The argument for a client services dedicated system the synergies between web, phone, email and chat channels merit investigation within any customer facing department but never more so than for a custody and fund administration operations and their clients. The ability to provide for these high-value, demanding clients the full and exact picture to any query in turn demands the provision of a specialist system capable of handling all communication channels data and delivering to the CSR for delivery to the client a comprehensive solution or answer these requirements extend well beyond the use of a common knowledge base across all information channels – although that is certainly a considered best practice.
All client incidents across all channels, should be tracked in a common database. This way, Client Services Representatives (CSRs) can see all contacts with a client relating to the incident at hand in a single view and act accordingly. This multi-channel view ensures that CSRs have all the information they need to quickly resolve problems that may have already involved several different communications.
With a common incident repository, managers can also get a holistic view of the issues driving client service activity across all channels. This information isn’t just useful to client service managers, who can use it to pro-actively adjust knowledge based content and escalation policies. It’s also useful to process line managers, marketing managers and sales managers who also have to make decisions based on what clients are thinking and doing. It is in short, an excellent way of receiving and collating feedback from clients, if a transfer agency receives a number of calls and emails requesting a new service then already the information is collated in a manageable form for action decision.
A client service system can therefore, in the context of an overall contact centre strategy, ensure that all channels work together to get accurate answers to clients as quickly and efficiently as possible and provide rich raw feedback within the service provider. By having such a system client service departments can help their companies capture and retain clients, maximise per-account revenues, and keep operating expenses low. A dedicated system is the best place to capture all of this in flow and out flowing information. The alternate is a rough and ready form or spreadsheet based query tracking process that cannot be tailored to the particular area of feedback or request.
The system should be able to record date and time of contacts, method of original contact (either a web front-end or the telephone and email contact to CSR’s) and – more importantly than perhaps previously considered – the client contact to line operatives (settlements queries, report requests, etc.) that come in circumventing the dedicated CSR route. Other details that need to be collated are the clients details and of course the query. During the lifetime of the query who is responsible for answering the query and the ageing of the query should be monitored by the responsible manager/management.
Only by involving everybody in the process that ever comes into contact with a client can the maximum use of the formed database be used. A clerk missing every other client query on corporate actions for example my put an unfair halo over the STP of the corporate actions department which will mean necessary improvements may not be considered leaving the service providers reputation and performance to drop from the charts. And the clerk to spend even more time fixing the issues rather than raising them.
Gary HARAN DOYLE is a independent consultant and business analyst specialising in custody and work flow systems.