One of the biggest challenges large banks face is – how do we retain our customers and grow as well? How can a bank (in this case, whose stock performance has grown 20% YoY for the past 5 years) continue to maintain customer service excellence?
To answer this, we need to first understand what customers want. What would they be most excited about? What would be their “Switch-frequencies” – points when they would move to another bank?
As we dug deeper, one of the key insights we got was that customers want a deeply personal experience. They did not want the bank to look at them as just a customer code or a transaction. Well, there you have it – despite being in a Digital world, the human touch is just as important!
Studies done outside seem to also emphasize this (inherent) need of banking customers.
In order to directly address this, we recommended that the bank considered leveraging the power of Marketing Technology or a Martech platform, such as the Unica Marketing Automation suite.
Based on our experience with other banks, we were also aware that a large-scale deployment of a Marketing Automation platform was never a straight-forward story.
Our martech services team was quick to point out that there were 3 big hurdles that we needed to cross:
- The Bank had multiple, heterogeneous data sources, CRM Systems and Channels – all disparate systems in silos, each with critical data that could not be ignored. (Process)
- A mere implementation of the MarTech stack alone would not meet the objective of “customer first” marketing. (Systems)
- To pull this off, there was a need for someone with domain knowledge and implementation expertise, given the enormity of the solution. (People)
The Technology challenge(s):
Right from the word go, we had several critical challenges to solve. Some of these were:
- Disparate systems - Customer Data was stored across 30 disparate, heterogeneous systems and we had to find a way to bring them together.
- Closed Source - The CRM platform (running on Siebel) was a closed-source system and hence was not compatible with the rest of the MarTech stack. So, we had to figure out how this would fuse with the rest.
- In-bound Marketing enablement – The Bank actively used various in-bound channels (Branch walk-ins, ATM, Web, IVR and so on), and they wanted all of them to be real-time offer points.
With such diverse data sources (more than 30 systems), we had to figure out a solution to integrate the data and try arriving at a Customer single-view. As a result, we developed an Operational data store (ODS) keeping in mind two key parameters – the large volume of data currently available and the data that would be generated in the future, making sure it was scalable.
Perhaps, the single-biggest challenge was to activate the in-bound real-time marketing channels for the Bank. The 4 main in-bound channels the bank was considering were:
- Website (pre-login and post-login sections)
- Branch walk-in
We deployed Unica Interact for the purpose of real-time in-bound marketing. This facilitated a unified communication strategy – when customers reached out to the bank through any of these channels.
When it was fully done and implemented, it looked like the entire bank was providing customers personalized, one-to-one service.
As a result of this transformation exercise, the bank achieved much –
- A successful and seamless integration between fundamentally heterogeneous systems.
- The consolidation of data and the building of a CAR (Customer Activity Record) by fusing 30+ systems. This proved critical to understanding customer behaviour.
- The ability to present timely, relevant offers to customers when they contacted the bank (across in-bound channels)
Tell us about how you handle all the data from disparate systems that work in silos. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comments in the section below. We would love to hear from you.
While on the subject of increasing response rates and engagement, have you read our article on what we did to up those in a large car manufacturing company?