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Segmentation for asset managers

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segmentation for asset managers

Segmentation creates winners

Accomplish is a strong advocate of how effective client segmentation for asset managers can separate winners from losers.

It enables firms to focus their sales efforts, align their client journeys with the different needs of different clients, and serve those needs efficiently with minimal customisation.

The alternative for many asset managers is the expensive and ‘hard-to-govern’ operational complexity that we know from our research firms struggle with.

As an industry, we know from the Covid-19 impact assessment that firms with stronger CX capabilities seized the opportunity of the pandemic to extend their lead, while the others sprinted to stand still.

Looking to the future for CX, as firms increase the post-pandemic focus on CX that this research identified, effective segmentation for asset managers will play a pivotal role:

  • Client journeys can be made fit-for-purpose in a remote environment for segments of clients, in so doing sweeping away unnecessary customisation.
  • Firms will be able to apply their understanding of client segments to inform their plans for being memorable in the virtual environment.
  • And, if they analyse the greater volumes of CX data caused by the increased online activity by segment rather than at the individual client level, they will be able to discover powerful insights.

Common mistakes that make segmentation ineffective

However, for many asset managers, ineffective segmentation initiatives have been exercises in futility. Common reasons are that:

  • They didn’t go far enough: restricting implementation to the sales or distribution functions restricts the potential benefits and leaves the job half done.
  • They didn’t put in place governance, leaving organisations without the structures needed to help them break from the past and to resist sliding back into old habits of ‘customisation-as-standard’.
  • Or, most commonly, that they segmented their clients based purely on what they (the asset manager) wanted. Despite being the norm across the industry, it stands to reason that this approach will tell you little or nothing about what your clients want, so segmenting them this way is unlikely to create alignment between a service offering and your clients’ needs.

New peer-group project: segmentation for asset managers 

Help is at hand!

Over the coming months, member firms of the CX Forum will participate in an industry-wide peer-group project to discover how asset managers serve the different needs of different clients.

What are the most effective segmentation criteria? How to create a balance between customisation and standardisation? And how to handle changing requirements across the client journey? As a CX community, we intend to find out.

At Accomplish, we feel privileged to be playing a part in unearthing the answers to these questions because any client’s impression of the value of its supplier will be driven by its alignment with what they want. This makes effective segmentation for asset managers essential if they have diversified books of business.

We are conducting this project in response to demand from member firms and as a follow-up to our previous industry-wide project into how firms listen to the ‘voice of their clients’ that received unanimously positive feedback. We look forward to sharing the key results in the coming months.

Adam Grainger

Adam Grainger

Asset management CX specialist. 20-year career in the investment industry – from Transformation Director roles, to regional COO positions.