research Project – Financial Services

Case Study: Client Service Research & Advice

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I was contacted by a company who offered outsourced services to financial advisers. The company was very well-respected in its marketplace and had seen impressive growth over recent years. However of the three services they offered, one had not take off as well as the other two and the Director wanted to get to the bottom of why.

During initial discussions with the Director I found:

  • They were seen to be one of the market-leaders in their area of expertise
  • The Director cared passionately about delivering excellent service to happy customers and regularly sought client feedback
  • One area of the business, which he felt offered the greatest benefit to the clients, had not taken off as he’d expected
  • He really wanted to get to the bottom of why in order to tailor it to better meet client’s needs but felt his relationship with clients meant he was possibly not the one to really get to explore this
  • He needed someone to investigate and advise that he trusted to talk to his valued staff and clients sensitively


Staff and clients were located nationally so communication was done via email & telephone, and followed up with an on-site feedback session.

  • Gathered statistics from the Director on current client / business activity questionnaire
  • Sent a tailored questionnaire to all staff about their experiences with this service, then followed up on trends & interesting angles with 1:1 phone calls with them
  • Talked to a range of current & ex-clients. Some who were known advocates, some who had known issues
  • Did some research into what others were offering in this service area
  • Applied insight / experience to findings & conducted a half-day on-site feedback session with Director & key staff


  • Director and staff received valued feedback from clients that they would have been unlikely to have obtained themselves
  • Research and advice from an outside perspective gave them fresh insight into their service offering that they struggled to see with their detailed knowledge
  • Actions were decided and set at the meeting which were put into place immediately
  • They two-day project was deemed a valuable piece of work and revealed a number of areas for improvement

To put it even more simply, a fresh pair of eyes can offer an invaluable new perspective 

“We asked Paula to help us research and construct standards and delivery of communication with clients.  As a distance service, this is incredibly important and I wanted someone to take the project on quickly and efficiently. I’d thoroughly recommend Paula.” Damian Davies, The Timebank