Keeping customers, creating wealth

It’s a widely quoted statistic that 80 per cent of a bank’s revenue comes from 20 per cent of its customers. But gone are the days when customers relied on a single supplier or individual to manage their wealth.

Today, they want to be more involved, and are better informed than in the past. Shopping around gets them a better deal, and the Internet is invaluable for this. These factors have created a more challenging environment for financial services providers. But it’s also a big opportunity to strengthen customer relationships.

If a business collects customer data intelligently, it maximises the worth of its high-value clients without making large capital investments in IT, and produce a stable, predictable revenue flow.

Doing this well means excelling in three areas: positioning, targeting and gaining customer confidence.

The CRM technology needed to make this happen must work across diverse platforms, databases and communication environments. It must support a wide range of contact points, be technology independent and provide direct access to back office applications. It will contain detailed customer data, and must be easy and fast to understand and use.

By being able to respond quickly to client requests, track enquiries from beginning to end and allow customers to request the information they need, when they need it, a business becomes a truly customer-focused enterprise. This results in an unpaid salesforce — many happy customers, who spread the word and attract new customers.

Also, providing a high level of insightful service helps a business build a strong brand based on an excellent reputation. Many banks try to achieve this, but few deliver anything to back up the hype.

The opportunity exists to take the lead, but the industry moves quickly. Organisations who take a wait-and-see approach will find themselves as laggers rather than front runners. No bank can afford to lose high net-worth customers, much less to a competitor. The benefits of CRM go beyond operational efficiency and lower costs. By fostering customer satisfaction, CRM in financial services means top-line growth: increased sales, better margins, and more market share.

Archie Wilson is APAC VP of FrontRange Solutions.

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