How proactively and effectively do you evaluate your client relationships?

Paul Boerboom, Jul 5, 2022 5:37:38 PM

For over 15 years we at Avida International have been helping pension funds and their main service providers like fiduciary managers and investment consultants get the best out of each other. We have enabled the service providers to deliver the optimal service to their pension fund client. Below we give an example of how we have assisted one of our clients in assessing the quality of their service to their own institutional clients. We also show how we have helped a pension fund assess its service provider (the other side to our client retention services). 

Example of a service provider optimising THEIR relationship with its customers through our AICRM (“Avida International Client Retention Monitor”) 

Client A is one of the largest third-party fiduciary managers in Europe who offer a broad range of fiduciary and consulting services and products to their pension and insurance clients. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis some of its customers were leaving or looking for alternative providers. Funding levels were down, the regulator strengthened its oversight role and as a consequence the service requirements for a fiduciary manager changed dramatically. The client called on Avida’s help to retain their strategic clients and better anticipate the changing service requirements.   

We have supported Client A for a period of 6 years until 2020 (pre-COVID), to manage its customer satisfaction using our AICRM approach. This has resulted in higher client retention and satisfaction rates, and created an enormous momentum to win new customers, with existing clients acting as ambassadors. The AUM of Client A and their number of customers has also risen steeply over the last few years due to our AICRM. 

Example of a client (large pension fund) getting the best out of its main providers 

The other side of the coin to our client retention services is our AIGS (Avida International Governance Scorecard), these services help the clients of service providers (pension funds and insurance companies) assess their provider.  

We were asked by a large pension fund in the UK to help assess and benchmark its internal investment function against an external universe of peers. They asked for our help due to a series of external crisis situations in the market and because the investment environment continued to be highly uncertain. Although the Trustees had an excellent and longstanding relationship with their key officers, they felt that an external validation of the quality of their investment function would identify potential areas for improvement. This enabled the internal investment organisation to bridge gaps and better anticipate the expectations of the Trustee (more innovative ideas related to ESG investments which generate return and have the desired impact (de-carbonisation etc.), better reporting to help make more forward-looking decisions, and less paper and bureaucracy).   

What our client retention services entail 

We split our client retention services into four different kinds of modules which are: 

 1). Client Retention Tooling:  

Our first module is the licensing of our data and tooling only. This enables our clients to monitor customer satisfaction in time and against peers using a structured approach, with early warning signals.  

2). Client Retention Monitoring:  

In this module our experienced advisors periodically conduct interviews, in order to pro-actively collect qualitative feedback from our client’s customers.  

3). Client Retention Advising:  

The third module is our consultancy service where we help you with the interpretation of the results from our client retention tooling and advise you on next steps.   

4).  Client Retention Coaching:  

This module includes us coaching your client facing officers (on the job) in order to help them anticipate client expectations. This involves preparing client meetings, enhancing your reporting, and support in client led innovation and co-creation.  

We currently have in our database more than 10,000 scores collected over the past 12 years. On top of those scores of more than 10,000, we have more than 4000 comments where people not only give you a specific rating, but also comment on the reasoning behind that rating.  

Over time, we have observed several trends, for example in thought leadership and innovation. Especially in relatively new areas (like ESG, DC investing and digitalisation), we see that a lot of companies struggle to implement these services to the satisfaction of their clients. Our client retention tooling helps you to identify the gaps in your services and then helps you to improve on them because you not only get clear feedback on the areas in which you need to improve (for example, an unhappiness with your ESG offering) but you also get implicit hints from the comments on areas where you can improve.   

Our AICRM (which includes our tooling, monitoring, advising and coaching modules) tool enables you to anticipate changing client demands over time. The toolkit provides you with the tools to structurally monitor the quality of your client relationships based on the Avida International database. Our tool enables you to also compare yourself to an extra external group of peers. So, you may get a high rating of 8/10. But if the universe of peers gets an average score of 8.5 then there is still room for improvement compared to the universe. This will help keep you on your toes and shows that there is always room for improvement. Our tool can therefore help you measure and ensure client satisfaction over time.   

Why use our AICRM 

Your organisation will benefit from our client retention services in two main ways. First of all, we can help you to pick up early signals and red flags if something is not working for one or more of your clients. This enables you to proactively adjust your services and can improve your client satisfaction rates, allowing you to focus on your services better and in turn mitigate the risk of your clients leaving. The cost of losing a client can easily exceed £100,000 due to the revenue lost, executive time taken up, site visits, and the need to prepare an RFP, so it should be avoided.   

The other way in which you can benefit from our services is through our peer-to-peer interviews where we bring in experienced people from our side who have Trustee and Executive experience. This helps the people who are interviewed to engage in an open dialogue with our colleagues, where they typically share a lot of information which they otherwise would not share. With our experience we can pick up signals on other commercial opportunities for the client, which in turn can help you make more money. 

Check out our podcast below where we describe how we first developed our client retention services:


If you would like to hear more about our client retention services then please get in touch with me

Or my colleague Bart Heenk

We would delighted to see how we can help you!




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