Delivering effective tracking surveys in financial services

Is your tracker just a tick box exercise for the organisation or is it adding real value and delivering genuine insight to your business?

We know organisations spend a lot of time, effort and resource to establish tracking surveys, but sometimes it’s worth stepping back and looking at the real needs of the business and whether your tracker is generating reliable insight and reflecting the evolving dynamics of your market. The financial services sector in particular is becoming increasingly competitive, with the arrival of fintech players who are taking share from traditional providers. Ensuring your tracker accommodates the diversity of your customer needs and expectations is now more important than ever.

We have considered the TRUTH about what you need to ensure your tracking survey is effective and avoids the common pitfalls.

It goes without saying that you need to give yourself sufficient time to engage the business, assess the priorities, design an approach and define the content that will meet your business needs. Plan each stage up to the survey launch, allowing time for input and review by all stakeholders, which will help ongoing engagement with the survey.

The approach to design and development should be rigorous. Draw on existing research, speak to frontline staff, review internal MI and ideally conduct a phase of initial qualitative research to define the measures that are relevant to your customers (or target customers), ensure the language used is relevant to them and that you really understand the meaning behind the measures from a customer perspective.

It is important that you really understand what all your various stakeholders want and expect from the survey. A tracker needs internal buy-in from the outset to ensure it meets business requirements, as well as an ongoing engagement plan to drive actions and maintain internal interest. Ensuring stakeholders are engaged will help avoid the common challenges that affect tracking programmes over time. We always recommend a dedicated phase of stakeholder engagement at the outset, however, a plan for ongoing re-engagement, refreshing the insights and driving action is key to longer term success.

To embed tracking survey within the business the results need to be trustworthy. This not only relies on an effective overall methodology, but particular attention should be made to who is included and how they are questioned. If the target is a niche audience (rather than broad customer / market study) stakeholders will need reassurance that sufficient screening is in place to ensure you have surveyed the relevant people. The questionnaire should use approaches to aid accurate recall, such as linking to events and tailoring by incorporating sample information.

Trackers should not only measure how the business is performing but will deliver greater business value and are more compelling to internal teams when they can actually help identify what should be done next. First as series of relevant and meaningful service or brand attributes need to be developed, through an initial phase of qualitative research with customers and ideally stakeholder interviews. Using these attributes Key Driver Analysis can be completed to understand the attributes which will have the greatest impact on KPIs (e.g. NPS, overall satisfaction, brand consideration). A typical output is an Excel tool that can be used to test the impact of specific improvements.

Interpreting Results in a Financial Context
A suitable agency not only needs to be an expert in survey research but also an expert in your sector.

Many of the considerations above are relevant for all tracking surveys, whatever the industry or subject matter. However, what is at the core of effective tracking is understanding the broader context of the relevant sector, so results can be interpreted appropriately and used to define relevant business actions. This is also vital in maintaining stakeholder engagement and confidence in the findings.

IFF’s experienced financial services team understand the market and design the most effective research solutions, generate actionable findings and deliver credible recommendations which engage even the most senior stakeholders. Our grasp of the regulatory and commercial requirements facing your businesses brings real value and our focus is always on optimising the business benefits from your research.

If you would like to discuss tracking research in more detail or learn more about IFF’s research offering and financial services experience, please contact me:


Tel: 020 7250 3035