At the time of this project, I was call center representative working for a financial servicer of multiple financial products. In this project, I suggested to consolidate generally mutual fund information from multiple Excel files living on Sharepoint into universal reference guide for each mutual fund company. You can see my entire write up for this suggestion below along with my reasons and examples.
My suggestion is to consolidate related information from Sharepoint into the reference guide file. In addition to the suggestion, I have included 2 examples to provide a visual representation of the changes along with 4 reasons for this correction.
I do think there are a few advantages of this system as outlined below:
(1) Reduce call times and hold times by consolidating all Fund information into one place
Using my weekly calls as an example, I can handle 60‐80% of my mutual fund phone calls using just the information on SharePoint. Consolidating the information on the SharePoint would be beneficial to reducing call length and hold times across the board for the call center. I also added a new tab to the Reference Guide strictly for internet options where the information was taken directly from NextGen.
Because of this, questions about E‐Delivery and online statements, etc could be answered in seconds instead of minutes. The benefit from this change is that it will improve the Service Levels over time due to the easy access.
(2) Cleaner presentation for new clients and Fund Companies
With the new reference guide containing information that 3‐6 links previously provided, it leads to a cleaner and streamlined interface for SharePoint.
The benefits for the Fund Companies are:
- BNY Mellon is always looking to improve compared to our competitors.
- SharePoint can be focused on timely information such as mailings, tax information, fund closings, etc as soon as it happens.
I am sure the SharePoint is demonstrated for new Fund Companies so here is another benefit for this change: Why not have new or current Fund Companies engage in ‘mock calls’ and see how easy it is for them to locate commonly referenced information for their own fund?
You can get new clients involved by using our resources and you can land more business. The ‘mock call’ idea has an added bonus for BNY Mellon and the Fund Company as well. It can help narrow down what information is required immediately for a new contract or client.
If a client never had a TA or they are switching to a Full Service business, hands‐on mock calls with the updated reference guide can show them what they are missing, instead of someone trying to explain it to them.
Plus the streamlined reference guide can be used as an easy upsell for future options (internet options, multiple SWP dates, paperless statements, etc) by comparing them to one of BNY Mellon’s long‐standing clients (such as Managers or Third Ave Funds).
(3) Benefits new employees and current employees training on new funds
As new reps join our team and old reps cross‐train on new and possibly unfamiliar territory, SharePoint becomes the go‐to source for fund information, redemption options and other frequently asked questions. The streamlined reference guide helps to reduce the time it take someone to get acclimated to a new fund or mutual funds in general because all of the important fund information is in a central location on SharePoint.
For example, instead of clicking multiple links now, a rep can answer a question about statements, switch tabs to provide the dividend and capital gain payment schedule, and then switch tabs again to easily let a caller know that e‐delivery is available. This is just an example but currently to get that information a rep would have to check 2‐3 separate links which could lead to dead air or a hold where one isn’t required.
This is especially important when you consider that SharePoint current requires quite a few clicks (sometimes double clicks) to get basic information. Not only do the streamlined reference guide help Service Levels, it also helps the phone reps feel more comfortable on new calls and lessen the ‘pins and needles’ effect.
(4) SharePoint updates are easier, therefore faster
Since we consolidated 3‐6 links per Fund Company into a streamlined reference guide, it makes it easier to update the information for the SharePoint team. The information that is listed on the reference guide is generally don’t change frequently such as fund numbers, mailing addresses, purchase minimums, etc. So if the SharePoint team needs to update something, they can change all the updated information in one session, on one file and upload it one time.
The immediate benefits of the streamlined reference guide for the SharePoint team are:
- Faster turn‐around times for updating information
- Less down time for any affected files due to sign‐off requirements, etc
- Faster review period for management sign‐offs due to less duplicate files or info
I have attached the streamlined reference guides (Meridian & Managers Funds) for your review and comparison. With the reference guides, I have also included a visual representation of how many possible links would be deleted from the SharePoint due to the consolidation. I didn’t actually change any layout from the original reference guide, I just added tabs to consolidate the information.
And looking over SharePoint again (Managers Retail), I am sure that Check Acceptance Policy and Fund Fulfillment could be added as separate tabs to the streamlined reference guide, further reducing the number of links on SharePoint. The reference guide should be a one stop shop for the majority of the fund information. The more non‐changing information it contains, the better.
Also listed below are a few concerns you may have that I attempted to address.
Thanks for reading this long email. Have a great day.
“But what if something happens to SharePoint or an update wasn’t made in time, etc?”
Either way, the information wouldn’t be available for reps to use. The phone reps could offer a callback or something. The major benefit of the streamlined reference guide is that only ONE file has to be updated or signed‐off on to restore availability. Any SharePoint team member or manager could fix a potential disaster in this case.
“Isn’t this a time consuming and intensive process to create the streamlined reference
Not really. Most of the information is already on the SharePoint. The update is just consolidating the information into one excel file. You can estimate it around 30‐60 minutes per fund company. Besides, if the change does increase Service Levels, bring in new business and helps new reps get acclimated faster, can you really say it wasn’t time well spent?
“What if a company doesn’t have Internet options, for example?”
Include the tab anyway and just write in that this option is not offered by this company at this time. That way if they do offer internet options in the future, the reference guide could be updated in 5 minutes or less to reflect that. Plus it keeps reps familiar with all of the tabs and information.
“Doesn’t the current reference guide list the internet options?”
Yes and no. The account options grid isn’t always clear cut, especially glancing at the information. This is relevant since that Internet area was formatted to fit in with the Phone/FAX/Mail setup. The new tab just for internet options has 2 benefits compared to the old grid. The first is that the information is copied directly from the NextGen Fund Company info tab which means this is no guessing or middle‐man to consult. The second benefit is that the color‐coded boxes can provide an accurate answer at a glance. The bonus benefit is that there is no guessing what each option means.
“What if this doesn’t provide the benefits you say it will?”
I say to test it first. Maybe on 4 fund companies split across both sites (2 at VF & 2 in Webo). Also isn’t Touchstone coming in December? That would be a very good place to start because 1) we are bound to get calls AND 2) you can get immediate feedback from phone reps and management on how the streamline reference guide helps them handle the new fund. Based on their feedback, the streamlined format could be rolled out to all of the fund companies BNY Mellon handles between both sites.
Not to mention, I did inform a few current representatives of this idea and they seemed to think it was an easier and natural evolution, especially since SharePoint requires a lot more clicks and scrolling to get same the information. And if the streamlined reference guide doesn’t save time or money, it will be a simple fix to revert back to the original setup. That’s why I suggest testing the change with 1-2 fund companies to start with.
Five weeks after I submitted the above by email, my General Manager sat on my desk in my cubicle and asked me “Who put me up to this?” and that entire intereaction stuck with me for all of these years. I was offered a position with the SharePoint team after this incident but I eneded up leaving the company due to personal conflicts at the time.