Category Archives: Shopper Tips and Information

What’s Your Customer Service Focus for 2017?

Customer Service Measurement

Customer Service Trends for 2017

Most companies have a strapline or brand tagline that describes what they believe their service or product stands for, in many cases it places the customer right at the forefront of their thinking. Sometimes these taglines also double up as brand identifiers. For example, Tesco’s famous tagline ‘Every Little Helps’ doesn’t require much imagination from the consumer and gives them something to emblazon on very bit of marketing material they have available. These are three carefully selected words that demonstrate a commitment to the customer, whilst also letting you know a little bit about their core guiding principles, mainly to save you pounds in your pocket.

Likewise, if I mentioned the tagline ‘For the Journey’ would you be able to remember the brand? Most of us might think of a breakdown company or similar. ‘For the Journey’ was actually used by Lloyds Bank to position the brand as a lifetime partner for everything we do with our finances. This has since been superseded by ‘The Next Step’ campaign which is a more subtle in its approach and shows the iconic black horse slowly galloping through a demographic mix of the UK populous.  By carefully aligning themselves to you as a customer they demonstrate that they have a commitment to you as an individual.

Why is a customer commitment important?

Whichever way you look at it, there is a common thread in big business trying to win us over as long-term users of their service. Companies know the value of building long term customer relationships and the profitability they can bring. After all it’s far cheaper to retain a customer than to have go out to find a new one. It’s why the Net Promotor Score (NPS) has become such an important benchmark for business and quickly summarises whether someone would use the service again based on their experience.

It’s 2017 so ‘Just Do It’

Taglines are statements which are short and easily remembered. Repeated taglines can become mantras for a business and help guide your staff and customers to your guiding principles and beliefs. Your goal as a company is to work out how well your own business mirrors the guiding principles of the company tag or strapline. This is important stuff; both your customer and staff satisfaction are a reflection of being able to deliver your key message. When it comes to your vision for what great looks like, every member of your organisation must be in alignment to this message. Everyone should understand the goal, and ideally if it’s summarised in a strapline you can build your customer service principles around it.

Customer service measurement and training is key.

To deliver and live up to the standards required, quality measurement and training is a must. Your staff are the most important component in allowing you to deliver on your promises to the customer. For your customers to get the service they deserve you must first start with your staff.

Tern supports brands and employees with a range of customer insights measurement methods through mystery shopping. These include video, telephone and online mystery shopping with detailed report feedback.

Contact us via our website www.tern.co.uk or give us a call on 01939 235555 to see how we can help you fulfil your core business values.

Mystery Shopping Gambling Operators

With online now the dominant gambling channel in the UK and research indicating that 450,000 children gamble very week is it time for operators to increase compliance monitoring of gambling and betting in general?

“New report indicates 450,000 children gamble every week” Source Gambling Commission

Gambling Operator Mystery Shop Customer Research

Gambling Operator Compliance Testing

Whether the venues are betting shops, bingo halls, racetracks or adult gaming centres, operators need to play close attention to those who use their services. Young people are particularly vulnerable and it’s in the gambling sectors best interest, both morally and financially to ensure those who are not legally allowed to gamble are challenged.

Of course, we can’t always tell by looking, how old an individual is. The risk to the operator and licence holder if it’s found to be negligent in this situation can be a large fine and enforced monitoring.

Gambling operators need to adhere to Gambling Conditions and Codes of Practice  which  helps them to ensure that they trade responsibly as part of the licence conditions.

Key elements included in codes of practice under section 24 of the Gambling Act 2005 are as follows:

  1. gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
  2. children and other vulnerable people are protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling
  3. assistance is made available to people who are, or may be, affected by problems related to gambling.

Compliance Monitoring for the Gambling Sector

Gambling operators don’t need to leave compliance to chance though. By building a robust compliance testing framework the risk of regulatory intervention can be significantly reduced. In addition, a proactive approach to under age sales testing as part of Challenge 21/25 also increases awareness amongst staff around the importance of regulatory gambling codes of practice.

Tern offer a range of uk mystery shopping services and age restricted testing, so whether you’re a pub, casino or racetrack there are some practical steps you can take to keep you the right side of the Gambling Regulator.

