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by Richard Marulanda

DTCC is rolling out a new customer service model that is designed to enhance the way clients interact with the organization.

“We’re expanding and diversifying our customer service practices to better serve our clients,” said Paula Arthus, DTCC Managing Director, Enterprise Planning. “DTCC has a strong history of providing excellent service to our customers. Over the years, we have kept pace with the changing global financial marketplace by extending our capabilities to help customers optimize their business.Now, as we all face a landscape of new regulations, intense profitability pressures and a heightened focus on risk management, DTCC decided it was an opportune time to take a more holistic approach to managing our day-to-day interactions with clients.” The new model will leverage the expert-ise of DTCC’s highly skilled associates and the efficiencies of automated systems.

‘A fresh look’

The new structure is based on a comp-rehensive assessment DTCC conducted for its Relationship Management and Customer Service groups as part of the Business Transformation Program in 2011. The review covered three subsidiaries: The Depository Trust Company (DTC), National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC) and Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC). The goal was to identify new ways to increase value to participants.

“We took a fresh look at everything we were doing, and re-cast our Relationship Management and Customer Service operating model to eliminate fragmentation that had developed over time,” Arthus added.

The company initiated the multi-month examination of its client service organizations in keeping with its philosophy of continuous improvement. The review extended across numerous departments and encompassed a wide array of job responsibilities, including Relationship Management, Account Administration, the Service Activation Group and Customer Help Centers.

Enhancing the customer experience

The evaluation included an in-depth analysis using the “lean” process improvement methodology, and built on an industry benchmarking exercise that was conducted during 2010. “Lean,” which addresses an entire enterprise with the objective of reshaping business processes in ways that deliver value to customers every step of the way, is at the core of DTCC’s Business Transformation Program.

Focused on its core mission to protect its clients by reducing risks, amplifying operating efficiency and minimizing costs, DTCC identified several areas of opportunity that would enhance the overall customer experience when interacting with the company.

The study also showed that a significant part of the client service activity could be automated and existing customer self-serve functions could be enhanced to dramatically increase use, giving customers more options when doing business with DTCC.

Fine tuning

During the fourth quarter of last year, DTCC embedded its Relationship Managers within the company’s lines of business. Now the General Managers for each DTCC business have dedicated relationship management staff reporting into them directly. This adjustment has brought a greater level of DTCC product focus and expertise to the customer/relationship manager network. “Many of our relationship managers have a longstanding association with our participant firms and a deep understanding of their business,” said Arthus. “Linking our Product Management and Relationship Management teams more closely helps DTCC work more strategically with customers on developing new product and service initiatives and identifying areas where we can assist them in growing their business.”

Team-based model

In addition to moving relationship managers to DTCC’s business lines, the company has put in place an expanded, team-based organization to handle more complex customer service initiatives. This Client Account Representative (CAR) team comprises subject-matter client service experts who support designated member firms, covering specific business areas.

DTCC formed the CAR team, in part, to offer customers a full group of professionals to serve as their central point of contact for inquiries that are more difficult to solve, escalations and client projects. The CAR team is also responsible for responding to customer questions related to existing and future DTCC offerings, as well as communicating required DTCC upgrades and service enhancements.

“The CAR team is a natural complement to the business-embedded relationship managers,” said Richard Lanning, DTCC Vice President and leader of the CAR team. “Having a highly specialized team of professionals responding to our customers will certainly strengthen our client relationships and bring them an enhanced level of support that doesn’t exist today.” Day-to-day transactional inquiries will still flow, as they do today, through the Web Inquiry Notification System (WINS) application or the Customer Help Center.

Next steps

In the coming weeks, customers will receive communications detailing how these changes will affect their individual relationships with DTCC, as well as an introduction to the new teams supporting their firms. In the meantime, customers are invited to contact their Relationship Managers with any questions. @