The most important elements of protection service for advisers are those that value quality service at the beginning, middle and end of the customer journey - not just for new business acquisition.
A survey by independent financial researcher Defaqto, which asked 500 advisers how they rated service, highlighted the importance advisers place on ongoing customer satisfaction and retention.
The findings showed that the two of the top three elements of service (timeliness in processing applications and staff competence) are in the ‘administration of new business' category.
Four other service aspects within the top 10 fall within the ‘claims' category (staff competence, claims management, claims payment timeliness and staff courtesy).
Treating customer fairly, which encompasses many measures throughout the policy lifecycle, was also an important element of service to advisers, ranking second.
Ben Heffer, insight analyst for Life and Protection at Defaqto said: "There is a growing emphasis on the general competence of staff and treating customers fairly. The sympathetic, consistent and competent handling of claims is shown to be very important as well, but, as before, the timeliness of processing new applications is still of greatest importance to advisers.
"The processing of new applications has a direct relation to customer satisfaction and the income stream for advisers, while poor claims management has the power to alienate consumers from the insurance industry and inculcate mistrust, which in turn means less value and worse, an insurance-poor populous."
Heffer continued: "The fact that the top 10 aspects of service was found to include so many diverse elements of the consumer journey, from initial application to the payment of claims, with a strong emphasis on fair treatment throughout, highlights the emphasis advisers place on ensuring the best outcomes for clients at all stages of the process."