CRM - Where does it fit In for Financial Institutions


Everyday there seems to a new company or technology out there claiming to disrupt the financial services industry and it's no different with commercial banking. The non-traditional players have undercut traditional banks with lower costs, better service and a much simpler onboarding process. These non-traditional businesses are now expanding into payments, credit and loans, and banks are feeling the pressure.  So, when combined with the recent well publicised Banking Royal Commission in Australia, providing real customer value is not just a competitive differentiator, it is an essential factor in developing a long term viable banking operation.

For banks, it is now more important than ever to provide exceptional customer experiences in order to compete against the rest.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are now being used by the many financial organisations to anticipate customer requirements by using real-time interaction data and a single view of the customer's entire relationship footprint to enable managers to have more personalised customer conversations.

Overall performance is fuelled by relevant and accessible information that can be quickly acted upon that provides and supports excellent customer service with the ability to track, measure and analyse customer interactions.

In essence, CRM systems provide tools that can segment and deliver the right service, at the right time, by acting on dynamic customer information.

A CRM helps financial organisations to create a 360-degree view of a given customer by gathering bits of information across multiple customer interactions and various stakeholders at the organisation. With this information, each bank employee can quickly obtain a complete view of the relationship so that every conversation and interaction provides added value to the customer.

In addition, a CRM can help by providing timely and discretionary decision support information for management, front line staff and other resources.

For the CRM to be effective through, the financial firm needs to be clear regarding the type of information it collects and stores and its plans for that information. Financial institutions usually keep track of the customers life stages so that it can market appropriate financial products at the right time to meet their customer's needs.  CRM systems must be able to link various touchpoints of customer interaction including websites, emails, call centres, bricks-and-mortar stores, and marketing and advertising processes. This helps in developing a holistic view of each customer interaction and in ascertaining the areas in need of better service.

However, the effectiveness of this information is significantly impacted when the mindset and behaviours of the staff do not focus on delivering real value to the customers.  Real long-term results are achieved when these behaviours are supported and aligned to the information delivered by the organisation's CRM.

Tips from John Buchanan, Beyond 19, Coaching Practicing Lead:

  1. A CRM is only as good as the quality of the information input

  2. With the right data used for customer benefit or service rather than for customer exploitation, it becomes a powerful tool in the relationship between bank and customer

  3. Team leaders within the bank need to coach this new digital culture and digital transformation of business practice.

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