In the concluding part to our negative review series we have the Adviser reply that was published on our site and a somewhat unexpected outcome...
Part 3 – Adviser Replies…
During our short conversation with the adviser after they had received the bad review, the Adviser re-affirmed their belief in what Adviser Ratings was trying to achieve regarding reviews (allowing consumers to have a voice when they feel their needs are not met) and added “I just wish I wasn’t the one getting the bad review”. It’s a feeling I’m sure we’ve all had before – thinking something is a good idea, as long as it happens to someone else. To their credit, the adviser stepped up to the plate and magnanimously faced the fear head on.
The Adviser’s response published on our site was as follows:
Thank you for your honest opinion of our services. Thank you to Adviser Ratings for allowing me to provide a response.
Our initial modelling had some errors and as soon as this was identified, we swiftly corrected it. We pride ourselves on our precision, so whenever we make an error we ensure we correct it which we did. You confirmed you were happy to proceed with the changes as discussed and we felt relieved to receive your email on 12 June 2015, after this discussion, "Thanks for the email. I appreciate the work you are doing for us".
Your comments about “not having very creative plans” is an interesting one. The role of an adviser is to provide you with advice in your best interests. In this instance, you wanted to explore strategies that I didn't believe you had the risk capacity to take.
It is essential that you are rewarded for the risks you’re exposed to. That’s what strategic decision making is all about. It has to make sense. It didn’t make sense in this situation and I believe I did the right thing not being a yes man.
This highlights that it is important that your advisers have the same or similar risk appetite as you (so a great learning outcome for anyone reading this). Our risk appetites were grossly mismatched. I wish you all the best with your financial future and hope you can find an adviser that better suits what you are looking for.
The result was the following request from the reviewer……
I request that the Advisor Ratings site remove the posting of my review. There is no benefit to anyone in proceeding with it.
I am sorry for any inconvenience.
The advisers considered response to this negative review and its subsequent withdrawal shows exactly how a perceived negative can be turned into a positive for an adviser. His correspondence with us indicated his passion for what he does and genuine commitment to his clients. He has many positive reviews on our site and in fact – leaving the review on the site may have even benefited him as potential new clients could see he acted with diligence and poise and was not a ”Yes man”. As many can attest, people use ratings and review sites as a general guide. Consumers are savvy enough to recognise that one bad review amongst 30 positive ones is the exception rather than the rule.
For us at Adviser Ratings, this episode illustrated the strength of our system and the processes we have put in place to deal with negative reviews. They will occur from time to time, such differences in opinion are simply part of life. By creating a controlled environment for people to air their grievances and providing a trusted place for advisers to reply, we can help promote transparency within the advice industry and align consumers to the value that it represents.
In conversations with advisers, many have intimated to us their willingness to deal with any client grievance, but were simply not aware of it. They are surprised their client has ended up posting a negative review – so we recommend they make this willingness apparent to their client early in their relationship. It might mean the Adviser has to tweak their communication or presentation skills with clients. These are just a couple of examples of the improvement in transparency and service that use of our site can offer Advisers. We believe that getting honest feedback on things Advisers can do better will ultimately contribute to improved service for the client and help raise standards in the industry. Potential Clients reading responses such as the one highlighted here can also learn how good advisers proceed. In short, there can be many positives to come out of negative reviews!
Finally, we would encourage advisers to have your clients review you - not only for the value it will provide yourself, but to show your existing clients and potential clients how you value transparency, openness and good customer service.
We’d love to hear your feedback or comments regarding this series of articles. Any thoughts, contributions or criticisms are welcome. We will endeavour to answer any queries that might be raised where appropriate.