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Funds' customer service in need of improvement

By Zhang Jiawei (
Updated: 2009-11-30 17:33

China's fund industry needs to improve its customer service, according to a specialized organization's latest survey.

The Customer Service Committee of China Association of Trade In Services (CNCSC), a newly established organization aiming to promote better customer service within China, released results of a survey on customer service practices in the fund industry on Monday.

The first report of its kind on the country's fund industry, it included data on the entire 60 funds registered at the China Securities Regulatory Commission, according to Su Jun, deputy director of CNCSC. Some indicators were compiled on the basis of 31 different sized funds, according to Su.

The CNCSC conducted 100 calls to each fund's customer service call center anonymously.

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The survey showed funds generally do not provide phone services at night and on the weekends. Only 12 of the 60 funds' phone services extend to 20:00 or 21:00 at night; 13 funds offered phone service on Saturdays while only 11 provide service on Sundays.

The data indicate that 80 percent of the funds provide phone services only during office hours. Fourteen do not even provide phone services at lunchtime between 11:30 am or 12:00 pm to 13:00 pm, accounting for 23.33 percent of the total, the survey showed.

China currently has more than 100 million fund accounts and the time arrangement for phone services is "very disappointing" to most investors who are busy during working hours and have no other way to communicate with the companies than the phone, the survey said.

According to CNCSC's survey, 35 of the total 60 funds have advertisements on their service hotlines which can not be skipped. The shortest lasts seven seconds and the longest is 46 seconds.

Attitude of the hotline service staffs is also a problem. CNCSC said the attitude of more than 40 percent of funds' service staffs is below average.

The survey of the service staff's politeness was based on 31 of the entire 60 fund companies and the CNCSC found out only 14 of them are above the industry's average level, which means more than half of the staffs are not polite enough when answering a customer's call.

Whether the service staffs can give a correct answer was another problem. The CNCSC said the average correct answer rate for a customer service staff in the fund industry was 83.37 percent, and their survey showed 30 percent of the funds were under that level.

The CNCSC was established on July 15 this year with the aim of promoting better customer service in China. Its staff consists of former government officials from the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, former executives from China Unicom and China Merchants Bank and many other people from other departments and big companies, according information posted on its website.