Outstanding Achievement: Advisers top of our priority list

Prudential’s long-term commitment to advisers over the years and assistance in dealing with the RDR has resulted in a deserving accolade in 2014.

After years of five star and four star awards, the company has been recognised for excellent customer service over the past six years, to receive the Financial Adviser award for outstanding achievement.

In the pensions category, the firm has won five stars for the past four years and for the past six years it has done so in the investment section; four star acknowledgments stretch beyond that.

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Tulsi Naidu, executive director for UK and offshore at Prudential, said it was all about making sure advisers were at the top of their list of priorities.

She said: “A significant proportion of our market is adviser driven. The more we help advisers to be efficient the more likely customers will get what they need.”

Prudential has made a huge effort to develop long-term relationships with advisers, helping them through the RDR, assisting the transition to new business models, as well making life easier on a day-to-day basis.

Ms Naidu said: “I think we see our role as being a provider that offers solutions for customers over the long term. Part of that is educating and working with the market. In a complex world, we need an adviser market that is robust.

“There’s a social purpose to what we do as an industry and as a business. There’s a fundamental social need that’s served by a strong financial services sector and advisers are at the heart of that.”

Prudential has made efforts to improve its service with several approaches.

Ms Naidu said: “We’ve had a structured programme of making improvements. There has been a real focus on getting the business right, improving turnaround times. We moved all our call centres back onshore, got business on the books faster, people have improved processes - all of that is easy to say, but takes real effort. It saves time for clients.

“Time is money and saving time is a better customer experience - being really, really focused on efficiency, simplification and process.”

The second line of attack is the digital part of the business, investing in technology, making it easier to access illustrations online, for example, but Ms Naidu said this was an area that will continue. She added: “We had two five star awards and a special commendation in the FT Adviser online awards.”

But there is a third area where the business is focused on improvement.

Ms Naidu said: “What we recognise is that ultimately it’s a people business and we’ve invested in telephony and online. We’ve made an investment in people. Advisers have more than one point of contact, they get a more efficient service by person or on the phone - we have a range of technical support and a dedicated technical programme, providing advisers with communication across a range of subjects.”