The financial service industry is moving towards a more consumer, rather than product-led, orientation, with the philosophy of good service now becoming increasingly important. However, in this expanding area of market research the facilitator and representative of good service is often not considered. The authors contend that involvement with and evaluation of staff should be a prerequisite of any consumer research in the financial services marketplace. In an attempt to demonstrate the importance of staff research, this paper examines the issue from a number of viewpoints. It deals with the consumer perspective on the importance of staff in the financial service industry. It also describes the benefits of staff research in achieving a deeper understanding of the complex interrelationships in the financial service industry and in more fully meeting research objectives. Finally, the paper deals with the political arena in which research is required to operate and its implications.