Our Gambling Sector Mystery Shop Coverage:

  • Pubs and Arcade FOBTs (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals)
  • Casinos
  • Bookies and Racetracks
  • Adult Gaming Centres including Motorway Services

2016 News Stories Relating to Gambling

MPs urge clampdown on bookmakers’ betting machines
UK Gambling Commission Issues Warning Over Underage Gambling

Other useful links

http://www.gambleaware.co.uk/responsible-gambling
https://www.gamblinginsider.com/

Do Tech Advances Result in a Better Restaurant Experience?

With the food service sector set to be worth £56.3bn by 2019 Source: http://www.hrzns.com/ there is clear evidence that our changing lifestyles and increasing availability of free time is allowing us to sample a greater range of food experiences than ever before.

Combine that with the growth of food-to-go/quick service restaurants and we’re beginning to see how our high streets can change for the better.

Using technology to drive success

For those working at forefront of food service delivery in customer facing roles, creating simple in-restaurant processes combined with a personal service is key. New tools are helping to improve operational efficiency of restaurants, allowing communications between waiting staff and the kitchen to drive up the quality of the customer dining experience.

Click and Collect Food Orders

Click and Collect Food Ordering is on the increase.

Whether it’s customers using a pre-order app on their phone, click and collect service  or intermediary website services like Deliveroo and Just Eat. new tech is also allowing food service operators to communicate and deliver to a wider consumer audience. From initial pop-up restaurants placed in convenient London locations @Londonpopups our restaurant entrepreneurs are using technology to help put themselves on the map, generate custom,  improve service and gain further investment and growth.

London Popup Restaurants

What’s the future for bars, cafes and restaurants?

Todays’ Pop-ups show the future for emerging brands. The recent purchase of up and coming food chains like GBK  by ‘Famous Brands’ shows that the marketplace will invest in brands which it thinks can have a broader market appeal. Even big players like McDonalds  recognise the need to adapt to these challengers, our changing consumer tastes and ordering methods. Healthier options are now present on all of its menus. McDonalds fast food competitor Pret a Manager has recorded 16% increase in sales growth 2016 and has recently trialled a vegetarian only food outlet. Source: IGD Research

The UK probably offers the most diverse range of food-to-go and restaurant options available anywhere in the world.  Thai and Japanese restaurants in the UK have reported an 18% growth in the last five years. Source: http://eatoutmagazine.co.uk/restaurants-drive-growth-oriental-food-consumption

This trend in consumers seemingly willing to try new cuisines will undoubtedly mean that our High Street will continue to see more new restaurants and restaurant themes develop.

How to measure restaurant service levels

Keeping an eye on the service levels in newly opened establishments requires more than just diligent monitoring. With multiple purchase and service routes now available, using mystery diners  can help aid operational and regional management teams to keep an eye on the overall experience.  For large scale food service providers measuring the operational effectiveness will drive up profits and customer  NPS Scores, in turn helping to prevent those negative online reviews before they even happen.

 

How Much does Mystery Shopping Cost?

Cost and Benefits of Mystery Shopping

What’s the cost of mystery shopping?

Is it right for my business?

The benefits of mystery shopping are undoubted. Yet some businesses decide that this method of research is either expensive, outdated, or somehow inferior to online customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT). 

Why is that? Mystery shopping is a long established method of customer research which is great for collecting content rich data. For customer insights teams, the decision to ask existing customers what they thought seems a logical one. Send out an email survey with an incentive and you will get hundreds of results at a fraction of the cost of mystery shop, job done.

Such beliefs can often lead to low response rates and ultimately disappointment. Digital technology has transformed mystery shopping and the cost of collecting the data required is now more manageable, even for small businesses. In addition, the advances in digital covert video recording mean that a video mystery shopping programme can now be in reach of even those who are on the tightest of budgets.

Is CSAT as cost effective as you think?

A well designed, short CSAT survey will mean the respondent is likely to be truthful in their answers, however if you start to add too much complexity the respondent will begin to resent taking part in the survey quickly diluting its effectiveness. Because mystery shoppers work within a defined brief they already know what they’re seeking to measure at the start of a visit, this allows you to gather data not available through CSAT. Add up the associated costs of customer satisfaction surveys to include print collateral, incentive offers and time spent analysing the data and the research can be far less cost effective.

Come back to mystery shopping?

Speaking from experience, we know that you can spend modestly on a mystery shopping programme that will help you to drive real results. A good mystery shopping programme can help change behaviour in your organisation

Whilst CSAT surveys have a valuable place in the customer researcher toolkit they should not be used in isolation. Mystery shopping provides a very real evidence based litmus test to measure brand standards and store performance. You can capture robust data across all locations within a given deadline using a specific scenario – this is impossible using CSAT.

