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The Universal Banker: Using CRM for Banks to Provide the Outstanding Service Customers Demand

November 24th, 2015 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

While consumers are increasingly engaging with banks through mobile devices, that doesn’t mean the job of the teller is dying – far from it. Bank tellers are instead evolving into a role that is quickly adapting to better serve customers’ new expectations and demands: the universal banker.

People enter brick-and-mortar bank locations because they need one-on-one interaction to answer a question, resolve an issue, or get educated on something specific. Those customers don’t want to sit around waiting, and they don’t want to be shuffled across departments. They want to walk into the bank, speak to the nearest representative, and have that representative handle their needs.

And that’s where the universal banker comes in. Customers are used to getting lightning-fast answers from a Google search on a smartphone – they expect from a bank rep the same in-depth knowledge, and speed in getting that knowledge, that the Internet delivers.

Getting Insight with CRM

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is an important first step in equipping bank reps with the information they need to quickly, and effectively, serve customers. Ignify’s CRM for Banks solution is specifically tailored to banking institutions’ customer service processes, and provides a valuable tool for productive, efficient customer service management.

CRM for Banks contains a comprehensive customer database that stores all bank customers in a central, standardized repository. Reps can simply type in a customer’s name in the search bar, and immediately be directed to the customer’s CRM record.

The CRM record provides a detailed outline of the customer’s engagement with the bank, allowing reps to instantly view the customer’s account transaction history, past interactions with bank reps, and specific bank preferences. A bank rep can use this information to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities that would best match the customer’s preferences and history, and can share this with the customer during their discussion.

The customer records also show multiple accounts that a customer belongs to. For instance, if a customer’s company and personal account are both with the same bank, that bank can see the customer’s activities on both accounts. There’s no need to toggle between different systems; CRM for Banks keeps customer information in one user-friendly place.

CRM for Banks’s customer record provides important customer information (contact details, etc.), and includes a history of the customer’s previous interaction with the bank (such as if they called in with questions, if they had any issues, etc.).

CRM for Banks’s customer record provides important customer information (contact details, etc.), and includes a history of the customer’s previous interaction with the bank (such as if they called in with questions, if they had any issues, etc.).

Access Information Quickly with the Knowledge Base

The quicker a customer gets what they need, the better. Giving bank reps the ability to quickly search and locate collateral that helps the customer is an effective way to speed up issue resolution.

CRM for Bank’s Knowledge Base is a consolidated database of all documentation, whether it’s in the form of marketing collateral, step-by-step guides, or answers to frequently asked questions. Bank reps can search for articles using keywords, or search by article category, and then select the article that is most helpful. Bank reps have the ability to upload and share links to articles in the database, making collaboration easier.

The CRM for Banks Knowledge Base provides banks a consolidated repository of documentation, allowing bank reps to find the articles that will help them better assist customers with questions, or requests for more information.

The CRM for Banks Knowledge Base provides banks a consolidated repository of documentation, allowing bank reps to find the articles that will help them better assist customers with questions, or requests for more information.

By keeping the customer experience at the forefront of customer service initiatives, banks will more smoothly transition into the digital era of banking without losing the personal touch of the brick-and-mortar location. For more information on how CRM for Banks can strengthen your customer service processes, please email banks@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.

Meaningful Motivation: Maximizing Bank Agent Work Engagement with CRM for Banks

October 14th, 2014 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

The more highly engaged an employee is to their work (and their organization), the more an organization benefits from the employee’s diligence and productivity.

Think about it: If an employee doesn’t care about what they’re doing, or about the bank they work for, are they going to put extra effort into their tasks? Will they go the extra mile to satisfy a customer, or be proactive in resolving an issue?

Most likely, no. And this creates a significant cost: according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workforce report, 70% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged in their work, costing the U.S. $450-550 billion annually in lost productivity.

To keep business growing, banks must maximize their employees’ time, energy, and talents. Read our three tips on how CRM for Banks helps financial institutions motivate employees and connect them more closely to their work.

Set Clear Goals

If an employee does not know what is expected of him or of his job role, then it makes it very easy for him to slip into non-activity. A lack of understanding quickly leads to a lack of drive, as well as a lack of caring – which inevitably impacts a bank’s ability to best serve its customers.

