Use Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 to Deliver a Seamless Multi-Channel Banking Experience to Customers

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Today’s retail banks, regardless of location or size, must be able to support and fulfill customers’ needs through a plethora of sales channels. Faced with tighter lending restrictions, banks must now be more proactive and effective when monitoring and responding to the evolving channel usage trends of their customers. The more traditional channels include physical stand-alone branches, ATMs, and call centers. The more modern channels consist of smaller in-store branches, as well as online and mobile platforms. As interactions with customers at physical branches continue to decline, online and mobile interactions have recently experienced explosive growth and demand. Most customers leverage a combination of these channels for purchasing decisions and for transaction execution.

In April, Sahir Anand of the Aberdeen Group released a report entitled “Technology Strategies for Cutting-Edge Cross-Channel Banking,” which examines how banks are attempting to integrate and align marketing, sales, and support functions across channels in an effort to create a more common and seamless customer banking experience. Aberdeen points out that the inability of many banks to effectively capture ample consumer insights across channels is primarily caused by a lack of CRM and BI tools. For instance, nearly 33% of respondent banks revealed they do not have a CRM system in place. Additionally, almost 67% of surveyed banks indicated they do not possess and utilize a tool for BI. Another common reason why banks struggle with cross-channel customer data management, according to Aberdeen, is because they possess inadequate legacy systems and data warehouses that are not flexible, open, and scalable enough to share customer information between different channels. For example, 65% of bank respondents disclosed that their bank technology operations do not support integrated cross-channels. Furthermore, only 31% of banks affirm that they have the ability to fulfill customer requests in any one of their channels. Moreover, only 21% of respondent banks assert that they apply the same set of service processes across their whole spectrum of channels. Employees at lagging banks operating on such a silo-based channel approach struggle to operate in unison. Thus, they often make poor financial product recommendations that are misaligned with client goals. The absence of sufficient consumer insights across channels also severely hinders customer satisfaction, hampers client loyalty, and impedes client retention. Essentially, the lack of an integrated channel strategy for these banks prevents them from creating and sustaining a customer-centric organizational and service culture that is required to meet rising service expectations of customers looking to conduct banking transactions from any location at any point in time.

On the other hand, leading banks that have successfully implemented multi-channel sales and service strategies are well-positioned to grow their customer and deposit base. Aberdeen notes that banks that display channel uniformity across all customer touchpoints at all times will facilitate a single, cohesive brand identity, which makes banking easy, simple, quick, consistent, and effortless for their customers. Banks committed to offering a multi-dimensional banking experience provide employees across different departments with a centralized customer database, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011, that integrates, unifies, and cleanses data from all bank point-of-sale and service access channels. Giving branch tellers, call center and online support representatives, in-store and kiosk bankers, and branch relationship bankers the same comprehensive, holistic view of the bank’s customers definitely improves customer service and promotes retention rates. Fully armed with business insights on demographic data, transaction history, types of accounts owned, and types of products and services used, bank sales and support staff in all interaction channels can more easily achieve optimal cross-channel selling strategies that maximize the value to their clientele.

Banks looking to expand their cross-channel customer management strategies should consider investing in and implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011. Banks that are slow to evolve to an integrated channel model will continue to struggle in the current tight lending environment and further lose market share to their competitors. As the cornerstone of a bank’s customer data hub, CRM 2011 can help consolidate data from multiple disconnected channel systems. Bank employees regardless of role, department, channel, or location, can rely on CRM 2011 to provide them with the key strategic business and colleague collaborative insight so they can provide more through, yet quicker service to their customers and also offer better suited product recommendations.

To learn more about how Customer Effective has tailored CRM 2011 for Best-in-Class Banks to help them overcome cross-channel integration challenges and increase their profits and performance, please visit our website.

Post by: Kevin Wessels, Customer Effective

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