Challenges for investment banks 2017 (Part 6): Addressing the Customer Experience

Beat Monnerat, Senior Managing Director of Financial Services for Asia Pacific; Owen Jelf, Senior Managing Director for Capital Markets; Accenture

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10

Financial services customer expectations have changed. Thanks to companies such as Alibaba, Amazon, Uber, in China or GoJek in Indonesia business-to-consumer (B2C) experiences provide intuitive self-service, clear value and seamless interactions that are shaping what people expect from their banks, insurers and wealth managers as well.

Those experience are also shaping the customer experience in the business-to-business arena. All business-to-business (B2B) companies, including investment banks, face heightened expectations from their clients. In Accenture's 2015 B2B Customer Experience Research, 78 percent of users indicated that they expect tailored solutions. They request a consistent level of service. In addition, 76 percent of users want a self-directed experience. They expect intuitive solutions from their providers. The research also found that 76 per cent of users monitor and evaluate vendor performance. They expect solution providers to go above and beyond to keep their business.

The rise of global fixed-income e-trading illustrates these heightened client expectations. According to a research report by Greenwich Associates, titled "Understanding the US Fixed-Income Market," electronic channel use has grown sharply over the past five years. Investment banks that cannot keep pace with the transition to fixed-income e-trading may suffer client attrition. They should also decide how to serve their clients, choosing when to rely on low-touch, multi-dealer platforms versus high-touch, single-dealer platforms. As banks determine how to differentiate in the marketplace, they should tailor the client experience to their chosen platform and the needs of their clients-factors that vary by product and region.

How will financial services companies know if they are getting it right? Client experience metrics, including net promoter, customer satisfaction and customer effort scores, can help companies assess how well they are delivering positive interactions and adjust client experience interaction points as needed.

While mapping out the journey and establishing metrics is a good place to start, "liquid" or ever-changing service standards mean banks must continuously track results and adjust to optimise the client experience and realise meaningful results.

We have found six key differentiators of companies that play to win and get this right.


  1. Their talent and leadership are at the core and in alignment of views.
  2. They start from the back - ensuring technology enabled on-going client management is up to date in the back office, not just in the front-office in client-facing situations.
  3. There is a heavy focus on investing in digital to modernise legacy system and augment the business.
  4. There is an expanded distribution system - winning companies double down on external partner collaboration across sales and services.
  5.  Successful companies walk the talk, and truly make customer experience a priority, rather than simply giving lip service to the notion.
  6. They do not avoid disruption but rather create it. Lead the way with digitally enabled solutions.

1  2  Next Page