The majority of our Weekly Comment articles are, as you would expect, about markets and highlighting their many direct and indirect influences across the globe. We may even occasionally draw a parallel with non-investment events, to hopefully make our articles a little less dry and not too serious / self-important.
This week, however, I would like to do something a little different and share a few insights into some of the customer service-focused projects that MitonOptimal has been working on over the past twelve months. We have been looking at the way we interact with our clients and how we deliver a wide range of information; from something as simple as the latest news, to confidential client portfolio reports etc.
All of these projects are part of a bigger picture, focused on achieving the same ultimate aim, which is to further improve our customer service levels, ensure that we correctly project the persona of the MitonOptimal Group of companies across three continents and, most importantly, give our clients exactly what they want.
We passionately believe in the personal touch, face-to- face meetings when and wherever possible and always treating every client as an individual, regardless of their portfolio size. We pride ourselves on being on first name terms with all of our portfolio clients and that all of our senior management are readily available to talk to any and all clients.
With this in mind, and considering our level of growth over the last few years, some of the main projects we have been focused on are:
- Brand alignment across the Group, across marketing material, websites, advertising etc.
- Consistency in all of our client communications through the use of centralized communication tools and simplifying the language we use to communicate with clients, cutting through finance industry ‘gobbledygook’.
- Making it easier for clients / intermediaries to work with us, through the development of two similar, but separate, portfolio management systems (maintaining a Chinese wall between International clients and South African domestic clients).
The Brand alignment project tends to speak for itself. MitonOptimal has merged with a number of different smaller companies over the last few years, each with their own brand and identity; the important thing has been to show the world that, whilst we are a complimentary group of companies offering a distinct range of services, we operate under one brand and with one voice. Brand management is always an ongoing project, but we have completed the first stages of our strategy and feel confident that our service offering is more defined and easily understood.
Consistency and simplifying the language we use in our communications with clients, beyond branding, is ensuring that we offer clients/intermediaries the material/information they need in a simple, transparent and understandable manner. We have done a lot of work on this project and continue to look for ways to improve our offering.
As a result of this work to date, we intend to launch the new MitonOptimal Group website later this month. We are presently about to start proofing the new website and finalizing our multi-browser testing.
We are also scheduling the launch (in the next few days) of our centralized Group e-mail subscription solution, that will allow us to more easily communicate relevant (segmented) information to almost 8,000 MitonOptimal global subscribers, based on criteria such as their geographical location and their advised investment interests.
Once our new online tools are live, we intend to start running regular client/subscriber surveys, to gain further feedback and fine tune our customer service offering.
Finally, to achieve our aim of making it easier for clients/ intermediaries to work with us, by far the biggest projects we have recently undertaken are the new portfolio/investment management systems.
We have two identical projects running, in our South Africa and the Guernsey offices respectively. Whilst we require the systems to work the same way, we also have to keep both totally separate (Chinese walls). The aim is to improve on the existing bespoke systems both regions operate, offer clients/intermediaries better online access to their data and also streamline a number of administrative tasks undertaken by our investment and client services teams. Through the use of exception reporting and better work flow management , we want staff to be focused on more value added activities and reduce the level of manual administrative processes. We anticipate being able to launch the new system some time in the next 6-12 months, after much development work and testing against our existing system.
All areas of the Group have been busy on these projects, as it is a matter of corporate pride that we are able to offer a personal and client focused service. I hope to share further developments over the next few months and show my appreciation to the global staff of MitonOptimal.