Outlining a clearly defined set of goals to each individual employee, and communicating to the employee the importance that accomplishing them has to the organization’s overall business goals, is an essential way to support employee performance.

CRM for Banks allows financial institutions to assign individual goals to sales and customer service representatives, and measure the status of each of those goals. With data entered into the system updated in real time, managers also rest assured that statuses are accurate and up-to-date, giving them a clear insight into their team members’ performance and progress.

Set Clear Goals

With CRM for Banks, managers can designate different quantitative goals to different team members, and then measure them accordingly. The CRM for Banks dashboard enables that information to be displayed in real-time.  

Forge Connections between Employees and Managers

The ability to quantitatively measure employee statuses on their assigned activities is an important factor in creating an effective and productive employee-manager relationship. Performance evaluations that are based on an objective set of criteria help employees feel secure that their work is being assessed fairly and impartially.  

Because if an employee feels that their work is not being assessed fairly, and that the deck is stacked against them, it will not inspire them to do their best.

Managers also benefit by being able to identify and address any potential problems quickly – before they become major issues. For example, a manager can see if a sales person is falling behind on his goal, and can figure out how to best correct it.

For example, perhaps new prospects are not getting assigned to him; a manager can step in and correct it. Or perhaps a customer service representative is not getting all of her cases completed because she is tackling all of the urgent, high-priority cases that take up a lot of time and energy. A manager is able to delve into this information and work with the employee on finding the most effective solution.

This information also helps the manager to build a better rapport with their team. With CRM for Banks saving time on pulling data and reports, the manager can then focus on how to best serve the needs of his individual team members, providing the right coaching and support when it’s needed.

Forge Connections between Employees and Managers

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, managers are able to view the activities of each individual agent, allowing managers to better understand their team members’ performance, and thus provide coaching or support when needed.   

Recognize Performance Excellence

It’s a no-brainer: recognizing people for their hard work and accomplishments creates the desire to earn more.

But to make that performance recognition even more impactful, it is best to make it timely and specific.  For example, compare which approach has more power for a customer service rep: a general acknowledgement of a job well done at the end of the year, or a call-out in the weekly executive newsletter of how the rep successfully solved a particularly difficult customer issue. Naturally, the second option.

Specific recognition not only signals appreciation for an employee’s work – it also conveys the value of that person’s individual contributions to the organization. If an agent thinks he’s just a number to the bank he works at, what would inspire loyalty in him to that organization? On the other hand, if an agent knows his efforts and achievements will not be overlooked (and are in fact monitored), then it encourages him to go above and beyond to excel. 

With CRM for Banks offering organizations detailed insight into individual and team progress, managers are able to instantly spot the people who are surpassing their goals, and can organize the appropriate acknowledgement.

Recognize Performance Excellence

The above “New Customer Adds by Salesperson” chart holds salespeople accountable for their goals, and displays performance in an easy-to-digest manner.

The Benefits of Agent Engagement

While it’s not easy ensuring that bank agents are engaged in their work, banks that focus on doing so reap significant rewards. Not only are those employees more productive, but they also maximize their customer interactions – employees’ drive and passion translate effectively into becoming highly positive brand ambassadors for the financial institutions they work for (which strengthens those all-important customer connections). 

For more information on how CRM for Banks helps financial institutions empower their agents, please email us banks@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Marketing Coordinator at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, eCommerce, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify is winner/finalist of the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

How Customer Experience Impacts Bank Profitability

May 13th, 2014 Brianne Schaer No comments

As much as superior customer experiences are expected to be the norm, banks are falling short in regards to customer satisfaction. Capgemini’s Customer Experience Index (CEI), which assesses the performance of retail banks in meeting customer expectations, took a dip this year, in contrast to a three year upswing.

The declining trend in customer experience was present worldwide, with the exception of Latin America’s increase in the CEI. The report cites two main causes for this: an inability to deliver on important expectations, particularly those from Generation Y, and a disconnect between providing services to both digital savvy customers and those who prefer direct services.

Nobody is ever inspired to advocate your bank (or any product, for that matter) after receiving a neutral experience—and a poor experience can even initiate a bank change. The fluid nature of today’s market encourages change, and people are not afraid to leave a bank that is not providing the service they deserve and require. In fact, customers with positive experiences are three times more likely to stay with their bank and three to five times more likely to refer others and purchase additional products than customers with negative experiences.

