There is no one best approach when it comes to what customer service model best suits asset managers or investment managers, but there are considerations that you should take into account to identify which might make the best choice for your business.
There are two different approaches when it comes to supporting investment managers’ Order Management Systems and Investment Management Solutions being:
- Personal support
- Helpdesk support
At Limina, we’ve been clients ourselves and have experienced both models. In this article and video, we discuss both customer service models for asset managers and go through the pros and cons of each approach, before detailing why we chose the dedicated personal support model for our asset management clients.
Personal & Dedicated Support
For asset management or investment management firms, personal support means you have one primary point of contact at a vendor. This dedicated support representative, sometimes known as a client relationship manager will get to know your business and will coordinate all requests such as:
- Support enquiries
- Enhancement request
- Implementation/configuration changes, e.g. as you launch new funds
As former investment managers ourselves, we know getting hold of someone immediately when something comes up is critical. Hence, behind the primary point of contact is a second person (backup) that is always briefed on the nuances of your implementation and your business. Often, you’ll also have a direct relationship with this person to ensure that holidays/vacations, illness etc don’t impact you or your business.
Benefits with Dedicated Support: Partnership Relationship Set-Up
The benefit of having dedicated support is rooted in the fact that the person you interact with on a daily business will know, not only the industry but know you as an asset manager. This means they’re well acquainted with your setup, workflows, and investment processes. They also will understand and appreciate any specific nuances when it comes to your business.
This results in more efficient assistance when you need it, as you won’t need to continually re-educate each person you speak to about a given topic.
Additionally, the help you get will be more accurate because your point of contact will have the full background of your account, meaning they fully understand the context as to where a request is likely to be coming from. In some cases, you may find your client relationship manager can be proactive and suggest changes to your system setup and/or processes in order to enable you to become more efficient. This is when support is elevated to a true partnership relationship.
“We need flexibility, speediness, and someone acting as a real partner.”
At Limina we take a full partnership approach when it comes to our clients and each client has a dedicated customer relationship manager as well as a named second contact. If you’d like to get a feel for the knowledge level of our client relationship manager, get in contact with one of our team members will be happy to help.
The helpdesk support model means that every time you have a question, it is directed to a person in a support team who has domain knowledge of the question. For example; if you have a question about a pre-trade compliance check, the person who may help you will be an expert on the compliance engine of the system. However, that person won’t know your implementation or your business. This means they won’t know what compliance rules you have configured or why.
In reality, you will talk to a new person each time you make contact and have questions about your day-to-day operations (Middle Office) and investment management processes (Front Office).
We’ve seen and felt the pains and frustrations when a support ticket is filed and the person on the other side responds, only to be unaware of the context of the question they have been thrown into. This is not only gives a poor experience to you as the client but can lead to frustration or worse asset managers finding their own potentially non-compliant software workarounds.
Benefits with a Helpdesk Set-Up
There are of course positive aspects of having a vendor that offers a helpdesk solution. The first is redundancy in the support team, i.e. it’s easier for the software vendor to make sure support staff are available 24/7.
The second pro with this model is that the support team can be set up as domain experts in a sub-domain, such as a specific asset class. This means it’s faster and easier for the vendor to train the support team.
Why Limina Chose a Dedicated Support Model
In short, we believe it leads to the best customer experience and gives the best service. Additionally, if correctly set up all of the benefits of a helpdesk can be achieved by a dedicated support model for asset managers.
With a team behind your client relationship manager including domain and product experts, your dedicated contact can quickly defer to subject matter experts or include additional people to resolve a support ticket if needed.
In the example of compliance, most often questions are related to your specific setup. It could be the way issuer hierarchies are configured which gives a false breach. Bugs like “the check isn’t performed” are rare and easy to trace down regardless.
Most team members at Limina, in all functions including client relations, have been clients themselves. They’ve worked for various asset management companies and have experience utilising helpdesks from a client's perspective. All agree that the experience and support received simply can’t compare with personal service from an expert that knows your business.