In a recent report, PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that nearly 80% of American consumers point to speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service as the most important elements of a positive customer experience. However, again and again, we hear a familiar story. An investor relations (IR) professional notices they need to make changes on the investor relations site. When trying to make the updates, they immediately run into roadblocks as they struggle to get the website up to date because of slow or unresponsive service from their current provider. This should never be the case, as investor relations professionals should always expect a seamless investor relations website support experience.
When changes or updates to a website are delayed or inaccurate, it could lead to several problems. Both the company and its management risk reputational damage, penalties, fines, loss of market capitalization, and even legal actions. These issues can devastate the IR professional if they’re perceived as at fault or responsible for the vendor’s lack of strong service.
Here is one of our client’s stories about their experience working with a third-party IR website provider that didn’t meet their expectations.
One Client’s Story
“Chris” was a VP of Marketing for a private company that a publicly traded company acquired. In her new position with the merged organization, she became accountable for the company’s investor relations team and operations. This included responsibility for the investor relations website. Due to the acquisition, several updates and changes needed to be made to the IR website, and Chris quickly found her experience with their current IR website vendor challenging.
Dealing With an Outdated Service Model
As Chris began to engage with her provider, she quickly became dissatisfied with the service she was receiving. She constantly found herself playing phone tag when trying to make even simple updates to the website. The IR team complained that there was no way for them to log into their account and make the changes themselves to the site. Almost any change took at least 24-48 hours, sometimes longer, depending on the volume of changes. In one instance, the IR team had to wait two days for a simple update to the website’s messaging, which caused a delay in a critical press release.
Suppose financial information from an earnings call was inaccurate on the website. In that case, waiting to connect via phone meant potential delays that could lead to fines or even legal actions if regulatory agencies detected the errors before the provider could fix the error. To Chris, this was an awful lot of waiting and increased potential liabilities.
The Search For a New Solution
Chris decided to investigate other website support options from other providers. One of her top requirements was for her investor relations team to have multiple channels to manage their website. It was important that no matter how they preferred to communicate updates, the provider would deliver a seamless experience.
After sifting through all the competitors available, Chris identified a potential provider who seemed to fit all her needs for their investor relations website support, so she asked for a demonstration.
Benefits of Seamless Investor Relations Website Support
During the demo, the IR team saw a web management application that made it easy to log in, request, and manage changes themselves, meaning far fewer phone calls to the provider. The team could also preview updates before publishing, reducing the risk of costly mistakes. They would also have the flexibility to schedule updates in advance to stay on top of their website content and provide up-to-date information to their customers and stakeholders.
When needed, the content services team provided multiple lines of communication for Chris and the IR team to communicate their change requests by email, phone, or online submission. They were highly responsive and available to assist clients with questions or issues during and outside regular business hours. When Chris spoke with a website content services team member, she found them knowledgeable about its features and functionalities. They also offered excellent guidance and advice about website best practices. Chris felt she found the best-in-class provider they were looking for.
Working With a Best-In-Class Provider
Chris was impressed and decided to make the switch. The IR team worked with increased efficiency and could now update and fix the website at their convenience. They could now spend time on more important tasks, like preparing for their upcoming earnings call. As Chris’ first major accomplishment in her new role, this change reflected well on her leadership of the company’s investor relations strategy.
Chris realized that IR teams could and should expect a holistic experience that combines award-winning support and a seamless experience for every critical update. If their current provider cannot fulfill their needs, it’s time to find a different provider.
Also, you can read more advice on what to expect from a best-in-class website provider on our Q4 blog.