So what are customers really looking for when choosing a bank? According to the Capgemini Financial Services Analysis, customers still want banks to deliver on the basics: fair pricing, broad product sets, and dependable service. The quality of overall bank service was ranked as a top priority in every region of the world, see chart below.

Factros Influencing Customers

Fees/price, quality of overall bank service, and quality of internet banking service were ranked the top three factors when choosing a bank worldwide, with the exception of Latin America, which ranked quality of branch service higher than internet service.

With a targeted customer service campaign and powerful customer relationship management software, banks can easily improve the number of positive experiences customers are receiving in order to initiate a more supportive customer base. A great CRM program delivers unmatched functionality and convenience, an ease of use anyone can master, and, mainly, superior customer service. Ignify has developed a CRM solution specifically for banking and financial institutions.

CRM for Banks enables banks to produce positive experiences through 360-degree views of the customer, tracking customer engagements and customer history, and a unique database of help topics to solve queries. The system integrates with the core banking system and shows neglected accounts, loans, mortgage records, mutual funds, and more.

Customizable dashboards enable customer service agents to prioritize cases, view problems by category, and track customer satisfaction after cases are resolved. All of the data can also be drilled down further to view information such as account owner, how long it took to resolve the case, and if there was any follow up from either the customer or the agent.

Customizable dashboards

It is important for bank managers to view information similar to the above dashboard to track and analyze data regarding customer satisfaction and service. Information such as account number by branch, account number by last transaction date, and account number by product can all be accessed in one convenient location.

Accounts by Corporate Banking

This drill-down into active cases provides a list of the accounts by corporate banking on the left, and a line graph on the right showing the account balance by bank. This can help to monitor how banks are doing in terms of revenue and open accounts.

When a customer calls in, it is imperative to know a bit about them and their history to make them feel valued. Within CRM for Banks, you can view past cases, detailed information about the customer, and create a case for the most recent activity. With Parature, this functionality is further improved by allowing customer service representatives access to a vast knowledge base to pinpoint the best solution to any problem. CRM for Banks connects disparate systems to allow access to all customer data in one place, eliminating the need to work from a variety of programs.

Access to Customer Data

CRM for Banks makes viewing cases simple, and a wide variety of field entries organize data in an easy-to-use manner. Follow up times and activities lists ensure the problem is resolved and the customer is satisfied.

If you would like more information on Ignify’s CRM for Banks solution, please email banks@ignify.com to connect with one of our specialists.

Brianne Schaer is an Assistant Copywriter at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce, ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Security, Access, and Convenience: Giving Banking Customers the Service They Value Most

December 19th, 2013 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

For today’s banking customer, the ability to quickly and easily get the information and services they need is of utmost importance. In fact, not only is it a desire, but it’s an expectation. With smartphones connecting consumers to businesses with just a click of a button, people now view the ability to get in touch with a representative at any time (and in any place) as the norm.

According to the Customer Experience Report for Retail Banking by Cisco – a study in which 1,514 end-user respondents and 405 retail banking professionals were surveyed across 10 countries – the top attributes that consumers want from their banks is availability (63%), competence (65%) and efficiency (68%). People want to be able to get what they need quickly and easily, and they want to be sure that no matter which service representative helps them, they will have a worthwhile engagement.

And according to the study, in terms of exchanging personal information for valuable services, 56% of consumers would share more personal information in order to simplify management of finances. But interestingly, less than half of consumers (45%) believe banks know enough about them to offer personalized services.

Based on the statistics above, banks definitely have room for improvement on the personalization front. But while it may seem like a daunting task, getting a system for organizing and consolidating customer information helps make customer service operations flow smoothly and efficiently.

Keeping Service Representatives Well-Informed

Ensuring that your service representatives are always up-to-date on customer activities is crucial in helping them maintain high-touch, beneficial communication for both sides. (Beneficial for the customer in that it provides information they value; beneficial for the service rep in that it strengthens the relationship and opens up the potential for further cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.)

The power of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is its customer database. The system contains a comprehensive record of all accounts (from major businesses to individual customers), and a full history of all transactions and interactions with the customers.

