Implementing New Age CRM for Ensuring a Contemporary Banking Experience

Today’s informed banking customers are rapidly shifting their preferences from one-on-one to virtual banking, and from inherited to personally managed relationships. The ‘always connected’ modern customers expect their banking services to be omnipresent – no matter where they go, accessibility should just be a click or ‘touch’ away. This dynamic customer environment makes it imperative for banks to understand that relying solely on customer inertia is a long gone method of retaining customer loyalty.

In a massively competitive environment with sky rocketing customer demands, a comprehensive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, tailor-made specifically for contemporary banks and their contemporary customers, is truly the survival mantra.

Significance of CRM software in the banking domain
On a close scrutiny of existing structures of new age banks, it is revealed that critical challenges with respect to CRM solutions go beyond just systematic storage of customer data. With the advent of Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing, storage related issues are well taken care of. One of the biggest challenges in the banking sector (which is witnessing ‘digitization’ on a huge scale), is how to identify the thin line between subtle, regular and aggressive marketing strategies.

Traditionally, banks have enjoyed a fairly stable customer base – not many customers shifted their accounts too quickly (especially savings) to another bank. But in recent times, as competition intensifies and customers have a wider range of options, they prefer transferring even their credit card dues to a different company. This trend brings to light one obvious conclusion – getting across the right message to customers at the right time and through the right channel is of utmost importance.

A comprehensive Customer Relationship Management solution is a highly productive tool for building efficacious onboarding strategies, which are well aligned with the sales and marketing plans of banks. Through the assimilation of assignment rules, customized alerts, escalations etc. bank managers can bring about the right balance between the functionalities of front end and field workforce – thereby ensuring optimal performance at all levels. Additionally, prolific activity management and availability of customer information in real time, leads to effective onboarding processes with a largely reduced likelihood of customer churn.

Though every bank’s business models may differ, the core objectives remain identical – attracting new customers, successfully retaining the old ones and improving and enhancing the loyalty of the existing customers. A banking CRM solution helps achieve exactly this – by establishing and nurturing a system that manages, observes and leverages diverse, sporadic customer information in an effective manner. This is turn facilitates informed decision making, paving the way to unprecedented success.

As modern times usher in heightened global competition and rampant social networking, banks become increasingly sensitive to efficiently acquiring new customers. Streamlining the different banking processes and ensuring optimized customer experience from the roots is an imperative to gain a strong foothold in a landscape dotted with competitors. This is where CRM solutions help banks.

For banks, CRM solutions specifically help achieve the following:
  • Creation of a consolidated view of the diverse customer base along with their specific needs, wants and preferences
  •  Efficiently identifying cross selling opportunities from multifarious systems and repositories, thereby streamlining cross selling efforts
  • Assisting workforce in minimizing non-core activities and reduction of elaborate coordination efforts
  • Achieving higher targets
  • A unified view of different processes spanning across all systems
  • Convergence of several independent campaigns across the different range of offerings, along with higher visibility across varied channels
  • Lowering wastages and process expenses, while at the same time ensuring adherence to audit standards and other necessary compliances
  • Providing actionable intelligence to coordinate and collaborate regarding different customer complaints, and helping take the requisite action to resolve the same, thereby making sure that quick and relevant solutions are provided
  • Offering crucial insights – both offline as well as in real time – into the numerous banking processes along with dashboards and reports for dedicated and focused actions
Role of CRM solutions in ameliorating basic banking model processes – A closer look into the fundamental phases:
  • Prospecting : CRM software helps in the management of gigantic databases by enabling effective data segregation. Also, cumbersome tasks of lead classification, fixing appointments, and streamlining prospective clients’ background information are largely simplified. Sales and marketing personnel are therefore able to focus dedicatedly on their principal functions. Additionally, secure sharing options and real time information enable business development teams to carry out their primary functions better and always have updated follow up schedules. Further, CRM solutions also assist in data filtering – for example highlighting redundant, incomplete or inaccurate details, ultimately leading to enhanced data quality.
  • Approval : The approval phase involves huge amounts of various document hard copies, and managing the same poses challenges. Banking officials find it difficult to safely preserve these scattered documents. To add to the chaos, many scanned copies also do several online rounds. At this particular stage, data organization becomes a very important factor in expediting processing of the accounts. CRM solutions are beneficial at this point, by offering a simple user interface that guides users about preservation, transfer, documentation, clearance, dispatch and attestations. The software also offers a detailed breakdown of the various procedures, due to which freshers and experienced workforce both are empowered to manage complex documentation effectively as well as safely.
  • Finalization : Documentation becomes most crucial when the account processing enters the finalization phase. A comprehensive, automated CRM system helps document processing and requisite subsequent actions (example: scrutiny, physical verification etc.) to occur within the given time framework. Before the introduction of CRM solutions, all the work at this stage would be done by bank employees manually, which was extremely time consuming, tedious and prone to maximum errors. However, with the advent of advanced CRM software, banking workforce find their work free of complexities; and banking customers find their investments, loans, and other financial products being activated merely days after application. Banking delivery models are undergoing radical transformations with closing down of excessive branches, sales personnel having less ‘face time interactions’ with customers, and banking customers becoming more digitally / mobile inclined. Expectations of leadership in banks will soar higher, as workforce will be expected to achieve more with less. Sales executives will need to keep up with more aggressive and time-bound sales targets. As a result, loan officers, business / personal bankers, and relationship managers will all have to grapple with the intensifying challenges in the banking arena. Building deeper and more meaningful relationships with customers and other stakeholders will become the need of the hour. 
Summing up
One of the most common mistakes banks make is assuming that customer behaviour in the past can be a guiding light to predict current and future behavior and / or enhance sales. It is vital for banks to know that a lot more value can be generated for both customers as well as the bank, if it is understood that current aspirations of customers will drive their future behavior as well. Hence, rather than running through huge warehouses of data to seek answers, banks should capitalize on ongoing dialogs and contacts with their customers in order to derive reliable, clear and actionable insights into their future needs and preferences. This priceless information when captured and managed in CRM systems, will enable banks to craft flawless solutions at the right time for every individual customer.

Similar to contemporary customers toying with user-friendly technologies to experience easy and convenient banking; sales and support workforce in banks are leveraging CRM technologies to make their work more collaborative, stress free and profitable. Irrespective of the nature of the banking activity, CRM solutions assist bankers in being better prepared to go into detailed and productive account related discussions with a highly diverse clientele. It also creates everlasting impressions on customer minds that their banks are familiar with their preferences, goals and need for various services and products. CRM software can make even the most routine customer interactions have lasting effects and pave the way to massively profitable long-term relationships. This is exactly why all bankers should most definitely use CRM to their best advantage.

Financial CRM solutions elevate customer satisfaction levels and boost revenues by systemizing processes supported by powerful technology platforms. Every step along the way, these tech platforms also support the various departments in executing an effective and smooth business model that is in perfect alignment with primary as well as secondary objectives of the bank. The ultimate result is a transformation from a product and service oriented bank - to a truly customer-centric organization.