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Outperforming client experience – solving the puzzle

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Recently, Accomplish has engaged with many senior practitioners in the buy-side industry about their key challenges. One theme is concern about the client experience their firms offer, as well as an unease about being ‘difficult to do business with’ and its commercial implications.

Is it that managers may still be wrestling with the puzzle of getting client experience right?

This feedback struck us as telling, given the impact client experience has on the bottom line. So, following on from our research into Achieving Strategic Change, we have embarked on new research into client experience.

Our hypothesis

In summary, our objectives are to prove or disprove the view that client experience is important, to find out how well the industry is set-up to deliver the promises it makes to clients, and to understand the symptoms and causes of any problems.

Let’s break down our assumptions.

Firstly, we are assuming that client experience is important to asset managers: that a positive experience promotes broader and longer client relationships and encourages clients to refer firms to others. As a consequence, this protects revenue and relieves the pressure on expensive prospecting that would otherwise need to replace lost revenue.

Our second assumption is that, despite the benefits of a positive client experience, some firms are still not making the grade. Beyond investment performance (net of fees), is client experience a key differentiator? Are firms set-up to deliver the promises they make in the prospecting phase? If not, this problem can create numerous, detrimental impacts later down the line.

What are these impacts?

Clients who receive a poor experience may be identifiable by an unwanted level of ‘noise’ around the relationship, as well as their next step – actual complaints. Client responses can then escalate into less solvable symptoms, such as sub-optimal spending patterns, lack of referrals and, ultimately, shorter relationships through termination.

This is commercial stuff: these later stage symptoms bring an unnecessary cap on revenue, the lost opportunity of client referrals that could lead to new revenue-generating relationships, and ultimately terminated revenue streams.

While these risks may be relatively easy to recognise, we assume the root causes may be harder to fix. Through our research, we’re looking forward to confirming them, and validating existing solutions.

Why Accomplish for Client Experience?

Accomplish professionals have helped international asset managers of all sizes embed outperforming client experience into their DNA. Through these experiences, we have found that aligning a value chain around clients’ needs gives an organisation increased purpose and greater likelihood of setting expectations it can meet.

This experience has also enabled us to develop tailor-made tools for diagnosing any problems. One such ‘quick fix’ is a cost-effective Client Experience Health Check, designed to identify strengths and areas for improvement, and to establish any ‘case for change’.

Through this research, we hope to help firms understand where they ‘fit’ among their peers, as well as the most effective ways to solve this puzzle. Contact us to participate in the research.

Adam Grainger

Adam Grainger

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