A good investment model performance tool is a critical part of every financial advisor and wealth manager’s toolbox. Using these tools to run models simulating different investment strategies and scenarios provides invaluable insights into which mix of investments will enable a client to achieve their financial goals within their preferred risk tolerance. They also support ongoing performance monitoring by enabling financial professionals to benchmark investor portfolio returns.
Determining which financial model is right for each investor is a very nuanced process that takes much more than just the client’s goals and risk tolerance into account. Numerous other variables are also considered including:
- The investment time horizon
- Evolving market conditions
- Balancing risk with returns
Because so much goes into choosing the model that’s best for each client, the process can be time consuming. It can also be complex, requiring expertise in mathematical modeling, statistics and financial analysis . Getting every detail just right is crucial – which is why it’s important to ensure your investment model performance solution vendor provides a highly personalized level of customer support.
When a technical issue crops up, the last thing any advisor needs is a vendor that undermines all the work they’ve done and jeopardizes their ability to service their investors by being unresponsive. However, advisors often find themselves in this position because customer support is a factor that’s often given little attention when financial services firms are selecting a model performance solution.
Choosing an investment model performance software solution with a highly personalized level of support can make the difference between delivering a client experience that is lackluster and one that meets or even exceeds investor expectations.
Let’s explore what we mean by a highly personalized level of support, and exactly how it impacts your ability to effectively service your clients.
What is highly personalized support, and why is it so important?
Highly personalized support means having a dedicated account manager with deep financial industry experience that is committed to understanding your business and serves as your single point of contact for all questions, requests and issues.
This elevated level of support is critical. Many investment performance modeling solution vendors provide a very basic, impersonal level of customer support where issues and questions can go unaddressed for days or even weeks. Frustrated by slow service, advisors often spend time attempting to troubleshoot technical problems and find answers to time-sensitive questions instead of assisting clients. With a dedicated account manager however, advisors can focus on servicing their investors instead of playing customer support representative.
Additional benefits of highly personalized support include:
Rapid issue resolution
When you have a technical problem with your portfolio modeling software, there are few things worse than talking to someone who doesn’t understand your business or act with any sense of urgency. Many customer support representatives will simply put in a ticket that is often handled—days later—by yet another person with no historical account information or context.
In addition to being extremely frustrating, this can erode client relationships by impacting your ability to provide your investors with the insights they need in a timely manner.
Dedicated account managers, on the other hand, understand how issues impact your business and possess the expertise to get them solved quickly. GreenHill Investment Reporting Client Services & Product Support Manager Tracy Carter shares this example:
“A Fortune 50 company had changed its name, and the vendor providing the data for our stock models overlooked the update. A customer called me in a panic because she was going to be reviewing a stock model in a big meeting the following day and needed to have it display the correct name. I called the vendor, and they said they would fix it the following month, which clearly wasn’t going to cut it. I was determined to help my customer, and within just a few hours, we figured out how to overwrite the name in the model so it would display properly.”
While this may seem like a trivial issue, it is anything but. Had it not been corrected, it could have caused confusion and eroded trust by raising questions about the credibility of both the data and the presenter. The extended timeframe provided for fixing the problem is very typical of the lack of urgency many companies give to customer requests.
Expert insights and guidance
Dedicated account managers combine extensive industry experience with deep knowledge of a client’s business and goals to provide helpful insights and guidance that can improve job effectiveness.
“I make an effort to understand how customers are using the models so I can guide them to helpful product features they may not be aware of or know how to use,” says Carter. “For instance, I was able to help one client provide his investors with deeper insights into portfolio performance by showing him how he could run reports displaying the specific securities contributing to a model’s rate of return.”
Custom services and requests
Because dedicated account managers are focused on providing every client with a highly personalized level of support, they are often able to provide customized services and accommodate custom reporting and other requests in a short timeframe—and at no extra charge. For example, GreenHill’s dedicated account managers can provide clients with custom balanced indexes that enable them to precisely benchmark model performance.
“Investment performance is a moot point without a benchmark that accurately reflects your investments,” notes Carter. “We’ll create benchmarks with the exact same asset class allocations for any given model so our clients can easily measure how that model is performing and have quantitative results to share with their investors.”
Services like this combined with the ability to quickly obtain custom reports tailored to investor needs allow advisors to deliver more value to their clients and gain a competitive advantage.
It’s about more than just the models
While your existing investment performance modeling solution might have all the right features and functionality, you’re at a big disadvantage if you don’t have a highly personalized level of support to back it up.
If lackluster customer support is impacting your firm’s ability to deliver an exceptional investor experience, we would love to talk. Contact us today.