News : OneUnited Deploys New CRM Tool to Improve Service
May 15, 2014 -- Drop in at a branch of OneUnited Bank and you will see staffers roaming branches armed with iPads loaded with real-time information about their walk-in customers — their recent calls to the call center, open loan referrals, and online, mobile, branch and ATM transactions. With all that information right at their fingertips, the bank's sales representatives are able to quickly identify each person's recent complaints or any potential financial needs that have not been met, and make relevant suggestions.
It's a new approach for OneUnited, a Boston-based bank that has offices in Boston, Miami and Los Angeles. Using new technology from Salesforce, the bank is counting on this expanded view of customers to help it drive sales, speed up decisions and respond more quickly and efficiently to customer problems.
Banks have long considered the so-called "360 degree view of the customer" a Holy Grail of sorts, especially for branch staff. Way back in 2008, Umpqua Financial in Portland, Ore., produced a "branch of the future" video that envisioned a world in which, among other things, branch staff could instantly call up a complete background on a customer on a tablet, then interact with a customer entering data from her mobile device to get a loan application completed and signed.
This 360-degree view has been elusive, though, because integrating all digital channels along with core transaction data is difficult for most banks. For one thing, many don't have real-time access to transaction data because their transactions are processed in batches overnight. And the connectors between core banking, online banking, mobile banking, the call center, and ATMs have yet to be built in many cases.
The ability to understand a person's financial needs and concerns can make all the difference between a cross-sales attempt that feels annoying or intrusive and one that feels helpful. The advent of mobile devices brings an in-person immediacy to this goal. As you walk into a bank branch, a wireless sensor could detect your arrival and automatically send all relevant information about you as well as your photo to a nearby employee, who would greet you by name and start addressing your specific needs. Westpac New Zealand is already developing a mobile app that does this in conjunction with Apple's iBeacon sensors.
Wells Fargo is also starting down this path. It's built teller software that runs on tablets and receives real-time information from nearby ATMs, allowing staff to troubleshoot any cash dispensing problems immediately.
Microsoft and the major core banking providers all talk of offering "360-degree view" apps for branch staff. Microsoft's advantage is its software is already used in some branches and works smoothly with its own Surface tablet. The core banking vendors have an edge in their easy access to the everyday transactions bank reps need to see.
Salesforce 1 for Financial Services is designed to connect all digital channels — including mobile, online, and social — and show all customer interactions in one place. It's meant to show referrals and leads alongside transaction data as well as posts the customer has recently made to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This could theoretically alert branch staff to pretty much anything — an impending move to another city, a recent large funds transfer to a competing bank, the birth of a child who might need a college savings account.
"We gave the Salesforce1 mobile app to our executive management team so they were able to keep their finger on the pulse of what was happening," says James Slocum, chief information officer of OneUnited Bank. The analytics let the execs see what was and was not working about the new program. "We used that as our launching pad into a re-engagement of how to use Salesforce."
Now it plans to use Salesforce1 in all its branches, to demonstrate products, greet customers and pull up their records during conversations.
"All the call logs from the call center, all the online interactions that are happening, the information we're collecting from our online website forms, all that's coming into Salesforce and we're taking all of that information and power of the rich customer profile in Salesforce and extending it out to mobile devices in our branches," Slocum says.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2014