During the Internet boom, many major financial services technology projects were hit by cost overruns and performance problems, ultimately damaging IT departments’ trust in vendors. CSC’s initiative could be a good model for its rivals to follow: aggressive client communications tactics are the best way to improve customer satisfaction and retention.
CSC’s Client Advisory Board has improved the IT vendor’s customer satisfaction ratings.
Computer Sciences Corporation’s insurance division created a Client Advisory Board in the late 1990s to improve customer satisfaction. The company’s customer satisfaction rates have improved since the board was created.
Improving customer satisfaction is a major priority for many technology vendors. During the Internet boom, many leading edge projects were plagued by implementation costs and performance problems. The glut of unsatisfactory implementations seriously damaged satisfaction ratings, and ultimately the trust that existed between IT departments and technology vendors.
To overcome this challenge, IT vendors are being forced to turn to more aggressive tactics to understand the wants and needs of their financial services customer base, and regain clients’ trust. The CSC advisory board is a prime example of this strategy.
It is made up of executive level participants from leading financial services institutions, who meet up for a bilateral discussion of strategic issues and trends that impact the financial services industry. The meetings are an excellent venue for a fluid exchange not only of issues and challenges faced by customers, but also fresh ideas and value proposition testing for CSC.
CSC’s customer satisfaction rates are consistently improving, implying the strategy is paying off (although a cynic might add that in the mid-1990s, some divisions of CSC had a lot of ground to cover in this area). Even so, the key takeaway that vendors should grasp in this instance is that by instituting an aggressive client forum model, CSC has been able to achieve the customer satisfaction turnaround challenge that many vendors are facing today.
Opening alternative forms of communication, such as client advisory boards, will be pivotal for technology vendors in refining product value propositions and go-to-market messaging in the financial services industry. Reestablishing trust (and in some cases, credibility) will be a pre-requisite to successful sales recovery in many sectors of financial services technology.
Related research: Datamonitor, 2001: eFinancial Services Consumers in Europe and the US