By having this repository of information right at their fingertips, customer service reps are able to get an instant snapshot into a customer’s needs, which enables them to quickly provide any customer with knowledgeable service.  By standardizing customer service across all service reps, banks assure customers that no matter which branch they drop in, or which time they call, the rep they face will see who they are and give them what they need.

In addition to the convenience and access that the database offers service reps and, by extension, the customers themselves, the role-based security also helps customers rest easy that their information is only in safe, trustworthy hands. Within Microsoft Dynamics CRM, managers are able to identify the specific service team members who have access to the customer database, providing tight data security by ensuring that only the right team members can view it.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows service reps the ability to gain an overview of all customer information

Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows service reps the ability to gain an overview of all customer information. In the above image, a service rep can see customers by type and account type in both a graph view (right) and in a list view (left).

Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows service reps the ability to gain an overview of all customer information. In the above image, a service rep can see customers by type and account type in both a graph view (right) and in a list view (left).

Alerts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be sent to customer service representatives

Alerts in Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be sent to customer service representatives, notifying them of any new customer activities, and allowing them to follow-up and provide value-added services.

Giving a Quick Response = Making the Customer Happy Faster

No one likes to be kept waiting, especially when someone needs help on something. One important way that Microsoft Dynamics CRM helps service reps respond quickly to customers is through the system’s integration with Microsoft Outlook.

For example, through Microsoft Outlook, service representatives are first able to create templates that contain a response to the customer’s issue or question. And with Microsoft Outlook’s integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the service rep can also go through the Knowledge Base and attach any relevant guides or information they find to the email (see the sequence below).

A customer emails a service rep asking for help logging into her account

A customer emails a service rep asking for help logging into her account.

A service rep is able to create email response templates

A service rep is able to create email response templates, which saves the rep time by automatically filling in an email response to the customer’s issue.

Integration between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics CRM allowing access to CRM's Knowledge Base through Outlook

With the integration between Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Dynamics CRM allowing access to CRM’s Knowledge Base through Outlook, a service rep can search the Knowledge Base for articles that are relevant to the customer’s request, and then attach them to the email response.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM helping service reps to manage and track customer interactions, and thus better understand how to serve each customer, financial institutions (and their customers!) benefit from a service force that is always up-to-date and in-the-know.

If you would like more information on how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can help you exceed customer expectations, please email us at crm@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of CRM, eCommerce and ERP, and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

Making an Impact: Achieve Customer Engagement Success with Microsoft Dynamics CRM

June 6th, 2013 Ashley Harbaugh No comments

 “Don’t ever go to that bank – It’s horrible! I’m never going back there again.”

My sister Krystal planned to do some shopping one Saturday, and so before heading to the mall, she decided to deposit and withdraw some money at a bank on her way.

But instead of being able to quickly complete her transactions, the bank teller serving my sister had different ideas – namely, by explaining in detail the bank’s new programs aimed at Krystal’s age demographic (my sister was not interested); by describing new accounts Krystal could open (my sister did not care); and by asking repeatedly why Krystal did not do Activity A or Activity B with her account, and then elaborate on the benefits of those activities (my sister was not pleased).

Krystal’s frustration intensified when the teller’s manager came over to chime in with information and offers as well.

“All I wanted to do was get my money, but they would not stop talking. I didn’t even ask any questions in the first place! Seriously, do not go there if you don’t want to be interrogated.”

While the bank teller had the good intention of trying to do some customer relationship building with my sister, she unfortunately didn’t grasp that my sister did not want a relationship – she just wanted her money. By not understanding what her customer wanted, the bank teller unfortunately drove that customer away.

Different Customer Mindsets

According to an article in American Banker magazine titled “Mindset Marketing: Targeting Customers Based on What They Value”, a study by Deluxe Corporation found that customers of financial service institutions and credit unions fall into one of two categories: the “jobs-to-be-done” consumer, or the “eliminate barriers” consumer.

Different Customer Mindsets

Source: www.americanbanker.com
Financial service and credit union customers generally fall into either the “jobs-to-be-done” consumer category, or the “eliminate barriers” consumer category.

My sister firmly belongs in the “eliminate barriers” group: people who want quick, easy, free access to their money without being bothered.

