Dushyant Shahrawat, Senior Research Director CEB TowerGroup, in conversation with Swati Bhoumick
What does traditional client reporting mean to you?
Dushyant: It is one element of overall client communication. Traditional client reporting is process oriented, template driven, scheduled and periodic. The whole idea of client reporting is fast becoming updated.
What are the challenges of this traditional model?
Dushyant: The first challenge is that customer expectations are changing. They don’t want template driven reports and instead want to know their portfolio positions at any point in time. Clients can be flexible though, and they lean more towards self-service on demand reporting rather than very comprehensive reporting.
The second challenge is the ability of the institutions to actually deliver on these changed customer expectations. This is a technology and operations challenge. Delivery platform needs to be updated and applications need to be built on top of it. Data access is also a challenge.
Is it changing?
Dushyant: Yes. The channels of communication are changing. From a paper-based model it has gone to a multi-channel model. The three main channels are now web, mobile and paper.
What is driving this change in customer expectations?
Dushyant: There are a few drivers of this change.
- In the institutional space the 2008 crisis was an inflexion point in the level of insight and frequency of information that clients want on their portfolios. They ask for much greater transparency now. Regulators have also played a role in this.
- More access to technology – there has been an information explosion. On the personal or retail side, clients are used to ever greater use of technology to meet their need for greater access and information.
- Competition in the investment industry – competition is driving increased sharing. However, do all institutions really want to share as much information as possible? Do they want to provide greater transparency and increased frequency of reporting?
How would you describe self-service reporting?
Dushyant: Self-service reporting is my ability as a customer to not wait for a schedule for when the institution provides me the information that I want. This concept is going to change over time. The onus is on the customer to drive this interaction.
Is self-service the solution for meeting increased expectations?
Dushyant: Absolutely. Cookie cutter approach won’t work anymore.
What are the pitfalls of self-service reporting?
Dushyant: As an institution you’re exposing yourself to support all the different options you’re offering as self-service. The cost of technology related to this support goes up.
Beyond a point it becomes too much choice and effort for the clients. It could become debilitating for them. You will have to ease the clients into it. Real-time analysis of information may actually be a disservice to investors.
We did a survey that suggested ‘delighting your customer’ is not a good aim for either the customer or the institution. Instead focus on providing an effortless experience.
What are your views on outsourcing?
Dushyant: It is inevitable. In the investment industry, the technology and operations functions are going to be outsourced. The investor center though would likely not.