U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study

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Bain Certified Net Promoter Score® by J.D. Power now available!

Publish: April 24, 2018  |  Press Release: April 26, 2018  |  2018 Sample Size: ≈5,600

The wealth management industry today is experiencing unprecedented disruption, with new technology, competitors, service models, and evolving investor preferences and expectations creating significant opportunities and risks for established players.

The self-directed investment platform, once focused on providing a fast, reliable trade execution platform for investors wanting to avoid high brokerage commission fees, is now delivering services to a range of investor types with different needs and preferences when it comes to advice and guidance.  While some investors are truly seeking a DIY platform, others want more guidance, but their needs, preferences or wealth level are not well-aligned with the traditional full-service brokerage model.  Many firms are now delivering advice to these investors through a centralized, call center model that allows advisors to service more clients than a traditional advisor would.  

This year’s Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction StudySM recognizes these distinct groups have unique needs and has created independent segments with unique satisfaction models.

  • Seeking Guidance: has access to professional advice but does not have a dedicated, personal financial advisor  
  • DIY: does not receive professional advice from their firm

The 2018 U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study can help firms answer key questions: 

  • What are the key drivers of firm selection, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy for those investors seeking guidance and how do they differ from DIY clients? 
  • For clients seeking guidance but not working with a traditional financial advisor, what frequency and which channels of communication are sufficient to meet their needs for human advice?
  • From a client experience perspective, what aspects of service can be effectively supported by technology and when does removing human interaction significantly damage loyalty and/or advocacy? 
  • What are the most critical experiences financial advisors (FAs) must be delivering these clients in order to ensure their value is recognized in an environment where investors increasingly have more lower-cost options available to them? 
  • How well are your firm’s FAs delivering on those areas relative to your competitors?
  • Are there gaps in any part of your customer journey that result in attrition, lower wallet share, or reduced advocacy? If so, what are they and how can you close them? 
  • How should firms and FAs be using digital and mobile technologies to enhance client communications to optimize the customer experience (CX)?
  • What are top-performing providers from your industry and other industries doing that can inform your CX strategy? 
  • How do key market segments (e.g., high net worth, Millennials, and women) differ from other investors in terms of preferences and priorities? 
  • How effectively is your firm positioning itself for The Great Wealth Transfer, and what actions should your FAs be taking now to maximize retention of intergenerational wealth? 
  • Which segment(s) of the market represent the greatest financial opportunity for your firm; which segments have needs and preferences best aligned with your capabilities and differentiators?  

How can self-directed investment firms ensure they are providing clients with an exceptional experience?

The U.S. Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study measures self-directed investors’ satisfaction with their investment firm based on performance in eight factors: Firm Interaction; Account Information; Commissions and Fees; Information Resources; Financial Advisor (Seeking Guidance segment only); Investment Performance; Product and Service Offerings; and Problem Resolution. The study provides subscribers with a broad understanding of how self-directed investment firms can improve investor satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and advocacy.

Study deliverables include: 

  • Customized executive presentation and in-person discussion that includes data-driven, actionable recommendations for achieving strategic goals 
  • Performance scorecards benchmarking firm performance the industry in across key drivers of satisfaction, as well as loyalty and advocacy metrics 
  • Analyst Briefing highlighting key trends and insights across the industry
  • Net Promoter Score®—This study includes Bain Certified NPS® by J.D. Power; several NPS questions will be added to the respondent files and available on VoX and via a word cloud and rank chart
  • Competitive survey data and industry reports including information on customer segments
  • Data and analytical tools for performance insights and competitive peer comparisons  
  • Access to VoX 3.0—This study is available on the interactive interface, VoX 3.0

Other 2018 Wealth and Lending Product Suite offerings* include:

  • New report on Self-Directed Investors “Seeking Guidance”: Among the fastest-growing segments of investors are those who are neither DIY nor working with a traditional dedicated financial advisor, but rather access advice and guidance from a combination of a call center based rep as well as self-service tools from their provider. J.D Power now has a study to identify key drivers of satisfaction for this segment and to benchmark leading providers. 
  • NPS Analytics Package Add-On: J.D. Power’s NPS Analytics Package helps brands more fully understand the drivers of the Net Promoter Score and how those results fit within the framework of the overall customer experience.
  • Deep Dive: Partner with J.D. Power to capture additional sample enabling deeper analysis and segmentation around the client experience 
  • Benchmarking and Certification Programs: 
    • Contact Center
    • New: Mobile App

*These offerings require an additional subscription.
Net Promoter System®, Net Promoter Score®, NPS® and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reichheld and Satmetrix Systems, Inc.