Meet… Darcie James-Maxwell

darciEagle Investment Systems’ Head of Relationship Management – Canada, who oversees the Global Client Experience Team, discusses the key initiatives that have been in focus following Eagle’s most recent client survey

Q. It’s been a year since Eagle conducted a survey of global clients. Could you discuss some of the findings that came out of it?
A. Initially, when we reached out to our client base we were hoping to gain a more thorough understanding of how they felt about the experience of being an Eagle client. The survey provided great feedback, as we were able to get a better sense of the value clients get out of their Eagle solution as well as what really works as part of our service model. We also came away with a better understanding around their different needs, particularly from newer clients when it comes to the transition from implementation to production. One key takeaway was that we could help clients better navigate our solution at the beginning of the relationship.

It’s been roughly a year now since the survey, and since then, we’ve created a team entirely dedicated to the client experience. As part of this initiative, we identified a few areas of focus in particular, including knowledge management and client interaction. Within these areas, we have launched several projects, all with the goal of continually enhancing the client experience.

Q. Let’s start with Knowledge Management; can you highlight some of the changes that have come out of this initiative within Eagle?
A. Knowledge management is critical for a couple of reasons. First, as clients move from implementation to production, subject matter experts (of the client office) become the “on-the-ground” authorities on Eagle within their own organization. In order to fulfill this role they need to feel comfortable and at ease in navigating the Eagle platform. As our product set evolves and their business needs change, it’s our responsibility to ensure that clients understand the capabilities available to them. To address this, we’ve created a monthly webinar series, which are small webcasts that serve to introduce new functionalities or other hot topics. These sessions are designed to build awareness and inform clients about the different functionalities and the business problems our solutions help solve. Once clients learn about the new capabilities, Eagle works with them to engage in-house experts who can learn more about the capabilities and ultimately, determine how they could implement them within their organization to gain enhanced efficiencies. Thus far, the client response to the sessions has been very positive.

We’ve also taken several steps to make our product experts available to clients. For instance, we recently started to move our training program into Eagle’s home office in Wellesley, Massachusetts, so clients can better structure their time. They may have a training on Wednesday and while they’re on site they can schedule a meeting with the project team. Alternatively, if they have a question that’s part of the training, we can simply have a member of our R&D team stop in. It’s in line with our efforts, generally, to foster long-term relationships, as clients can readily meet and interact with their relationship managers and other resources, so we’re not just a voice over the phone.

Within the knowledge management area our client portal has also be a focus. Currently, we’re in the process of upgrading the client portal, which is where clients can find and access product articles, new release notes, product documentation, or submit product requests and track the progress of those requests. The upgrade will make the portal more user-friendly and ensure that all of the resources supporting our solutions evolve just as clients would expect our product set to evolve. This is a project that is already in the planning phase and we hope to soon have a timeline ready to share with clients.

Q. Can you talk a bit about some of the work around client interaction?
A. One of the more overarching initiatives at Eagle is to change how clients interact with the products. In R&D, for instance, a lot of work has gone into ensuring business users can access and operate the Eagle solution. As it relates to our work with the Client Experience team, this falls into our efforts around client interaction.

We recognize that it can be a challenge for clients as they adopt our solutions and then are tasked with “teaching” their own internal clients—their colleagues—how to navigate the application. It’s not unlike learning any new technology, as there’s a certain run-up before you build the “muscle memory” and have the requisite familiarity with the system to move from student to teacher. So we’ve engaged the entire Eagle organization and created a “kickstarter” program of sorts, in which we’re producing a whole series of tools—from videos to product documents, which are scaled down to be easily consumable without sacrificing effectiveness. Further, we’re working with clients to see what areas in particular we can help facilitate that transfer of knowledge. We want to work with them so they have the right tools to manage their internal groups.

Another area within client interaction where we saw an opportunity is the role of the Client Operations Manager. The COM is usually the first point of contact for any support issue that comes to Eagle’s doorstep. While we host the Engage client conference to help establish a rapport with our clients and build long-term relationships, we found that there were cases in which clients had never met their operations managers face to face. So whenever possible, we’re taking steps to facilitate more in-person meetings.

Also, given how much insight we gained from our last survey, we’re planning to introduce more surveys on a regular basis. Right now, we’re expecting to release another survey around March as these efforts really help to reinforce a continual feedback loop.

Finally, we are planning to implement a program within Eagle that recognizes and rewards our team members for their positive contributions in going the extra mile. The program is still under design, but clients can expect more to come on that front in 2016.

Q. What does success look like as it relates to the client experience?
A. Success for us is when we see our clients succeed and meet their business objectives. I can think of one example in which a client has roughly tripled their AUM since they signed with Eagle roughly five years ago. Over this time, they’ve continued to expand the usage of Eagle, and it’s really turned into a very collaborative relationship in which they participate in focus groups and provide valuable feedback as we design new features within the platform. As they’ve grown their business, they haven’t had to add staff to the back or middle office. At Eagle we pride ourselves on helping clients grow assets efficiently, just as we have in the case of this client.

Eagle’s technology is not a product, per se, but rather a solution, making client collaboration critical. When we can work side by side with clients to create new functions and capabilities—at no additional charge to the clients—there’s a real sense of a shared mission.

Q. Finally, being based in Toronto, have you gotten over the Blue Jays’ playoff run?
A. Right now, Toronto is recovering from that, but we are pretty excited about the progress so far of our basketball team the Toronto Raptors and of course, there are always the Maple Leafs!

Leave a Reply