How CRM Technology Can Change the Way Banks Do Business

9 September, 2013 (18:04) | Blog | By: admin

By Joel Boniske – CPA

Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most important phrases in the banking industry – or at least it should be.

In today’s banking world these words should be linked with the following phrase: “Gain a competitive advantage by identifying, attracting and retaining profitable clients.”

Banks today are still facing the same challenge they did 15 years ago. Management is still trying to figure out “how do we obtain a complete picture (a 360 degree view) of our customers that is consistent throughout all contact points of the bank?”

Why is this challenge always a top priority for banks? The answer is that it leads to a better bottom line.

In 2009, forward-thinking banks and financial institutions are meeting that challenge by deploying CRM Solutions. Those financial institutions realize that to have healthy growth and profitability, especially in today’s economic environment, they need to be able to provide an “Exceptional Customer Experience.” Having a consolidated view of client data not only enables banks to provide the experience and service their customers expect, but just as importantly, it enables banks easier identification of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

So, why does this goal continue to be so difficult to fully achieve?

Banks are known to be “Data Rich and Information Poor.” Ironically, legacy technology is one of the barriers to providing a seamless customer experience.

Most banks remain organized by product silos such as mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, savings and checking accounts. The heart of the issue is the proliferation of disparate, disconnected systems. This situation has made it difficult and costly to provide customers with a consistent experience across all channels, and as well as to empower employees to identify specific up-sell or cross-sell opportunities.

For example, through a mortgage application, a bank gets to know a customer thoroughly–marital status, children, insurance, cars, investments, credit history and current savings. Yet few bankers in other departments can effectively draw on this information to sell college savings plans or insurance.

CRM solutions are essential to empowering tellers and cashiers, call center staff, in-branch financial advisors and loan specialists with the comprehensive and consistent information they need. CRM solutions can help banks create an integrated view of each customer and put this critical information in the hands of customer-facing agents when they need it.

Here are several examples:

* When a sizeable retirement fund is temporarily moved into a personal checking account, the bank may have 36 hours to reach out to the customer with investment suggestions before the funds are moved to another institution. An automatic alert can be sent from the CRM system and can help make sure these calls are made.

* Alerts prompting a call to the customer can be sent when inactive credit cards or checking accounts are identified. Lack of activity may indicate that a customer is about to transfer business to another bank.

* When a customer conducts online banking the night before and logs a customer support case and the following morning enters a branch office, a bank representative can have visibility to the customer’s support case and be able to assist in its resolution. How is that for an exceptional customer experience?

Customer information is a valuable asset of the banking community. CRM solutions are vital in helping banks solve the problem of disparate, disconnected systems and product silos. They integrate these disconnected silos and enable banks to create a “single” integrated sales and service platform that gives bank advisors comprehensive customer information and provides customers with access to products across all bank channels.

CRM systems are essential to effective business growth, empowering advisors with comprehensive client information and tools to help them deliver exceptional service and meet the unfilled needs of their valuable clients.

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