In the latest report released by KPMG Nunwood senior executives from leading asset management firms are sharing their views on how the changing industry is affecting customer experience. With shifting client needs, ever increasing regulatory scrutiny, disruptive technologies and a blurring of the lines between manufacturer (funds) and distributor, there is a shift as the focus moves from sales and the mechanics of investment excellence to how the whole customer experience is delivered and perceived. Customers are more demanding due to their improving experience in other industries. Finch startups are decreasing the cost to provide services.
One fundamental thing remains the same. The trust that exists between investor and fund manager is critical to commercial success. Investing is such an emotional activity when we realise how important is the emotion of trust in decision making and relationship building. Successful firms identify and capitalise on the customer moments that matter and pay less attention to those that don’t throughout customer journeys. When innovative solutions can be rapidly copied, performance is no longer the only differentiator, what is left is the customer experience – and for many in the industry it is becoming the last battleground concludes the KPMG report.
One of the key moments that matter to customers in the asset management is the on-boarding experience stage where trust is validated and formed – often a primary pain point and the challenge for customers. This is the first real impression of the company based on the previously developed brand perception that led customers to invest with a particular firm or platform. Other include hesitancy around direct client feedback on the overall customer experience and the transformation of the culture and mind-set across organisations that are often quite siloed with an aging IT estate that is inhibiting rapid adoption of new digital approaches.
The report also breakdown the six pillars of successful customer experience design leading to excellence. The psychology of experience aligns closely to the basic human psychological drivers: personalisation, integrity, resolution, time and effort, expectations and empathy. Know your customers and tailor their experiences to particular circumstances. Seek opportunities in their customer journey to ease any interactions reducing time, cost and effort. Turn any poor experiences into great ones. The ability to resolve issues quickly and reliably is paramount. Manage customer expectations and exceed them by foreseeing customer needs at different stage of their journey.
The lesser effort customers put into a relationship with a company the more likely they are to remain with them. Through experience with other industries customers are used to quick, easy and smooth experiences and they expect the same from financial services. The key objective for any (re)design project is tackling complexity out across customer journeys enabling a smooth, consistent, frictionless experience.
The findings of the report are conclusive with recent CX research I had a chance to take part in across UK and German markets while working for Fidelity International. Price, performance and product innovation are no longer where the source of advantage lies, especially among millennial investors. The winners are the firms that focus on designing and implementing better customer processes and utilising newest technology to deliver the easiest, hassle free experience at lowest cost. Trust remains a critical differentiator, key brand attribute and the main driver for customers. Trust is formed by the quality of the experiences a investor has throughout his journey that contribute to a long term sustainable and profitable relationship between investment companies and investors.