Improving the customer experience is one of the top drivers of investment in financial CRM today, and it’s no wonder why. Today’s consumers expect a banking experience that is omnichannel, hyper-personal, and effortless, and they aren’t shy about going elsewhere if their bank or credit union fails to live up to expectations.
To respond, banks and credit unions need to invest in the capabilities that their customers or members value most, like convenience, relevance, and 24/7 access to information. Here’s how you can use CRM to provide a customer experience that exceeds their expectations:
In-branch interactions are still valued by bank and credit union customers. In fact, 65% of those surveyed by PWC said that having a local branch is very important to them. But to provide the best customer experience in a branch, bank and credit union employees need to leverage technology efficiently and consistently.
That’s why credit union leaders, recognizing that CRM is only beneficial if it gets used, indicated to our researchers that ease of use for staff was a top CRM selection criterion at their CUs.
Nobody wants to tell their story twice. The credit union executives who told us that tracking and reporting are key CRM capabilities know this. With enterprise-wide tracking, referrals, task assignment, and reporting in place, a bank or credit union is positioned to manage customer contacts across all channels, and prevent the lost connections that can occur as a ripple effect of an increasing number of channels.
Today’s financial customers are willing to consider a broader array of service providers for their needs. Banks and credit unions that want to maintain their customer base would be well advised to put some focus on service and proactive retention strategies.
Our recent interviews with credit unions leaders suggested that they were satisfied with their CRM’s member engagement history and 360-degree member views. This is good news, as it indicates that the technical backbone for a comprehensive retention strategy is already in place at many credit unions.
From your customer’s point of view, the ideal banking relationship is simple. It could be encapsulated this way: “ Know who I am, show me you understand me and my goals and make my experiences seamless and effortless”.
Of course, like a bank or credit union leader you know that behind the scenes, complex back-office architecture means delivering this experience can be anything but simple.
That’s why many tech-savvy banks and credit unions are considering CRM to bridge back office gaps and unify data. This will allow them to enhance the customer experience, track interactions and add value throughout the customer journey, at all cross-channel interaction points.
For more information on the business needs that are driving these conversations in the credit union industry, we invite you to read our recent report: Credit Union CRM: A survey of the CRM industry, according to credit union professionals
Publish Date: November 14, 2018
Has your financial institution avoided adopting CRM? Or do you have an older CRM solution that has quietly slipped out of use? If you are considering raising the topic of modern CRM with your leadership team, here are a few ways to pitch the topic effectively:
Combat complacency by pointing out the downsides of the “status quo”. Chances are good your FI has a series of tried and trusted methods for handling customer interactions, and your leadership team may be very comfortable with this ‘business as usual’ mode, even if you see it as inefficient. You can shake loose their complacency and start the discussion by focusing on your organization’s most critical sales or service problem.
By Olga Zakharenkava
Start by addressing how the problem is symptomatic of larger business process issues and underline the importance of having a seamless customer experience across channels at your organization. Use the issue to talk about the need to find a long-term solution to a problem the whole organization wants resolved.
Tailor your message for maximum impact. Be sure you are connecting with each leader by identifying the specific benefits CRM can offer their staff. A sales executive, for example, will care about pipeline management, while your VP of marketing may be much more interested in improving marketing ROI.
Carefully acknowledge how CRM could help meet each stakeholder’s goals for their department, then extend the discussion to the organization as a whole. Demonstrate that you understand how without CRM, missed sales and service opportunities can have a cumulative effect on KPIs across the whole organization.
Sell the idea of establishing a CRM task force. The idea of CRM implementation can be daunting, so give your leadership team time to consider how to approach it. Don’t try to sell CRM as the one-and-only solution to the recent issue at your financial institution, and don’t try to get people to sign on without time to consider.
Instead, sell the idea of setting up a small working group to explore CRM, that’s it. All you are pitching is getting a few people together to talk about it. Once you’ve got the right people in the room, you can gently point out how CRM will streamline operations and improve day-to-day life for customers and staff alike.
Understand objections and be ready to counter them. Like any good salesperson, you will need to overcome common objections. Financial leaders aren’t often fully informed of the benefits that CRM offers. They may express concerns about the value of CRM overall (“We already have a process in place for handling all this”), or be concerned about the scope and timeline for implementation (“I hear these projects never get finished, or they get finished but then nobody uses the software”).
The best way to respond here is to do your homework and prepare to provide reassurance as needed. Yes, CRM can be complex and difficult to implement, but not if you find a tailored, proven solution for community financial institutions. Yes, CRM adoption can be a challenge, but not if you have a plan in place to train employees and incentivize their use of the software.
Close by asking to confirm follow-up. Remember, in this first meeting all you are doing is selling the idea to explore CRM as a solution. After you’ve laid out the benefits, overcome objections and reiterated the need for long-term planning to support the overall customer experience, ask if you can send your leadership team a follow-up email proposing next steps for exploring a CRM project.
Then thank them for their time, and don’t forget to send that follow-up message. CRM implementation is a cultural shift, so you’ll have to be patient as your team wrap their heads around it, but the payoff is worth the wait. Want some hard evidence? Check out our eBook on CRM ROI, or just get in touch with us, and we’ll share some of your peers’ success stories with you.
About the Author
“As the VP of Demand Marketing at Doxim, Olga helps financial institutions grow through improved customer experience and increased engagement. She is passionate about helping businesses choose the right technology to solve their challenges.”
Publish Date: January 18, 2018