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CLIENT SERVICE UNCOVERED Revealing what our clients really want


An introduction At Hymans Robertson, we provide all the core services you’d expect from a pensions and benefits consultancy - such as investment and actuarial consultancy, pension scheme design and management and third party administration. However, the way we deliver our services is very different. We really pride ourselves on our personal approach, and as an independent partnership we place our clients, not stakeholders, at the heart of everything we do. Past feedback from clients has identified that the areas we are particularly good at are: Thinking like our clients Working closely in partnership with our clients Getting to know our clients Talking to our clients Showing our clients what we can do And in order to ensure that these five principles are delivered to clients across the firm consistently, we created our Gold Standard of Client Management. Not only do we try to put our words into action, we like to measure the results too. We do this by engaging an independent consultant to conduct regular Client Perception Surveys to see whether our clients feel we’re successfully living up to our values.

Their people are a real credit to the organisation – they get the result the client wants. Client comment from 2010 survey


In our 2010 survey, 87% of clients rated their overall experience as good or very good - a 3% increase since our last survey in 2008. The results of this year’s survey demonstrate our willingness to listen and learn from our clients in order to develop stronger relationships. The results also reveal the value of our ongoing reviews of client opinions, with many clients saying they welcome the way we’ve responded to feedback from our previous surveys and adjusted our approach to suit their individual needs.

Our unwavering commitment to outstanding client service is demonstrated over the next few pages, and I hope you’ll agree, the results speak for themselves. We plan to continue to improve our service even further and are confident that both our clients and our own people will benefit from this year’s findings.

Terri Lucas Director of Clients and Markets

I’m genuinely happy to be a Hymans Robertson client – I’d rather be a client of Hymans Robertson than any of their competitors. Client comment from 2010 survey


Now to the results A bit of background... The objective of our Client Perception Survey was to gather client feedback on the overall Hymans Robertson experience, whilst focusing on three key aspects: Service quality and delivery Relationship management and people Communication skills The results have been compared with our results from 2008 to ensure we’re on track to continually improve and deliver.

Our sample clients This year, our independent consultant Penhurst Associates interviewed 57 of our clients, either face-to-face or by telephone. Our sample group matched the number of participants used in our 2008 survey, enabling us to draw meaningful conclusions from our findings, relative to previous results. The sample group, and therefore the results shown here, are drawn from clients across both the private and public sectors.

Overall client experience - 2010

33% Very Good

54% Good

13% Average

0% Below Average

This is the best relationship I have ever had with an external supplier. I am not going to find anyone better anywhere else. Client comment from 2010 survey


What we’ve learned Things to be proud of At Hymans Robertson we measure success by what we can achieve for you - no matter how big, small or specific your requirements. We’re delighted to see from this year’s results that we’ve not only continued to please our clients, but have also improved our levels of client satisfaction. 87% of our clients now rate their overall experience with us as good or very good with only 13% rating their overall experience as average. No client scored this below average. We have continued to thrive in the following areas:

Unmatched market perception Our wholehearted approach and trustworthy advice has enabled us to establish a great reputation within our market. Furthermore, our eagerness to improve and meet our clients’ evolving needs has ensured that we continue to maintain it.

“I regard them as being a first rank organisation. They are very well regarded in the marketplace. They deliver a quality service – very slick, very capable.” Great service quality and delivery One area that a few clients raised in the 2008 survey was timeliness. We took this on board and worked very hard to perfect this, and our conscientious, ‘can do’ attitude has led to a real improvement.

“Timeliness on both sides of the service has improved over the last two years – no complaints with timeliness or accuracy. Accuracy has always been good.” 71% confirmed that we are better than other advisors they have worked with. We are particularly proud of this result as it represents a 20% improvement on 2008 results. 29% scored our relationship as being the same as other advisors but no client scored us as worse.

I don’t want a house view, I want people to put a bit more effort in for us. Client comment from 2010 survey


What we’ve learned Good team players

Opportunities for improvement

Hymans Robertson consultants don’t simply work for clients, they work together with them – an approach that helps us to understand our clients better and find what’s achievable for them. What’s more our clients seem to really enjoy this partnering approach.

Hymans Robertson employees don’t just listen, we learn. Whilst we love to celebrate our successes and hear our clients commend our strengths, we’re also keen to find out about the areas you’d like us to work on, so that we can provide an even better service for all our clients.

This year 93% of our clients felt that the quality of service they receive is good or very good. In fact the number of clients who feel we are very good has nearly doubled since the 2008 survey. No client surveyed felt that the quality of our service was below average.

Using your opinion as a guide, here are the areas we promise to improve on:

“I do look for them to be partnering – for us to work as a team. This does happen and I do feel we are an important client.” Excellent communication skills We work tirelessly to ensure that we articulate complex messages and solutions in a clear, straightforward manner, and we’re extremely pleased to see that our clients value this ability and welcome our efforts. 89% of clients surveyed confirmed that our communication skills are good or very good. No client felt that our communication skills were below average.

Project management Some clients expressed that they would like us to keep them more informed about work in progress. We’re committed to taking active steps to keep all our clients more up-to-date in the future.

They keep their promises and they keep the relationship alive because they are proactive. Client comment from 2010 survey


Relationship Management

They are approachable, pragmatic and we trust them.

Since our last survey in 2008, we’ve listened, learned and put plans into action. This has led to a significant improvement in our relationship management scores, in relation to other advisers.

Client comment from 2010 survey Partnering with clients on costs The feedback also showed that some clients are concerned about controlling costs. We’re partnering with clients to make sure that we’re meeting their requirements, and guarantee to pay close attention to charging, ensuring that we manage and communicate costs as transparently as possible.

