Despite demand from investors to interact through a range of channels - including email, web self-service, online chat and telephone - UK fund management companies are so far failing to deliver on the promise of these technologies, according to a customer service audit released today by Talisma(r) Corporation, a market leader in enterprise Customer Interaction Management (CIM) solutions.
The customer service audit, conducted during August 2006, examined customer service levels across the top 100 UK fund management companies.
The audit found that:
*Nearly half (49%) of all customer email enquiries received no
response in 48 hours*. Although practices vary by industry, it is generally accepted that a simple email enquiry should take no longer than 24 hours to answer.
*There is a lack of web self-help tools for investors. Over 60%
of fund management organisations had no knowledge base or detailed questions and answers to help prospective investors make an informed investment decision.
*No fund management company included in the audit provided online
*The majority (77%) of fund management companies do not have a
unified view of customer history that combines email, phone and other communication channels.
Overall, the audit found that service levels for the UK fund management industry are average, at 53 per cent. While fund management companies proved better at providing service via traditional phone - with 95 per cent of calls answered in 30 seconds - they now need to adjust to the new realities of the digital age in servicing investors.
Jon McNerney, Vice President International Operations at Talisma said:
"The findings of our audit - including a poor email response rate, lack of self-help and educational tools, and absence of online chat - should act as a wake up call to the industry. In an increasingly commoditised world where customer service can be a key differentiator, response times are critical. It only takes one unanswered email for a customer to go elsewhere."
"The wealth of information now available to individual investors online has encouraged many to look for self-service investment options,"
continued McNerney. "To capitalise on this trend, fund management companies need to empower investors to help themselves. This includes providing an online knowledge base with FAQs and tools such as online chat to deliver a fast and efficient service to potential investors and IFAs. As more investors demand this type of interaction, those companies that cannot integrate their data to provide a complete service will struggle to compete."