As we’ve pointed out often in this forum, SS&C Advent actively seeks client feedback to help shape our product and service offerings, to help us understand what we’re doing right, and above all, to identify areas where we stand to improve. Our annual relationship survey is one of the tools we use to gather this information, but until recently, the survey included only one general question pertaining to outsourcing. For the past three years, the Advent Outsourcing Services team made a concerted effort to drill down to more granular detail about our clients’ experience with all things outsourcing – even though it meant clients had to fill out two different surveys and we had to compile the results manually. Then, in Q2 2021, we coordinated with Advent’s Client Experience team to build several questions specific to outsourcing into a consolidated quarterly survey. This worked out great – clients only had to answer one survey, and we got a lot more answers from more clients than we’d seen in previous years.
We’re happy to share the 2021 results with you. We asked clients to rate specific aspects of our outsourcing service on a scale of 1 to 10 in three broad categories: people, operational communication and cloud delivery, and the overall experience with AOS.
On the whole, the feedback was very positive, consistent and actionable. While generally rating 8 or better, we noted a drop-off in some areas in the third quarter. We attribute that to the challenges of absorbing a surge in new outsourcing clients resulting from the pandemic. Nonetheless, we took the feedback to heart and acted on it. We added staff, shifted resources around to accommodate more clients, and enhanced tools such as our Console to give both clients and the AOS team greater visibility into operational workflows. As a result, we saw a strong rebound in client satisfaction in the fourth quarter, most notably in the key areas of support staff and daily reconciliation.
The survey also asks clients how likely they would be to recommend AOS. This is a fairly standard survey question aimed at yielding a “net promoter score” or NPS. Our outsourcing business had an NPS of 15.6 in the final quarter of 2021, a couple of points higher than the QualtricsXM benchmark of 13.2 for software companies as a whole.
In the years since we began compiling client feedback, Advent Outsourcing Services has grown substantially in the number of clients we serve. We have continued to enhance our capabilities and build our team to keep pace with that growth. These client satisfaction surveys serve as indicators that we are moving in the right direction. The past two years have certainly put our model to the test, with both our clients and our AOS team displaced from the traditional office environment. But together, we have made it work. In fact, despite these challenges, Waters Technology named us the best outsourcing provider in its 2021 Buy-Side Technology Awards. While such recognition is extremely gratifying, it is the validation we get from clients that defines what we do.