DSC Tech Library
Customer Relationship Management
This section of our technical library presents information and documentation relating to CRM Solutions and customer relationship management software and products.
Providing timely customer service information is vital to maintaining a successful business. Accurate information provided in an organized and thoughtful manner is key to business success.
TELEMATION, our CRM and contact center software, was originally built on this foundation. The ability to modify Customer Relationship Management software is important in this ever changing business environment.
Telemation Customer Relationship Management solution and contact center software is ideally suited for call centers throughout the world.
Banks Embrace CRM Technology
Corporate clients, banks' marketing efforts both benefit from data
By RUTRELL YASIN
More banks are turning to customer relationship management technology in a search for more effective ways to woo and retain corporate clients.
Banks and other financial institutions are certainly not newcomers to the technology, having spent $5.1 billion on CRM technology in 1999, according to the TowerGroup. But 78 percent of that money was spent by retail-oriented banks aiming to retain individual consumers. Now the walls that separate business units within banks are being torn down--partly by legislation and partly by competitive pressures--and banks are looking for a comprehensive view of all the products and services offered to their corporate clients.
A primary goal is to uncover cross-selling opportunities and provide more customized services to retain customers, industry experts and banking officials said.
"The whole CRM push is driven by banks' realization that they can no longer expect to own their customer relationships," said Mark Sievewright, CEO of the TowerGroup. They're trying to own pieces of those relationships, but few have the ability to deliver a comprehensive package of services under one umbrella, he noted.
As a result, banks want a better understanding of how much of their customers' financial business they're actually handling and how many products they're selling to these customers.
"They're now saying, 'I'm going to know that customer over every interaction [point] that customer has with me,' " Sievewright said.
A case in point is FleetBoston Financial, which earlier this year unveiled plans to use the technology of business and CRM software supplier MicroStrategy as the basis for a Web portal run by FleetBoston's corporate and global banking business group.
FleetBoston, the nation's eighth-largest diversified financial services company with $181 billion in assets, will leverage the technology to let CRM specialists at the bank view a corporate or institutional client's transaction history. This type of review should enable a manager to better manage the client's contacts with the bank. Financial analysts will also use the technology to segment customers in product usage categories and to spot imbalances in client investment, debt, equity and capital structures, said Stephanie Moser, MicroStrategy's manager of industry solutions for financial services.
For example, a manager in FleetBoston's capital markets unit may be tracking the transaction history of a client and notice that the client has conducted business with the foreign exchange group. Maybe the client has made a transaction in Japanese yen for the first time. Could it be a sign the company is opening up a subsidiary in Japan? If so, the manager could offer services that target the client's capital market needs, Moser noted.
Another anticipated benefit of MicroStrategy's CRM applications suite is improved information flow between banks and their customers. The suite consists of a Web business analyzer, which examines site interactions to identify visitor trends and activity patterns; a Customer Analyzer, which uses Web and traditional data sources to probe customer product preferences, profitability and demographic information; and a Marketing Automation application, which delivers personalized messages across multiple communications channels and measures responses with Customer Analyzer.
Also aiming to analyze customer behavior is National Australia Bank, which has developed with NCR a CRM app called Relationship Optimizer. The system scans all transactions on a nightly basis to identify changes in customer behavior that might signal an opportune time to offer a new product or service.
Meanwhile, ABN AMRO North America, a leading bank with $171 billion in assets, sees CRM technology as a way to better serve its clientele of corporate treasury managers who want information about the financial activities of their own companies. ABN AMRO has integrated e-services software from eGain Communications with the bank's CashPro Web portal, which lets treasury managers view their companies' cash payments position and initiate payments, said Milton Santiago, first vice president of electronic banking at ABN AMRO.
Treasury managers need to access real-time information on the road, at home or in the office. Before eGain was deployed, these mangers had to place calls to the customer service centers to solve problems, Santiago said. For clients who need information in real time, every moment is critical.
"They may need to make a wire transfer in real time, or may have goods on a loading dock," Santiago said.
The bank also has rolled out an online chat service with eGain's Assistant software called RITA (real-time Internet technical agent), an interactive robot. Built as a female assistant with various facial expressions, RITA answers frequently asked questions such as, "When is the last day I can send in my payment?"
RITA routes queries to customer service or technical support reps or financial managers based on the questions, since it has an extensive knowledge database that is updated daily, Santiago said. Customer reps are able to view exactly what's on the client's screen to home in on a problem, he added.
ABN AMRO has also installed eGain's e-mail software, Web collaboration software and knowledge database to securely exchange sensitive information with clients. Because the applications share common resources--such as a customer database, knowledge base, workflow engines and routing rules--ABN AMRO's customer service staff has a comprehensive view of customer account histories, Santiago said.
Since many of the top 10 banks are offering some of the same products, ABN AMRO is banking on eGain to help differentiate it from the pack, Santiago said.