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Collecting Feedback Makes Cents
A financial services firm invigorates its VOC program to better understand its business—and its customers
For the rest of the January 2011 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Tell us about your organization.

Pershing is a B2B financial services firm that has been serving our industry for more than 70 years. We’re the largest global outsourcing provider of business solutions and technology for broker dealers and registered investment advisors. We provide the operations and technology for processing millions of financial transactions each month—stock trading, a retirement program, or a 401K.

How does Pershing approach customer feedback?

Historically, we have collected feedback through most of the traditional channels. That includes doing focus groups, having our account management teams do site visits, and attending customer events. We have been active collecting customer feedback, but initially our results were stove-piped. The feedback and data Pershing collected were maintained in disparate systems, and we needed to improve our ability to collect, share, and act on customer feedback and information.

In 2008, Pershing decided to build out a more efficient Voice of the Customer (VOC) program. VOC became a priority. We needed an enterprise-wide feedback management (EFM) system that wouldn’t just run surveys, but would also allow us to bring Voice of the Business (VOB) metrics into the fold.

Pershing implemented an EFM system from Medallia, a third-party vendor, and it became the cornerstone of our customer feedback program. We didn’t want to use EFM traditionally and worked with Medallia to incorporate more than just survey data into our EFM program. Now, we monitor and respond to customer service satisfaction levels, and we incorporated hidden satisfaction indicators from our operational VOB and traditional data into one harmonious reporting platform.

What are the benefits of having all feedback on one platform?

Our main concern while searching for an EFM provider was a well-developed back end. We weren’t interested in the ability to conduct surveys but, rather, the ability to take all of that data and form a robust picture of the health of our customers. So, today, in addition to creating a new survey strategy, we load all this information into one platform. The process allows us to just be incredibly more efficient.
We’ve also implemented stated service levels that we require ourselves to meet. Whether you are a customer service associate or an account manager, you want to be able to see what the level of customer satisfaction is at any given moment. Pershing can now go in and look at that data and see how well we are meeting the standards.

The EFM system has brought us head and shoulders above where we were. Having this at people’s fingertips makes a huge difference. At times, we even identify areas of concern before customers can point them out. We spot trends or issues and take steps to correct them before customers know there’s a problem.

Pershing has gotten good at seeing and responding to customer comments. One of our customer service managers saw a comment from a customer that raised a red flag and he followed up with the customer instantly—a transaction had been improperly set up and could have resulted in a financial loss for the customer’s end client had we not tracked the comment. In the past, we would not have had the same tracking capabilities.

What kind of results has this yielded?

Especially in a B2B environment, customer feedback accessibility has been critical. Managing customers’ perceptions is important, and being able to react not only on a transactional basis, but also on a relationship basis, has been huge. Transactional surveys from 2009 to 2010 show a 5 percent improvement in 11 customer service metrics, and the annual customer service survey shows a 15 percent rise in customers who are “very satisfied” with their overall experience and an 8 percent increase in customers who “would definitely recommend” Pershing to others.


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