Creating a dynamic and engaging client experience begins with embedding client empathy into all parts of the organization, according to Marie Chinnici-Everitt, DTCC’s Global Chief Marketing Officer. For Chinnici-Everitt, that requires developing robust feedback loops that provide deep insight into what clients are thinking to shape the firm’s strategic direction and product delivery roadmap.
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Chinnici-Everitt recently sat down with DTCC Connection to share an update on DTCC’s recent client research and how that data is driving a series of key initiatives that align to clients’ top needs.
DC: DTCC engages with clients through numerous touchpoints. Which ones do you find most effective in understanding client needs?
MC: DTCC is committed to putting clients at the center of everything we do. Our CEO, Frank La Salla, has made that one of his priorities, and the organization has embraced the challenge. Over the past year, we’ve devoted a significant amount of time to reviewing our client engagement strategy and identifying opportunities to enhance it through technology as well as more traditional formal and informal channels. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. We need to continue to proactively engage with clients through working groups, surveys and focus groups, among other approaches, to understand their priorities, pain points and experience when working with DTCC.
DC: Those feedback loops are very helpful at collecting anecdotal information. Do you also use more formal, scientific-based approaches to understand client needs?
MC: Yes, we believe the combination of formal and informal feedback paints the most precise picture of our clients and how we can support them. For instance, last year we conducted a survey of over 1,600 clients, which included in-depth interviews with senior leaders about their experiences with DTCC. This allowed us to dig much deeper into how our clients view us, the areas where we are providing significant value and opportunities to improve. Our vision is to serve as a strategic partner to our clients, so we’re excited to put this data into action and deliver an even better client experience.
DC: What did you learn from the study that will shape DTCC’s agenda in 2024?
MC: The research found that client expectations are evolving rapidly with respect to accessing our online services, with a focus on ease of use and how we innovate to deliver even greater value to their businesses. Clients also expect DTCC to serve as a more vocal thought leader on certain issues, to be highly collaborative, to form effective industry partnerships, and to clearly communicate roadmaps of planned changes. And they want us to be more proactive, clear and transparent in how we communicate with them. This feedback is so valuable because it gives us clear direction of how we need to evolve as an organization to create an outstanding client experience.
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DC: Are there specific initiatives DTCC is executing on where the industry will see this renewed focus on client experience?
MC: There’s a tremendous amount of excitement across the organization to execute on the bold agenda set by Frank and our leadership team. Across our strategic priorities, the common thread that connects them is our commitment to making our new solutions even more client-focused. A good example of this is our plan to accelerate the modernization of our core clearance and settlement systems. Two more innovative initiatives also come to mind – leading the industry on its digital transformation journey following our acquisition of Securrency last year and partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a technical framework to build and enhance financial applications while maintaining operational resilience and best practices.
DC: Are you also implementing technology enhancements to create a more user-friendly experience with DTCC’s existing products and services?
MC: Our clients identified this as an area where they want us to devote more time and energy. We heard them loud and clear, and we’re looking forward to improving the functionality of our solutions by creating more intuitive user interfaces that seamlessly connect to our clients’ systems and technology infrastructure. If I had to summarize how we’re approaching this, I’d emphasize that client experience will be prioritized in our development efforts moving forward.
DC: Can you give us some examples of improvements you plan to make?
MC: We have an aggressive book of work we’ll be executing on this year that includes modernizing our client interfaces and their underlying architecture, using APIs to give clients access to data how and when they want it, and increasing the number of common services with cross-functional synergies. Another area that I know clients will appreciate improvements is to the MyDTCC Portal. We’re excited by planned upgrades to facilitate navigation between products and access to support tools. Similarly, we’ll be enhancing the onboarding process, the Learning Center and the overall learning journey so our clients can make the most of the products and services DTCC offers.
DC: You mentioned earlier DTCC’s vision to serve as a strategic partner to clients. How do you intend to bring those words to life?
MC: A lot of companies struggle to make their vision tangible through specific actions, but we’ve devoted a lot of time to strategizing ways to operationalize it. At its simplest, client empathy is fundamental to serving as a strategic partner. Therefore, we’re taking steps to change our organizational mindset to see our clients not as users of our services, but as companies with unique needs and different business models that require customized and personalized approaches. The one-size-fits-all model is outdated. We will infuse empathy into our actions by putting ourselves in the shoes of our clients, seeing the world from their perspective, understanding their experiences and knowing their business and their needs in the most meaningful way.