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So you generate a bunch of leads and referrals, what then?

October 31, 2014 (comments: 0)

Over the past 20 years, most successful financial services organizations have invested in the concept of developing a sales culture. Certainly training and hiring practices have played key roles in executing this strategy, but now technology needs to move the game to a new level. Automation of the sales process to date has focused largely on "next best product", sales and incentive plan administration, reporting and new account fulfillment. Lots of success, then what?

A major opportunity to advance the sales strategy, that has been largely overlooked, is to automate the referral management process with any eye to managing the outcome of lead generation and initial interaction follow-ups. What we are talking about is using an enterprise workflow, along with business rules and intelligent routing, in a way that allows for a highly automated process that ensures that follow-up occurs in line with the customer's interest level and organizational rules. The result is a maximization of new business closures and a more professional follow-through in the eyes of the customer/member.

Managing the outcome of a lead referral, while it seems intuitive, is often left largely to a loosly tracked process of assigning the follow-up via documents or emails with manual processes for tracking the end result. Through automation, it is possible to route and track opportunities based on the product, the originating unit, customer profile and other variables that weight the opportunity.

We have seen improvements in follow-through increased by more than 10 fold, with a 45% closure rate. Sounds exceptional? Take a look at your production volumes and consider what would happen if 1 in 20 of your teller interactions included a product referral? What if 1 in 50 interactions led to a new account? Check it out. If your organization engages in 100,000 customer interactions per month, could you generate 1,000 leads/referrals and close 450 new product accounts per month?

Big Data.…Big Deal

August 28, 2013 (comments: 0)

Of course the Big Vendors love Big Data it drags Big Hardware, Big Software, Big Consulting Fees.  We have seen Millions and Millions of Dollars, Pesos, and Bahts spent on Data Warehouses and other Data Management strategies all aimed at making “silo-ed data” accessible for organizational usage. 

But while millions are spent to gather the data, the investments in frontline delivery technology are lagging. We recently met with a large organization who completed their Data Warehouse project with a large database provider and had no ability, whatsoever, to deliver the informational output to the frontline staff. Wow!

For Financial Organizations to get the Big Payback from organizing and accessing Big Data, the beneficiaries of data (information) management should be the Customer/Member and the people who act upon this information to provide intelligent and relevant product and service recommendations and service delivery. So any planning and certainly any project aimed at harnessing the organization’s data should include a very clear path to the front line utilization.

Talking to a “machine” doesn’t equate to poor customer service

March 5, 2013 (comments: 0)

Personalized service is not lost due to the impersonal nature of technology. In fact, technology provides numerous opportunities for enhancing personalized service—it’s all about the way its applied to the interaction.

Often times I hear bankers say “when our customers call us, a live person answers, not a machine.” Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a nice touch, but what happens next? Most people don’t mind interacting with a “machine” if the process is logical, clear and efficient. This is often much better than waiting on hold or being transferred three times, having to repeat information they already provided with each transfer.

In this world of self-service, as well as social networking, most customers are comfortable with, and even enjoy, interacting with machines as long as they are user-friendly, steps are easy to follow and they can quickly get the answers they are looking for. The key is to provide “opt-out” access to live support when customers need it. Offering an intelligent mix of technology that is applied in a consistent manner is a cost-effective and efficient way to deliver personalized service on the customer’s channel of choice.