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Mapping the ‘Moments that Matter’ for Investors

Research from global management consultancy McKinsey & Co concluded:  “Brands that improve customer experience can increase revenue by 10% – 15% and lower costs by 15% – 25%”.  ​It’s a critical message for all businesses – from start-ups to large corporates.

Undoubtedly,  software systems that can help deliver on this will become increasingly valuable within a company’s financial priorities and technology roadmap.

Recently,  we gathered some of the most influential marketing leaders in asset management for a frank discussion on customer experience.

We debated the  ‘moments that really matter’  for clients of asset managers and sought to help asset and wealth management firms understand more about creating a seamless and holistic online and offline customer experience – and the opportunities and challenges which come with aiming to be best in class.

To help bring a balanced, unbiased viewpoint the session was moderated by Hazel Pitchers,  Founder & Director at Merakiting.

Hazel was joined by Nataline Terry,  Head of EMEA Marketing at T.Rowe Price;  Andrew Summers,  Head of Collectives and Fund Research at Investec Wealth & Investment;  and Joseph Pinto,  CEO at NIM International and Head of Distribution at NIM.

In this article we bring you the key points that were discussed as well as some recommendations.  The complete webinar can also be accessed here.

Brands that improve customer experience can increase revenue by 10% – 15% and lower costs by 15% – 25%

True partnerships

We kicked off by looking at how asset managers can square the circle in terms of maintaining fee levels whilst also providing additional value-adds through engaging in true partnerships.  Such partnerships involve a high degree of knowledge transfer,  thought leadership and product development that drives the relationship.

One key point that emerged is that responsibility for the customer experience today isn’t solely down to the Relationship Manager:  Product,  Investment,  Marketing and Reporting teams are all involved.  Customer experience is the service received from all those teams,  brought into one picture.  Enhancing the experience for clients in a more holistic way is therefore how investment firms must add value.

Our webinar commentators agreed that there has been an increase in knowledge transfer during the pandemic.  Investors have now become expectant – demanding more timely,  relevant,  and personalized data.

The consensus was that the  ‘moments that matter’  meant being brilliant at the basics,  such as reporting,  insights,  and so on,  but then overlaying this service with the  ‘magical moments’  that demonstrate points of differentiation.

Who takes ownership of the customer experience?

We then moved on to who should be responsible for the customer experience within asset management firms.  It was agreed that having a Head of Customer Experience (or CXO) is the best way for firms to transform the culture of their company and break down the silos between departments.

The panel felt that having a Head of Customer Experience helps to measure customer satisfaction,  understand the touchpoints firms have with clients,  understand the pain points being experienced by clients and know the touchpoints where firms are strong or weak (and what needs to improve).  If asset managers desire to be partners that are easy to do business with,  they need to understand how to work towards that goal collectively.

What does a best-in-class customer experience look like?

One of the most interesting questions from the webinar audience was concerned with what a  ‘best-in-class customer experience’  should look like in practical terms.  One view expressed was how surprising it was that many fund managers fail to include content on their websites that could help fund selectors understand how funds are performing,  why they are performing as they are,  and why fund managers are responding in a certain way.

Another example cited was to take all the questions and data requests received before or during a meeting between a fund selector and a fund manager and then make all the answers automatically available in an easily consumed format on the company’s website (via a log in).

External consultants may be the best way to determine what best-in-class should look like,  for a particular type of firm.

Five tips for implementing a customer experience program

  1.  Define a customer experience for one,  not many.  Firms must find the key moments among all the customer touchpoints where they can excel.  These moments may include customer events, access to data,  interfaces with portfolio managers or simply the quality of reporting outputs.
  2.  Compile the firm’s insights and knowledge in a database and let the client opt into what information they wish to receive on an ongoing basis.
  3.  Maintain investment and tenacity.  Any CX program will need to demonstrate measurable milestones,  especially during its infancy.  Managing expectations is also vital – program leaders in large firms should not expect to revolutionize the entire customer experience in just a few years.
  4.  Before seeking to improve their customers’ experience,  firms must ensure that they take care of their own client-facing staff.  Building a great client experience starts with happy and motivated teams.
  5.  Utilization of external consultants to determine the extent of any pain points.  A realistic,  objective viewpoint will help set the right course for any improvement program.

Takeaways

  • A good customer experience is about moving from the transactional to a partnership.
  • Appointing a Head of Customer Experience is the best way of breaking down the silos within firms and changing company culture.
  • Firms must determine what  ‘best-in-class’  should look like in practical terms – and the areas of the customer experience in which they can excel.
  • Hire consultants to assess the problem areas.
  • Don’t attempt to change the entire customer experience in one phase – prioritize and focus.
  • A successful customer experience program may take years to implement.  Be realistic – and patient!

At Kurtosys,  we are proud of our fast,  scalable and easy to use technology.  We love solving customer experience problems with smart applications of technology and creativity.  Among our many solutions, we offer high performance client portals, fund centers,  information for fund buyers,  and full website solutions.

Get in touch today,  we’d love to hear from you.  Talk to our team and arrange a demonstration of how our solutions and our tools can add value to your customer experience.