With mystery shopping we can be sure of how long the process will take and when your results will be delivered. This quickly leaves clients with a robust review of the business which helps to make positive change and engage staff.

Additional benefits of mystery shopping

Apart from now being more affordable, mystery shopping comes with a range of additional benefits. These boost the efficiency of the customer training teams, delivering almost immediate results as operational managers and staff are given a real focus for improving overall performance.

What does this all mean for your business? For a start, the worries about the cost of mystery shopping unfounded. In fact, this type of research is truly cost-efficient and it can contribute to serious revenue maximisation when incorporated in the right customer strategy. Mystery shopping gives you flexibility, immediacy and an opportunity to accomplish a vast range of customer service goals.

Still not convinced? Read some of our client testimonials or give us a call! We’ll be more than happy to meet you and get to know your business better. You’ll get examples about campaigns we’ve done in the past, the cost and how these contributed to more effective business performance and customer engagement. Call us today for a free quote or to request a trial of our mystery shopping services on 01939 235555 or email us on [email protected]

Other links that you may find useful

Mystery Shopping Return on Investment
How to Design a Great Mystery Shopping Survey
Mystery Shopping vs customer Satisfaction Surveys

Mystery Shop+ Your mystery shopper giving you direct video feedback

VoxPop Video Feedback Survey Stats
VoxPop Video Feedback Surveys

Put your senior executives back on the shop floor by giving them direct access to video feedback from your customers.  If your board is separated from your customer feedback by charts and graphs, is the time right to give them direct voxpop style video feedback surveys  via our revolutionary Mystery Shop+ service?

Video is a persuasive tool for business performance measurement.

Few things are more captivating than a good story. With online video views far surpassing most text-based content, telling the story of your customer journey in video has the potential to engage your staff more than ever before. The good news is that Videos ranging from professional productions to spontaneous interactions captured on phones all have the potential to be powerful.

If you need help developing a powerful internal communications plan, video is the method help bring your content to life.

With viewers spending about 100% more time on pages containing video (Source: Marketing Sherpa)  you can be guaranteed that customer video feedback will be effective at delivering key messages.

Stimulating our Senses

Video draws on our senses, you get to hear and see the things that are otherwise left to interpretation. Together, audio and visual stimulus can often evoke a deeper connection, allowing viewers to engage with content on a much more personal and emotional level.

Humans Process Visual Data Better

“Visualization works from a human perspective because we respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual.   Since we are visual by nature, we can use this skill to enhance data processing and organizational effectiveness.” Source: T-Science

Delivery of Key Messages

Collecting content rich videos is key to areas within a business which might not have direct interactions with frontline staff. Video completely removes the hierarchical structure within a business putting the ‘Voice of the Customer’ directly in front of the Chief Executive.

Voice af the Customer Survey Feedback

Voice of the Customer Survey Feedback

Short and Sweet

We know that because Senior Management teams are often short on time video length is also important. According to Wistia the longer a video is, the lower its retention. Videos under 1 minute enjoy 80% viewer retention up to the 30-second mark, while videos 2-3 minutes in length only experience 60% retention.

Our VoxPop videos are no more than a minute in length a give you the key highlights of the store experience.

Stop Reading this and Take a Look for yourself

If you looking to give your retail mystery shopping customer experience programme a boost watch our VoxPops Video Feedback Surveys to see how some of our customers have been engaging with our clients through video.  We can also conduct covert video mystery shopping which can be used to record the entire experience from the customer viewpoint.

8 Mystery Shopping KPIs to Understand Business Performance

Key Performance Indicators

Mystery Shopping Key Performance Indicators

How do you find out if your store customer service is living up to expectations?

The answer can lie with key performance indicators – Mystery Shopping KPIs

There are a number mystery shopping KPIs you can use to measure customer service and the success of your customer service strategy.

Different measures will make more sense for different types of business. The benefit to mystery shopping KPIs is that they can be used in addition to or alongside existing customer satisfaction surveys, allowing you to ask the questions which can’t be answered using this method alone.

Unlike customer satisfaction surveys you’re guaranteed to get a response to the questions you need an answer to. Below is a list of different KPI measures your business might consider using when conducting mystery shopping.

