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Accomplish Client Experience research – early findings are emerging

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Our market study into Client Experience (CX) within the asset management industry is progressing well and interviews are about 50% complete.

Early findings support our hypothesis that this topic is an important one and will continue to be a primary area of focus for firms.

Indeed, with the rise of passive investing and increasing client service expectations, CX is believed by some respondents to be as significant a differentiator as investment performance.

So, are managers ‘getting it right’ and what themes have arisen so far through our interviews?

Service customisation risks

So far, respondents have been broadly aligned that their sales teams are delivering on the service promises made to their prospects, with relationship managers sensitive to not over-selling. However, it also appears that many new promises made are requiring bespoke or repeat customisation. If this turns out to be the case, the increased costs and operational risks of heightened levels of service customisation could challenge the sustainability of this approach.

For firms seeking a scalable, reliable and efficient service offering, re-setting, clarifying and tiering service standards could be the optimal choice. Indeed, Accomplish is currently using its Client Experience capabilities to help a major investment firm in this area.

CX data – ‘seeing the wood for the trees’

Interviewees have described established approaches to harnessing CX metrics. Examples include market surveys and rich ‘touch-point’ data captured by CRM tools. An emerging theme is the challenge in ‘seeing the wood for the trees’ – how can firms more effectively identify the metrics that accurately and consistently measure the ongoing health of their client experience, so they may address any issues promptly?

Signs that client-centricity may be difficult to achieve

A lack of front-to-back client-centricity is a potential emerging theme from the research. In some cases, there is a more to be done to raise awareness of the challenges back and middle offices face in truly understanding the client-base they support. For other firms, the lack of alignment is well-recognised, with solutions being explored to bring the firm closer together. One such example is the utilisation of chat rooms to aid internal communication across the many functions across the value chain.

What progress is being made?

It may prove telling that, despite fee and margin pressures, investment in CX appears widespread across the industry, with almost every manager we have spoken to so far having at least one CX project on its agenda. Several respondents described transformational CX-related initiatives, focused heavily on digitisation.

As we complete our research, we look forward to refining and confirming our findings and to discovering new ones. We will also be casting a deeper eye on how the industry is solving the challenges it faces, whether through digitisation, cultural shifts, service re-setting or other.

CX has long been a difficult ‘puzzle to solve’ and it will be illuminating to gauge how confident the industry feels about getting it right.

If you would like to participate in this anonymised research, there is still time. All interviewees benefit from an early insight into the findings, ahead of publication. Please contact us if you’d like to learn more.

Adam Grainger

Adam Grainger

A 20-year veteran of the investment industry. Client experience. Behavioral analytics. Data science.