In the survey of 194 advisers, soft skills were scored as the most important and ranked in the top three.
'Empathy' was the standout winner with 76% of respondents including it in their top five.
'Understanding a client's life goals' secured second place with a 49% vote.
'Simplifying finances' and 'peace of mind' shared third place with 47% of the votes.
Other elements that scored highly included: building a personalised plan (41%), consistency and continuity (39%, and behavioural coaching (36%).
Low ranking elements included: advice on non-investment products (4%), cost consciousness (6%), considering the whole family (6%) and helping with life events (11%).
The survey was part of a paper from discretionary investment manager PortfolioMetrix.
Ben Peele, managing director of PortfolioMetrix UK, said: "The FCA is increasing its focus on transparency and how advisers protect consumer's best interests. While there's currently no formal requirement for advisers to evidence the value they add, the direction of travel looks to be that way.
"Evaluating and quantifying value will not only provide the sort of evidence the regulator may want to see, it will help the adviser understand if there are any gaps that may need to be filled.”