1. Customer approach / acknowledgment

When you first walk into a store are you acknowledged? It’s amazing how this key fundamental first step into building a good rapport with the customer is so often left too late or not even done at all. Now we may not necessarily expect to be greeted on the door, however a timely nod to the fact that we exist counts for a lot. Even if your service proposition is more self service in nature, it is still good to build a rapport with customers. Remembering that ongoing improvements in staffing and store efficiency doesn’t need to mean the end for friendly service.

2. Rapport building with the customer

When you build a good rapport with customers you’re giving yourself the opportunity to both sell and upsell. By asking questions, showing empathy and successfully establishing the customer needs you will not only end up giving them the product they want, you will also give yourself the opportunity to present them with associated items to increase the transaction value.

Your best employees really know how to engage with customers. Make sure this attribute becomes common practice within your organisation, whether that’s selling the customer the product they need or handling objections effectively.

3. Product Knowledge

Customers buy from individuals who are clearly knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the service or product they offer. By testing the gaps in your staff product knowledge you’re able to organise training programmes to fill those gaps. If you work within a regulated environment like financial services the focus on compliant selling of products becomes even more important. Research also shows us that compliant selling practice can be directly linked to our level of customer satisfaction.

4. Closing the sale

After someone from your service team interacts with a customer, how likely are they to make a purchase or take some other kind of action? If you acknowledge your customer, build rapport and introduce the right products, a good result will be very easy to achieve.

Measuring the Sales Closure

Measuring the sales process

Mystery shopping can allow you to correlate sales performance directly back to the level of customer service.

5. Average response times

Part of good customer service is resolving issues speedily. If you can respond to customers and also answer queries quickly they are more likely to be satisfied with the overall service level.

6. Net Promoter Score

And customers who are very happy with your customer service are likely to even go a step further and recommend your company to others. Your company’s Net Promoter Score, or rate of people who would recommend your business to others can be a good indication of customer service standards  and another way to measure customer service levels.

7. Competitor comparison

Even customers who love your brand might not choose you over your competitors for all purchases. So while measurement methods above are good metrics on which to measure potential success, it’s still important to see how your company stacks up against your peers. This is where competitor mystery shopping can allow you to not only benchmark your service performance, it will also allow you to check pricing and the product offer. Helping you to plug the gaps and to revise the offer.

8. Overall service measurement

By performing regular audits, you can gauge how your customers are being treated. The higher your score the greater the number of the key components of your overall customer journey processes are being met.

Other mystery shopping links you may find useful

There are a number of mystery shopping methods you can use for reporting KPIs . Whether you decide to use a standard written survey backed up with video mystery shopping, or you’re looking to measure the online customer  journey through to fulfilment.

Our service can help you to build the right kind of customer service KPI dashboard. Providing you with an independent of how your customers are being treated. See our report examples and sector coverage to see how we can support you.

Mystery shopping KPI measurement methods you could use today.

To find out how we can support your sector give us a call.

 

Health and Beauty Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping within the Health and Beauty industry has a number of benefits. Conducting detailed mystery shopper research can help you to improve performance and profitability whilst ensuring a compliant service delivery which your customers will love.

Mystery Shopping Health and Beauty

The industry employees an estimated 250,000 workers and has an annual turnover averaging £5.25 billion’

Source: http://www.hse.gov.uk/ 

Measuring location and operational performance in your salon, spa or surgery will not only help you to deliver on the health and beauty training you have put in place to support staff. It will also help you to monitor the safe delivery of your product or service to customers.

With new cosmetic procedures and beauty products appearing every day, it is important for the sector to reflect carefully on its approach to looking after clients.

‘Increasingly we are taking a more holistic view of our health, and our beautification ritual may now include a periodic massage and a trip to the spa. But our concern with our appearance is hardly anything new; indeed the beauty industry has been expanding and growing for all of recorded history.’ 

Source: Franchise Help Beauty Industry Report 2016

 How we conduct mystery shopping health and beauty visits?

Whether your business is beauty therapy, aesthetics, skincare or surgical treatments, we can use a number of methods to assess your salon or practice standards. By using shoppers who are demographically profiled to your beauty or cosmetics brand, we can send mystery shoppers to test brand product knowledge, beauty treatments, all the way through to cosmetic consultations.

Because compliance and customer satisfaction go hand in hand, we can assess an employees’ ability to follow procedures, ensuring compliant delivery and a great customer experience.  Our secret spa shoppers will work within the confines of a respective health and beauty survey which will be designed specifically to meet your needs as the client.  Helping salon managers and employees use of effective risk control measures to play an important part of your business.

