How can people find the right financial adviser? And how can a financial adviser find the right kind of clients? Those two questions have preoccupied us at Unbiased since the year dot (1989, to be precise). Fast forward to the present day, and after helping millions of consumers and tens of thousands of advisers to find each other, we’re still looking for new ways to connect people to the advice they need.
Probably you noticed the moose. (He’s hard to miss.) What you might not have spotted yet is the other big new feature of our homepage. Rather than having just one way for consumers to find an adviser, we now offer two. The aim of this is to encourage more people to search for advice, while increasing the chances of people finding the right adviser for them. And (spoiler alert!) it’s working.
Unbiased has long been the UK’s favourite place to find a financial adviser, with good reason: we list more advisers than anywhere else, our brand is trusted and our site has always been easy to use. However, many people who need advice have continued to miss out on it. Why?
Take Bob. He needs pension advice on a small-ish pension pot. He contacts his nearest adviser, who turns out to be busy, so he emails the next one. But Bob’s pension pot is too small for adviser number two to deal with. Bob tries three more advisers, gets similar answers (or no reply at all) and gives up.
Or consider Sally. She has a high income and a lot of assets to invest, but has never consulted an adviser before and so isn’t sure what to look for. She searches her postcode and browses the list of advisers, but being a busy person, and unable to decide which one is best for her, she ends up contacting none of them.
This sort of scenario – frustrating for consumers and advisers alike – happens all too often. To tackle it head on, we designed our new search feature: Connect with an adviser.
Many users may find that manually searching through a list of advisers isn’t for them. They may lack the time or knowledge to make an informed choice, even with the help of the Unbiased checklist for choosing an adviser. Furthermore, when people do make a choice, there is no guarantee that their preferred adviser will be available.
When people click ‘Connect with an adviser’, most of the work of searching is done for them. The user fills in a simple form to provide the essential details of their enquiry. This enquiry is then sent automatically to the nearest suitable advisers. Several advisers at a time may see it, but only one adviser can purchase the enquiry (which then ceases to be available). When an enquiry is accepted, the consumer receives a message telling them to expect a call from that specific adviser.
In this way, even an enquiry that is rejected many times has a high chance of eventually finding a suitable adviser. We recognise that most consumers will not have the patience to contact potentially dozens of advisers before finding one to accept their enquiry – most, in fact, will give up after just three or four failed attempts. By contrast, the Connect feature allows consumers to be matched successfully with an adviser whom they might never have contacted otherwise.
Rather than changing the way consumers search, or the way advisers receive enquiries, the new Connect feature has improved outcomes for both consumers and advisers. This has dramatically boosted the number of people seeking advice, delivering a massive 43 per cent rise in the number of enquiries through our site.
As an adviser, you can view the details of each enquiry before choosing to accept it, so your time is spent only on enquiries that have a good chance of turning into new business.
Consumers still have the option of searching for an adviser using our postcode-and-filters system. This is equally prominent on our homepage and remains as popular as ever (the numbers using the Connect feature are largely additional traffic to the site). When a consumer sends an enquiry to an adviser using the postcode search, the enquiry goes straight to that adviser – no other advisers can see it or purchase it. However, if the adviser chooses not to accept it, then that enquiry will be matched to the nearest suitable adviser (in a process similar to the Connect feature).
Remember too that if you have our PLUS Unlimited package, then all enquiries sent directly to you will be free of charge. (Advisers on a regular PLUS package receive their first enquiry each month free of charge, whether the enquiry is made using the postcode search or the Connect feature).
We are seeing many more consumers connecting with advisers as a result of our new double-channel search system. Furthermore, the flat-rate cost of enquiries (£30 each) means the value they represent will often be exceptional. Last but not least, our unique accept/reject option means you can select only those enquiries that fit with your business requirements.
To ensure that you make the most of this new business stream, bear in mind these simple tips:
Our new system is already delivering excellent results for advisers and consumers alike, while reaffirming the status of Unbiased as the UK’s favourite place to find advisers. Meanwhile we continue to work hard to improve and refine the experience for all concerned. Today’s increasingly busy and digitally-minded consumers need more than a simple directory of advisers, while advisers do not have the time to field large numbers of unsuitable enquiries in person. Our ongoing mission at Unbiased is to address both of those needs – and we hope you’ll agree that this is a big leap in the right direction.
Time to update your profile? Log in to your dashboard now.