CX studies are often (unfairly) seen as either a tick box exercise or (even more unfairly) as an inconvenience. At Scorpio Partnership we maintain that, when done right, these programs can provide a clear business opportunity.
CX progress is visibly underway with an ever increasing number of firms tracking their performance – but our recent CMO survey also suggests there are still too many improvement areas which executives are not taking advantage of.
Many, for example, remain reticent to publically discuss their strategy related KPIs – beyond Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) – and those who do, usually do not provide a numerical industry-wide benchmark value alongside them.
As firms reach a more mature stage in the client insight process, it becomes natural for progress to reach a point of complacency and stall.
To combat this, it is therefore critical to internalize and socialize results throughout the organization – once the foundations are in place. Doing this in a meaningful way and sharing results with advisors will drive action and tangible financial improvements.
Periodically reviewing your client experience program is also important. Below are some questions to ask yourself to determine the effectiveness of your program and where you are in achieving your goals.
- Does senior leadership only pay lip service to client satisfaction?– Executive committee meetings typically cover macro firm related issues and, of course, the firm’s financial performance.
Every CEO will say that client experience is important. But when it comes down to brass tacks, we see some revert to only the hard financials such as those related to asset gathering and recruitment.
But client experience, executive and line level compensation, and a firm’s financial performance all have a dynamic relationship. It is therefore important, especially for numbers oriented CEOs, to create a business model that clearly illustrates how client experience diagnostics drive actual financial performance.
- Are FAs and RMs ‘with the program’?– Advisors and relationship managers can sometimes grudgingly accept client experience surveys as part of their routine; or altogether dismiss CX results in favor or more subjective measures of performance.
Getting frontline personnel to embrace the CX program is therefore one of the hardest – and probably most important – tasks in implementing a successful and effective CX program.
Firms that get this right and achieve real change, start at the top with executive leadership personnel actively promoting the benefits of such initiatives.
- Is your CX program just very expensive window dressing? – Determining how deeply CX metrics are embedded in your organization will help you obtain most value from the program.
Results can be used to help select financial advisors and relationship managers, assist with training and client service model development among many other things. There are some tremendous synergies with the HR organization as data from customer experience programs often correlates to talent, performance and retention assessments that many firms do not fully take advantage of.
The unfortunate reality of client experience tracking programs is that their results are not utilized in an effective way and consequently plateau after a few reporting cycles – this is a real shame!
To avoid inaction and falling victim to a simple tick boxing exercise, it’s important to periodically review your aims and objectives. In executing a CX program, leaders need to communicate the findings to frontline staff, as well as demonstrate how the business should change its behavior to shift the dial on CX.
Starting with the simple questions above can go a long way in helping achieve lasting customer satisfaction and those coveted strong financial results.
News from the world of wealth:
Financial advisers put faith in religion-based investing – Wall Street Journal
Thought of the week:
“People will forget what you said and what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Author: David Lo, Associate Partner
Expertise: David leads the development of the Scorpio business in the United States and is responsible for US client insight. He is actively involved in research programmes that connect client experience to wealth management key performance indicators.
David has 15 years of market research experience and joined Scorpio from J.D. Power and Associates where he was responsible for the financial services practice.
Background: David completed a degree in business at Central Michigan University and received a MBA from Oakland University.