35% Much Better 36% Marginally Better 29% Same 0% Marginally Worse


Communication Hymans Robertson understands that getting to grips with pensions and investment issues isn’t always easy for clients. So to help you make informed decisions, we make every effort to deliver simple and honest communications in a way that best suits each client.

“I value the quality of the people doing the work and their interface with the trustees.”

We know that good communication skills are essential for successful client relationships, and it’s clear from this year’s results that our clients definitely “Their communication is very good see communication as one of our – it’s a function of the people they main strengths, commending us on all aspects of communication, from formal have there.” presentations to informal contact and publications.

89% of our clients feel that our communication skills are above average, representing a 5% improvement from 2008.


Rapid response! John Dickson Partner and Head of Investment Consultancy Here at Hymans Robertson, we can spring into action at a moment’s notice and help you respond to legislative and market changes in an instant. Plus, our independent status enables us to offer you tailored and genuine advice you’re unlikely to find elsewhere.

Someone who plays a big part in our swift, personalised approach is John. John has overall responsibility for the research and investment advice we give to all our clients. And when it comes to helping meet objectives fast, John really is the man to get you from A to B, quickly.


Client relationship management We like to work closely in partnership with our clients, and we’re truly committed to building long-term relationships.

“They make sure they are aware of the individual characteristics of the scheme and make an effort to find out what you want as a client.”

The results from this year’s survey reveal that our proactive approach to relationship Clients commended our consultants for management is fully appreciated by their knowledge and expertise, keeping our clients and it really sets us apart their promises and being proactive. from our competitors.

“The fact that they do independent feedback with their clients indicates the way they work – they are a super firm.”

71% of our clients said our relationship management is better than other advisers they have used.


Nurturing client relationships Gail Paterson Partner At Hymans Robertson, we understand that keeping good client relationships is similar to maintaining a well-kept garden - for relationships to bloom, clients need careful nurturing. And no-one knows this more than Gail Paterson. Because she has over 25 years’ experience of advising pension clients, Gail understands that when it comes to our clients, happiness is the key to healthy growth, so she always does her utmost to ensure that our client care continues to blossom. Additionally, Gail also acts as guardian partner for several major clients of the firm including Action for Children, Wincanton and Hewlett-Packard. 


Service quality and delivery Many companies promise to provide the highest level of service, but often fail to deliver. At Hymans Robertson we don’t believe in empty promises - we stick by our values.

“They are honest in their advice. They are approachable, pragmatic and we trust them.” “They do bring ideas and they do challenge you, which is important to us.” The number of clients who said they consider the quality of our service to be good or very good has increased by 7% since 2008.

Our service quality and delivery were measured concentrating on the following areas: Quality of service Accuracy Timeliness Proactive approach to delivery Responsiveness Work in progress updates Ownership of issues Clients value the quality of our advice and our approach to service delivery, describing it as proactive, responsive and timely.

93% of our clients consider the quality of our service to be good or very good.


Solving communication mysteries! Mark Belchamber Senior Consultant Here’s the challenge. 1.3 million people need to make an informed decision about their pension, but first they’ve got to understand some particularly complicated facts. Oh, and everyone’s circumstances are different and they’re all up to their ears in other communications. So what do you do?

In the case of the NHS, they turned to Mark, who solved the problem with a simple, engaging and instantly recognisable campaign that turned all that information into something you didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to understand. The campaign went on to win Best Overall Strategy at the FT Pension and Investment Communication Awards and our client described our contribution as “exceptional”.


Our future vision of client management Client relationships are of the utmost importance to us and we strive to continue achieving a high level of client satisfaction and improving client care even further in the future. This is because at Hymans Robertson we believe that whilst it’s important to take pride in your achievements, you should never be complacent. Ultimately, it’s our clients that are at the core of what we do, so it’s important to not only please them, but to go above and beyond their expectations, wherever possible. All Hymans Robertson employees help deliver our vision of outstanding service, by:

Continuing to listen and learn from our clients. Working tirelessly to make any necessary improvements that have been flagged up by our clients. Tracking our performance through regular contact with clients. Following the five Gold Standard principles at all times to ensure our values are always put into practice. In doing so, we aim to continue to deliver a first-class service which is always friendly, partnering, straightforward and confident – our core values which have emerged by listening to what our clients have to say about us.

Get in touch We’re always looking for further ways to improve, so if you have any feedback or enquiries please contact marketing@hymans.co.uk or speak with your dedicated contact.

Or if you’d like to speak directly to Terri, please feel free to contact her at terri.lucas@hymans.co.uk.


A big thank you Thank you to all those clients who took Over the past eight years Hymans part in this important research, whether Robertson has worked closely with face-to-face or by telephone. Penhurst Associates as part of our ongoing quest to understand, meet We would also like to thank Carole and exceed client expectations. Haddow (our independent researcher This year, Carole’s in-depth research and founder of specialist research has once again gathered some consultancy Penhurst Associates) for particularly relevant and insightful her work on this project, which has feedback, which we wholeheartedly once again proven invaluable. aim to use to strengthen our client relationships and resolve any issues that may need improving.

Reception Maestro Judy Dodoo Visit our London office and the first person you’re likely to meet will be Judy. She’s an indispensable part of the Hymans Robertson team and knows more about the finer points of client service in the industry than anyone we know. From the moment you step through the front door of any of our offices, you’ll know you’re in good hands and be looked after every step of the way. Maybe that’s why our clients tend to stay with us for so long!


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Client Perception survey