During the COVID pandemic, we launched our Second Opinion Service. We wanted to give something back to our community and the free, no obligation, Second Opinion Service was born. It has developed into a great way to provide reassurance to clients during tough economic times like the present and is a key part of our portfolio of services.
To talk more about the service, and the impact that it has had, we chat to our London based Director, Darren Lees.
Tell us more about why the Second Opinion Service was launched?
“We were inspired by individuals and other businesses giving something back to their communities during the pandemic, so the team put our heads together to work out what we could do to help. We came up with an idea to offer something valuable using our skills, expertise and resources which was to offer a free financial planning session to anyone who wanted one. Previously, this was typically reserved for potential new clients but it was expanded to include anyone, especially individuals who traditionally would not seek out the services of a financial planner. This initiative proved to be incredibly useful to people who needed it most during difficult times, so we decided to make the second opinion service a part of our portfolio of services”
What is the Second Opinion Service and why is it useful?
“It is a free, no obligation, review of your finances that aims to help you to understand how close you are to achieving your future life goals. The service is very flexible and ranges from spending half an hour answering questions around your finances to a more formal report that covers your current situation, your goals and aspirations for the future, how close you are to achieving these and how efficiently your investments and pension are progressing you towards them. I think it is a really useful tool for anyone, no matter your situation, to dip your toes into the world of financial advice without any obligation to proceed with a paid service. You can review advice you have been given by another advisor or sense check how close you are to achieving the goals you have for the future. The outcome of our Second Opinion Service is either that we have answered your queries and provided you with the peace of mind you needed, or we uncover something within your situation that merits a further discussion, at which point we would outline the other services that we provide. The valuable part of this is that there is no obligation to proceed to a paid service, our aim is to put you in a completely informed position and explain how we might tackle the issue.”
What feedback have you had from clients so far?
“We have had positive feedback from everyone that has been through this process with us, whether it be for a quick discussion around their pension or an in depth Second Opinion Service report with some high level analysis. The most important feedback we have had is that we have provided reassurance and peace of mind, which is exactly why I do this job. Clients like that it is a soft introduction to financial advice, without any sales pitch. A number of people who have gone through the second opinion service have spoken about it to their friends, family and colleagues and we have, in turn, helped those people. In some cases, we have uncovered some significant complexity that requires more detailed advice, and we progressed these people on to become clients of Carbon. We firmly believe in being a partner for life to our clients, so we hope to continue to work with these clients for a number of years. We have a couple of interesting client case studies on the Second Opinion Service which are great to watch (link here) and get some information about what the outcomes for real people have been.
Including the Second Opinion Service, how do you see Carbon’s service offering developing over the next 5 years?
Our service offering has developed so much in the last 5 years, and this will continue into the future with the acceleration of digitalisation. We are continually developing our service offering with the introduction of video meetings, online portals, web-based information gathering and other tech. We still value in person meetings and feel that they have their place for building relationships with our clients, but we will continue to adopt new technologies to allow people to interact with us virtually too. The second opinion service started as a short term offer and has developed into a core service offering because it allows a client to test the water and for us to show them our wares before signing up for one of our paid services.
To learn more about our second opinion service, please visit our dedicated page, here.
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