 The benefit for secret shoppers as health and beauty spa visitors

As part of our mystery shopper service for the health and beauty sector we can send our potential customer in to measure not only the initial consultation process, we can also look at how well beauty treatment was discussed and delivered. This allows spas, beauty treatment providers and practitioners to refine the offer and test treatments on real clients.

 A typical secret beauty salon visit might include:

  • New beauty client consultation process.
  • Customer service measurement pre-treatment
  • Compliance checking, skin testing for allergens to products
  • Relationship building, upsell, treatment and product knowledge.
  • Practice therapist assessments
  • Under age sales testing

With legislation and regulation split between local authorities (LAs) and the Health and Safety Executive HSE. Non-surgical treatments (which form the majority of this sector) fall to LAs, while HSE enforces treatments undertaken under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner, eg cosmetic dentistry.  Find out more about  Health and Safety within the Beauty Industry . HSE and LAs will work together in enforcing compliant delivery in the respective areas.

 Our health and beauty mystery shopping services can be used by:

  • Spas and Salons (beauty, aesthetics, skincare, treatments)
  • Cosmetic Brands
  • Health and Beauty Brands
  • Health and Beauty Retailers
  • Luxury Brands
  • Hairdresser Salons
  • Tanning Studios
  • Hotels

 Specialist providers of services which require qualified practitioners:

If you own or manage a beauty treatment spa, salon group or practice you already know that the wellbeing of the client is key to long term retention and growth of the business. See how Tern can you help you support you with you with a bespoke mystery shopping programme.

UK Consumer Trends for 2016

With consumer trends in retail data from 2015 now being digested by analysts and retail spending peaked, are we about to see the increase in our disposable incomes finally result in a financial windfall for UK retailers?

Latest report data from the ONS suggests that back in 2013 average weekly spending started growing again (increasing to £523.90) and continued growing in 2014 when it reached £531.30. With the figures from 2015 still due, will we see a continued upward trajectory in 2016? And how will this affect our fiercely competitive UK consumer markets?

Consumer Expenditure Trends

Consumer Expenditure Trends

Source: Trends in household expenditure over time (ONS)

Will 2016 herald further increases in choice for the UK consumer?

It’s no secret that a slew of data will most likely still point to the rise of the discounters and value hungry shoppers driving footfall away from previously dominant market leaders. Technology will continue to disrupt traditional channels as companies like UBER and AirBNB start to impact service based industry models.

Standard of service will be a key differentiator.

The quality of product and service delivery is becoming the modern battleground in the race for companies to either expand or survive and growing consumer choice is a sign of healthy market competition. The upshot for business is that the relentless pursuit for value and excellence from consumers will continue to define how our high street retailers perform, shaping the UK retail landscape in the years to come.

The time to invest in understanding service performance and training is now.

If the forecasts are correct then this is a great time for well managed retail stores  to capitalise on low oil prices, benign interest rates and the real terms increases in consumer spending power as inflation remains subdued.

 

How will retailers capitalise on any increase in UK consumer confidence in 2016?

It’s important to note that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Operations Teams to manage multiple delivery routes as shoppers’ drift between physical bricks and mortar,  the online world, and call centre sales routes. Managing a joined up approach on service at scale is not an easy task but one that retailers need to tackle with relish. As you start your journey into 2016, make sure you lay a great foundation for the rest of the year and beyond.

Provide your business support with a clear measurement framework.

To ensure that you have an accurate measurement for service performance across  all channels we suggest that companies invest in the tools which enable them to have a clear customer insight beyond the standard customer feedback survey. We support companies by developing mystery shopping programmes which measure key moments in the customer journey not typically picked up by consumer surveys and canvassing.

Gathering evidence rich data is the key for driving positive change

Consumer purchase funnel Data

Consumer Purchase Funnel Data from Mystery Shopping – Tern Ltd

For online data analysts it has become common practice to measure the customer journey funnel and work out where you are most likely to lose your customers. Mystery Shopping is the perfect tool for creating a funnel framework for working out your service failure points. Looking at those key moments can tell you where you need to make service level improvements are made. Mystery shopping data is far richer and can be combined with customer feedback surveys or stand alone in it’s own right.

To help you with this we have compiled our own list of supporting topics.

