If one of the four defining characteristics of Pershing Advisor Solutions is service, what’s the PAS philosophy on customer service for advisors?
According to Chris Child, (left), director of customer service for PAS, the culture is one of “customer advocacy” under which PAS customer service liaisons (CSLs) act “with alacrity and a focus on execution: we try to empower them to act on behalf of their clients.”
Evan LaHuta, director for customer experience, says customer service management continually asks, “How do we reduce the effort of our advisors?” and says, “We have internal and external measures so as to reduce the effort of advisors.” Child notes that in 2008–2009, the company was “focused on customer satisfaction,” and what they learned “is that it comes down to reducing customer effort.”
Since “you want to make sure your own house is clean before you invite anyone over,” LaHuta, (left), says “we know how to measure, monitor, control and repeat,” expertise that resulted in Pershing winning an American Society for Quality (ASQ) bronze medal in 2009. For advisors, says Child, that translated into breaking down the number of transactions the advisors had with the service team and how long it took to accomplish each transaction. “We then show them what the average time was for all Pershing advisors to open a new account or get a check request done,” says Child, which helps the advisors benchmark their own performance—are other advisors more efficiently using the technology available to them, for instance?—and for the customer service team to identify areas of improvement.
Since so much of the experience is measured, how well is the customer service team doing? LaHuta reports that “98% of our transfers are getting done in the same day.” The CSLs use the same technology platform—NetX360—as do the advisors they’re serving, so Child says “we’re seeing the same screen they see,” and can send them a message or alert “that will appear in the way the client advisor has set up, notifying them what needs to be done.