The biggest banking technology event in the world, Sibos, is happening this week, and the conversation around it has got me thinking about our banking customers–in particular the work they are doing to improve the way they work with customers. More and more organisations are investing in their customer experience as they begin to recognize two things: that customers are more willing than ever to switch providers and happy customers are more profitable customers.
One of our core principles at Microsoft is empowering people and organisations to achieve more. Organisations are looking to Microsoft for solutions that help empower their employees to provide great experiences to their customers. With this comes the recognition that customer service is no longer solely the responsibility of the “customer service agent” but traverses all roles across the customer lifecycle.
Some time ago I met with the commercial arm of a large bank and I was given an interesting insight. I am not a customer service expert and prior to that meeting I believed that organisations drive low value customers to self-service channels, while keeping other services (like face to face relationship managers) for the more profitable and higher value customers. What I heard was quite different and, from my perspective, unexpected. The high value (and more profitable customers) were complaining that they didn’t want to pick up a call from a relationship manager or book an appointment with an adviser, they wanted the same services they received as a standard retail customer. They wanted to log into a website and address their own needs through a self-serve portal. They wanted to apply for a loan online, transfer money from one account to another without needing to speak to someone to do it. They said that they have more flexibility as a retail customer and they wanted the ability to interact across the same channels. This may seem obvious to some but was insightful to me–I thought everyone wanted a dedicated relationship manager.
With this insight I decided to do some research to find out why some organisations where delivering great customer experiences whilst other where not. I knew it couldn’t all be about technology. In my research I found that the companies that had achieved success had broadly five elements in common:
Companies with a successful customer service strategy have a culture built around customer satisfaction. All levels of the organisation live and breathe a customer first culture and are rewarded for it.
Good customer service means a well understood customer service process. This is across the entire customer lifecycle process not just when it goes wrong. Employees understand their role in the journey and handoff to others is efficient and transparent.
These companies all have good tools to support the processes and these tools enhance the experience and allow employees to remain focused on the customer and the desired outcome
These companies are able to provide clear and up to date metrics on customer service. They are able to give their employees frequent and accurate information on the satisfaction of their customers. More importantly, they are able to deliver metrics that show the financial impact of great customer service such as product penetration, increase in sales and so on. Employees could directly link their individual interactions with customers to the financial health of the company.
In my opinion this is the most important. An organisation can have a culture, desire or vision to be a great customer service company but does it also empower the employees to deliver on that vision? It is an important distinction.
From a product perspective we have invested heavily in enterprise capabilities within the Dynamics product family (Parature, from Microsoft, Microsoft Social Engagement, Unified Service Desk, FieldOne, Adxstudio Portals and more). Considering the five elements above, Microsoft can bring unique capabilities when you include collaboration in Yammer, Document Management and compliance in SharePoint, telephony solutions with Skype, insight with Excel, Cortana Analytics, PowerBI and of course machine learning with Azure. With so many capabilities we are able to give organisations all the tools on a single cloud on one technology platform to truly empower our customers to delivery great experiences to their customers.
So, what next?
If you are interested in learning more, speak to your local Microsoft office or take a guided tour of Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Remember you can also download one of our industry templates from pinpoint to get started quickly, there are over twenty (I recommend you work with a partner before you start) . The financial services templates include: Life Insurance, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Wealth Management, RM Deal, Onboarding and Account Planning Process & Retail Banking.