Contact us on 01939 235555 to see how we can help you lay the foundations for achieving great customer service.

New Consumer Ombudsman Launched

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  20/08/2015

With an overhaul in consumer rights due this October, along with a proposed Consumer Rights Bill, it’s time you brushed up on your customer service standards. The new Consumer Ombudsman will allow customers to raise a complaint about businesses in any sector, bringing focus to areas which may have been previously overlooked.

The new consumer ombudsman will be positive for both business and consumers alike and will seek to clarify core consumer rights:

New Consumer Ombudsman Launched

The New Consumer Ombudsman Website

The core consumer rights as defined by the bill will be:

  • Right to get what you pay for;
  • Right that goods and digital content are fit for purpose and services are provided with reasonable care and skill;
  • Right to have faults in what you buy put right free of charge, or to be provided with a refund or replacement.

According to the latest figures released by the Ombudsman services, 66 million complaints were made about products and services last year – equating to a complaint every 1.2 seconds.

Find out what this will mean for you as a consumer by visiting Which or the new Consumer Ombudsman websites.

How will the new Consumer Ombudsman help to shape a better customer service experience?

Experts in dispute resolution the ombudsman will be available to sort out complaints about the companies which have joined the organisation. They will provide an independent, impartial and cost effective means of resolving disputes outside the courts.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) will mean that the new ombudsman will be available across all consumer sectors. Ensuring your service standards are in order will avoid consumer complaints down the line.

Using mystery shopping as an effective measure of customer service experience:

The financial services and energy sector have both been proactive in the use of mystery shopping as a pre-emptive tool against poor service for many years; gaining insight into their call centres, face to face interactions and online service delivery.

Mystery Shopping is an effective means of driving up your core standards and will make sure your customer journey is clear and understood by all.

Looking to improve your own customer service standards?

Tern can support you with telephone calls to assess your contact centre, video mystery shopping for detailed evidence gathering and standard written mystery shop reports which are all delivered through our easy to use online platform. This will provide you with all of the evidence you need to form a detailed audit; see the  rmystery shop report examples page to see what this looks like in practice.

Read more on this story from around the web

This is Money
Retail Week

Will changes to UK Pensions mean we will still get the right advice from Financial Advisers?

With the recent changes to pensions coming into effect in  April do we really understand all the options available to us for our retirement planning? The answer for most of us is probably not, and  the amount of knowledge UK consumers have on the subject can vary hugely.

Financial Adviser Mystery Shopping Promotional Banner

At Tern we provide support to financial services firms by supplying mystery shoppers who are able present test scenarios to the financial advisers working on an institutions behalf. This can be an important protection measure for making sure your employees are giving appropriate pensions advice suited to the needs of the individual requesting it.

The financial adviser mystery shopping visits we conduct are usually recorded with covert audio devices. The evidence gathered can be from telephone calls, face to face home visits or appointment based fact finding. Allowing your risk and compliance teams to review first hand evidence of the conversations taking place can provide an important resource which allows for guided training and vetting on standards of the financial advice offered.

Catering for different individuals scenarios

Whether an individual is just starting out on his or her career path and considering their first pension choices or someone is nearing retirement and wants to find out about how the changes to annuity rules in 2015 affect them.

Couple getting pensions advice from financial adviser

The options for pensions can leave many of us who are uninformed on the subject confused. Getting good advice from an IFA or pensions specialist on your options whether you choose to take a lump sum payment, ‘uncrystallised funds pension lump sum’ (UFPLS) or  a lifetime annuity for example,  can make a big difference to an individuals’ future  standard of living.

Of course making the right decisions with a pension pot will be different for each of us and dependent upon circumstances and the options we may wish to take based on our a risk appetite. There are plenty of free websites that will offer generic advice when you search for retirement planning services that leave consumers unprotected. Making the choice to see a regulated financial adviser is an investment in the future and personal financial advice which makes specific recommendations against your circumstance has to be paid for.

Any products recommended  must be suited to the individuals’ needs, if they’re not,  then the consumer can complain about mis-selling to the firm the financial adviser works for.  If the complaint is turned down it can be taken to the financial ombudsman service.

Financial Adviser Mystery Shopping

Get in touch today to find out more about how Tern can support your firm with correct preventative measures and ensure that your financial advisers are offering clear and relevant advice based on range of different scenarios. Read more about our financial service mystery shopping visits for banks and building societies

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  30/04/2015