People in the “jobs-to-be-done” group instead view their bank or credit union as an aide in accomplishing their financial goals or objectives. They are open to hearing advice or tips on how to improve their finances, they want to know about new programs or special offers, and they are willing to pay for information or services that will provide value (in essence, this crowd adheres to the “you get what you pay for” philosophy). 

Good Information Leads to Good Interaction

If the bank teller had known that my sister was an “eliminate barriers” type of customer, no doubt she would have tailored her messaging accordingly. But in order to tailor that message, the teller first needed the right information. Ignify’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Banks and Credit Unions Solution provides banks, credit unions, and other financial services institutions with a central, standardized customer data repository.

By allowing account managers and customer service representatives the ability to instantly access and update customer information, customer-facing employees are able to dive into the customer’s mindset – identifying what the customer needs now, and what the customer wants in the future.

For example, did a customer call up asking for more information on getting a home loan? Did a customer ask about business financing?  Documenting inquiries and interests creates an important record of the customer’s history, which supports more effective communication in the future. By being able to talk about things that are of interest, and of value, to the customer, bank team members are able to perform better up-selling and cross-selling by pinpointing the most relevant information and services.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM equips customer-facing employees with an in-depth database of customer information, allowing them to see a customer’s account information, needs, preferences, interaction details, and history

Microsoft Dynamics CRM equips customer-facing employees with an in-depth database of customer information, allowing them to see a customer’s account information, needs, preferences, interaction details, and history.

Organizing and Displaying the Right Data

Having all the information in the world at your fingertips is no good if it’s a) irrelevant; or b) hard to understand. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, team members are able to filter and display data that is most useful in their day-to-day work, giving them a clear view of what’s going on, and which actions need to be performed.

Dashboards in Microsoft Dynamics CRM enable account managers and customer service representatives to set up the information panes that are most relevant to their needs, allowing them to see and understand data at-a-glance

Dashboards in Microsoft Dynamics CRM enable account managers and customer service representatives to set up the information panes that are most relevant to their needs, allowing them to see and understand data at-a-glance.

Dashboards in Microsoft Dynamics CRM are one valuable way that bank employees are able to easily and efficiently organize data. Employees are able to specify the data they want set up in a dashboard pane, and they can then choose which graphical display they want that data to show up as (e.g., in a bar graph, or a pie chart, etc.) With these graphical displays, dashboards provide an instant, visual interpretation of real-time information that employees can understand and act on.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s dashboard panes are also valuable in that an account manager can drill down into the data in the graph if they want to get a more granular view. For example, say I’m an account manager who uses the dashboard in the image above, and I want to get a more detailed look at the different customer accounts I have. To do so, I would simply click the button “View the records that are used to generate the chart”, and a new window containing the records of the different accounts will appear.

The graphs and charts posted in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM dashboard are dynamic – meaning that they update with information in real-time, and they allow the user to drill down into the data displayed in the chart

The graphs and charts posted in a Microsoft Dynamics CRM dashboard are dynamic – meaning that they update with information in real-time, and they allow the user to drill down into the data displayed in the chart. 

I can drill even deeper into the data. For example, if I want to see my customers with checking accounts, all I have to do is click the “Checking” bar – and the same goes for the other accounts as well. This is especially helpful because team members not only get the big picture of customer data (the number of different customer accounts) but they also get into the fine details (the individual customer records).

Big Picture and Fine Details – Both Necessary

Having both a macroscopic and a microscopic view of the customer is crucial to maintaining a good relationship with that customer. The bank teller that my sister encountered had a good macroscopic grasp of my sister – she saw how old my sister is, and so she figured that the bank’s programs for her age group would naturally appeal to her too. This was certainly a logical assumption, but unfortunately, without having a microscopic view – understanding my sister’s individual preferences and needs – the teller’s logic was not correct.

To distinguish the services and offers that are most pertinent to a customer, and to craft messaging that is most compelling to the customer when presenting these offerings, organizations need to have insight into both general and specific details. Armed with this knowledge, bank team members are able to determine the best way to invest their time and resources into customer interaction, and plan interaction strategies that provide value to both the bank and the customer.

For more information on how Ignify strengthens customer relationship management efforts for banks, credit unions, and other financial services institutions, please email us at banks@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRM, and eCommerce software solutions to businesses and public sector organizations. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 5 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine and ranked as one of 100 most innovative companies in the world in the Red Herring Global 100 in 2011.