Validating your customers' understanding

Our methodology for testing Consumer Understanding is aligned to the FCA’s best practice guidelines. Our reporting framework delivers board-level evidence and actionable findings for document owners.

Our sector expertise informs the Investment Association’s guidance and gives us a deep understanding of your target market.

An illustrated hand with a megaphone, representing giving customers a voice

Improving Consumer Understanding outcomes

We can support your firm across three main pillars:

Testing Communications

Proprietary framework for testing Consumer Understanding aligned to FCA guidelines and delivering robust Board level MI combined with actionable insight for document owners.

Embedding best practice

Best practice principles for comms governance and training to prevent repeat issues. Bespoke or off-the-shelf training on Communications Best Practice.


Benchmark understanding across the sector and audiences to show impact. Understand what good looks like for your target audience, shared pain points and opportunities.

A Framework aligned to FCA guidance

Each communication tested is comprehensively and consistently assessed and rated using our proprietary framework, which enables us to calibrate and benchmark your communications by document category and stage in the customer journey.

Leveraging our experience of testing communications for 10 years, our team of researchers perform an assessment of each document against four key metrics:

  1. CLEAR – How well did participants understand key messages and potential outcomes?
  2. RELEVANT – Did participants understand why they were sent the document and how relevant it was to them and their needs?
  3. ACCESSIBLE – Was the format and language easy to access and engage with?
  4. COMPLETE – Does the document have sufficient information and signposts for where to go for more information and support?

A communication is given an overall effectiveness rating between 1–5. In addition, every document is given a sub-rating against the above four testing criteria. We are also able to share with you how your overall scores compare to our benchmarked standard from across the industry. 

Documents rating 1 or 2 should be deemed a priority for action to assess whether they have potential to cause harm or result in poor outcomes due to misunderstanding.

Testing critical touchpoints

Enable your customers to make informed decisions in their best interest by testing pre- and post-sale documents, as well as product and service communications.

We have a range of robust insight solutions, which include:

  • A ‘Consumer Lens’ review: A review of critical commmunications by our Consumer experts, to assess the documents’ effectiveness. The review rapidly identifies problem areas so that remediation work can begin.
  • 1-to-1 depth interviews: For complex products and comms with a call to action or that are critical for customer decision making. Our specialists spend time drilling into the detail with your target market to gauge understanding.
  • Online testing via our platform: Ideal for less complex products/comms, testing can be scaled as needed for small or large batches.
  • Website user journey testing: Understand customer information journeys through unguided website surfs, identifying barriers, surfacing pain points and opportunities to improve customer outcomes. 

Driving impact through Consumer Understanding

We believe that the result of Consumer Duty should be a shift in consumer understanding and engagement with their finances. That’s why we’re going to be measuring the impact by launching a State of Investor Understanding benchmark.

This programme of work will:

  • Monitor and track Consumer Understanding across a range of target markets from our ongoing programme of work
  • Result in an annual benchmarking programme to give industry context to your consumer understanding programme
  • Track the consumer mindset to maximise communications effectiveness.

The output of this work will be an annual benchmark of customer understanding, giving you strategic oversight, an understanding of the evolving shape of your target market, a way of evidencing your impact and insight to inform your communication principles.

Customer Understanding - a neon sign reading blah blah blah

Our expertise, insight & conclusions

Ahead of the July 2023 deadline, we tested more than 250 documents with 1,000 end consumers. Download our white paper, Consumer Understanding – shaken but we’re not stirred. 

Drawing from insights gathered we unearthed evidence of regulation that challenges an industry.

Jargon and complexity still dominate, with just one third of documents we tested given a rating of 4 out of 5 or above in our benchmarked Customer Understanding scorecard.

A quote from our client

“The Wisdom Council have been supporting us with consumer research on an ongoing basis and the work has been fantastic.

It is a slick experience, quality testing, and then great analysis output. The whole team at TWC have been great to work with and we are really pleased with the quality of work undertaken. They have been there at every turn!”

Consumer Research Team – St James’s Place

Contact us

We draw on deep industry expertise, insight and our independent perspective to develop the tools you need to make savings and investments more accessible to all.

Get in touch to find out how, together, we can deliver financial products and services that your client wants and needs.

The Wisdom Council

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