Improving the client experience and increasing efficiency are the two main reasons why a growing number of fund administrators are integrating AI into client service centers.
But while these are certainly compelling benefits — for instance, our clients report that AI has helped them solve client issues 95% faster and increased productivity by 50% — AI can also give fund administrators a leg up in other, less obvious ways.
1. Lifting staff morale
Customer service regularly ranks as one of the most stressful jobs, to the point where 74% of customer-facing staff are at risk of burnout — a state of physical and emotional exhaustion caused by long-term exposure to work-related stress.
While most exchanges between fund administrators and their clients are undoubtedly polite and respectful, it’s also a fact that, when millions of dollars are on the line, tempers can flare.
It’s the client-facing staff who invariably bear the brunt of this, even though, nine times out of ten, it’s the complicated process they have to contend with that causes delays.
Nobody’s idea of a dream career involves working late to manually update a CRM or spreadsheet after a long day of fielding, routing, and addressing client queries. The admin that comes with the job is time-consuming, laborious, and — let’s face it — boring.
With AI, the vast majority of this administrative work can take place without any human intervention.
A tool like Jaid’s Shared Mailbox solution can identify the nature of a query, route it to the right person, and input the data into downstream systems, freeing up staff to do the high value, satisfying work of actually helping clients.
At Jaid, our clients report 24% increases in employee engagement scores. And if employees are happier and more engaged, they’ll be more productive and do better-quality work, which means clients will be happier too.
2. Running the business better
Manual processes in client service centers are problematic for two reasons.
First, because people have to input information about customer queries by hand, on top of their already hectic schedules, the data is rarely up to date.
Second, there’s a significant risk of human error. Case in point, 88% of spreadsheets contain at least one mistake. And that means data gets skewed.
Without a real-time view of client queries, you only spot issues and trends after the fact, which means you’ll have to take remedial action instead of being proactive.
But what’s worse is that, if clients or regulators question the firm’s performance, there isn’t enough data to rebut their claims.
At Jaid, we worked with a client that was paying £30,000 a month in penalties to one of their clients not because they were in breach of their service level agreement, but because they couldn’t prove they weren’t breaching it.
Jaid’s machine-learning dashboards help by documenting the status of client queries in real-time, creating a complete, accurate, up-to-date audit trail you can use to eliminate issues and prove to clients, regulators, and other stakeholders you’re hitting your targets.
Over the past few years, regulators have also been tightening the rules around outsourcing arrangements, with the result that fund administrators are having to provide more data than ever before.
From this perspective, AI can also help future-proof your business, making it easier to stay compliant with continuously evolving, increasingly demanding disclosure requirements.
3. Keeping risk in check
Penalties and fines are the most pressing risk for fund administrators when the client experience misses the mark. But there are also long-term reputational consequences that are harder to quantify.
Poor client service is partly to blame in 76% of cases where investors end their relationship with a firm. Over time, a reputation for poor client service will also make it harder to win new business and attract closer regulatory scrutiny, further squeezing your bottom line.
Because AI centralizes team, client, and product data, and creates a single source of truth, you can identify areas where your processes are letting clients down or putting you at risk of regulatory scrutiny.
Armed with these insights, you can streamline your workflow and take steps to ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
4. Conquering backlogs
When processes are slow and clunky, it takes longer for staff to address client queries.
Because AI can parse large amounts of information in minutes not hours (or, in some cases, days), it helps address client queries more quickly, comprehensively, and reliably, making it much easier to keep the workload in check.
Even better, if a query is straightforward, frequently-asked, or related to a specific but temporary issue — for example there’s been a technology failure and orders aren’t going through — AI can handle it directly instead of adding it to staff’s already heaped plates.
5. Meeting customers where they are
There’s nothing worse than having to fill out a lengthy form or deal with a chatbot when you’d rather send an email or pick up the phone. The problem is that client service systems require structured data for processing, so the typical approach is to mandate the use of forms or portals.
These methods usually backfire, for a very simple reason: instead of addressing the root of the problem — firms’ complex internal structures — they put the onus on the client to send their query to the right place in the right manner.
With its ability to parse unstructured data and turn it into structured, actionable communications, AI simplifies things all around.
Applying AI to client communications allows clients to interact with you however they want instead of forcing them to change their behavior. The AI engine will evaluate the message and either reply to the client directly (if it’s a straightforward query) or send it to someone who can answer it.
There’s more to AI than meets the eye
AI isn’t just about doing more with less, and doing so at speed. Automating time-consuming manual tasks also improves the employee and client experience in other ways you might not have considered.
With AI, fund administrators can end constant firefighting, manage risk more effectively, and make staff’s lives easier.
But, most important of all, tools like Jaid’s Shared Mailbox solution ensure firms don’t sacrifice the client experience on the altar of greater efficiency.
“If you install an automatic door at a hotel,” says Rory Sutherland, a consumer behavior expert, “you do not fire the doorman — you use them to make a fuss of customers in other, more valuable ways.”
Similarly, AI takes on the hard work and complexity that gets in the way of a good client experience, so you can focus on meeting — and exceeding — your clients’ expectations.
Want to learn more about how AI can elevate your client experience?