For the financial industry, enabling a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy is vital to making a business succeed. Your customers trust you to take care of their money—but they also understand they have plenty of other options to choose from. This reality means it is crucial to keep existing customers happy, while also drawing new customers into the fold.
The days when business was only conducted over the counter at the local bank branch are long gone. Today’s customers demand an omnichannel experience, including online account management, mobile and email banking, prompt responses to social media queries, and ATMs.
Because there are so many different touchpoints, it’s even more important to make sure all channels interacts seamlessly.
Enter financial CRM.
Happy customers are loyal customers, and they purchase twice as many products than those who are dissatisfied. Financial CRM software can also help save you money by ensuring you don’t waste time or resources chasing after high-risk customers or those who aren’t interested in a particular service. You’ll be better able to target customers with personalized offers that provide value to them, ensure a successful sale for you, and become a start of a long-lasting, win-win relationship.
Benefits of CRM for Financial Services
When it comes to customer relationship management, the benefits speak for themselves. Financial institutions who use CRM software:
- Retain more existing customers. Financial CRM software creates a snapshot of each customer, ensuring that all relative information is straight at the fingertips of every employee. This leads to quicker, more efficient service, whether it’s a decision on a loan product or a simple question about a transaction.
- Bring in new business and better leads. Because CRM software is capable of aggregating third-party information, decisions about who to target are easier and more reliable. This cuts down on direct mail and other advertising costs, since you’re only actively going after new clients who are likely to use your services.
- Encourage customer loyalty to all their products, not just the product that brought the customer through the door. Today’s customers are demanding; they may have a car loan through one bank, a mortgage through another, and maintain their checking and savings accounts at a third. By utilizing financial CRM solutions, you can tailor a “bundle” that will save them money and make them brand-loyal to your institution.
- Enjoy reduced overhead and increased efficiency. CRM doesn’t just increase sales; it can also reduce payroll and overhead costs for your branch. Because all the information about every customer interaction is visible to every employee, call center wait times will naturally decrease, as the customer won’t need to be shuffled from department to department until they reach someone with the ability to address their needs. In-branch staff will also be able to help customers more quickly, decreasing wait time and increasing efficiency and productivity.
3 Challenges Financial Institutions Face (And How CRM Can Help)
Now that we’ve outlined the considerable benefits of CRM financial software, we can translate those benefits into real-world solutions for specific challenges your institution faces.
Financial managers are tasked with making difficult decisions. Should you approve that mortgage? Has this client shown enough financial responsibility to get an increase in their credit line? Can you, in good conscience, remove that overdraft fee?
In the past, a lot of time and hard work would go into making those decisions—on your part and the customer’s. You would need to conduct a risk analysis and involve several departments to obtain required information; the customer would need to come to you with financial records and pay stubs. What should be a simple process could end up taking hours or days.
With CRM, all the information you need to evaluate risk is on your computer screen. You’ll have a 360-degree view of the customer’s household financial details, records of their current debt-to-income ratio, information about on-time and late payments, and much more. A decision that used to take a considerable amount of time can now be made in a matter of minutes.
CRM software can also help you proactively market loan products to customers who haven’t yet asked for them, but may be interested in using them now or in the future. Offering a good customer a credit increase or a pre-approved mortgage is a great way to build customer satisfaction and loyalty; CRM ensures that you’re not throwing good money at a bad risk.
The “Silo” Effect
Your customers communicate with you through a number of different channels at both the local and the corporate level. They may send an email, call the local branch, initiate an online chat, or visit you in person.
Traditionally, each of those touchpoints would be independent. A customer who calls the bank with additional questions after an online chat session will be frustrated to learn that the call center doesn’t have the details about the chat. Someone who visited the local branch and followed up by email could wait days before that email is routed to the person who initially helped them.
This is known as the “silo effect”, and it’s a counterproductive way to do business. When one hand doesn’t know what the other is doing, it’s a loss for you and your customer.
With CRM, every customer interaction—regardless of the channel it originated through —is documented, which allows any representative to access previously obtained information. Whether a customer calls in, emails, or walks through the door, your staff won’t have to ask them to retell their story.
In the past, a customer was a customer for life. You banked where your parents banked, and they banked there because that’s where their parents banked. But all that has changed. Customers leave a financial institution for plenty of reasons now, with more than 30% leaving because they “have a checking account at another bank” (read: one foot already out the door), and roughly 27% bail because of poor customer service.
Losing just one loyal customer can cost you thousands of dollars in revenue. Now, imagine losing 10 or more a month. That’s not sustainable.
As we’ve mentioned before, happy customers are loyal customers. And to keep them happy, you need to both actively and proactively meet their needs every step of the way with special offers, attentive service, and a fantastic member experience. CRM helps with all of that.
Constant access to your customer’s profiles, real-time social media engagement on your Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn channels, and automatic one-on-one marketing suggestions make it easy to react in the moment, but also simple to see where customer-related improvements can be made while offering techniques to bring in new members.
Don’t recruit five new customers to take the place of one. Instead, focus on retaining that one customer, while still recruiting five more.
Buying in to CRM in Finance
The numbers don’t lie. American businesses in general lose an estimated $83 billion annually due to less-than-stellar customer service, and roughly nine out of 10 consumers will make their next purchase from a direct competitor of the company they’ve just left. Sixty-three percent of consumers say customer service is the most important factor in choosing a brand.
So why, despite all of these stats, do some financial institutions still hesitate to implement a CRM system and all the benefits that come along with it? These are the top three reasons:
- Lack of complete information. Many financial managers simply haven’t been informed of the benefits. They see CRM as just another buzzword—a passing phase that’s being hyped until the next new big thing comes along.
- Concerns about integration. They’ve probably already spent a pretty penny on front-, middle-, and back-end software for their institution, and they don’t have the ability or the desire to put the IT solutions in place to add yet another costly piece to the puzzle.
- Worries about price vs. ROI. It’s no secret that financial CRM solutions can be pricy. What guarantee does an institution have that they’ll see any return on their investment at all, let alone a big enough profit to justify their time, effort and initial and ongoing costs?
These are all legitimate concerns. However, they’re also myths. Here’s the real deal.
- CRM is not going anywhere. It’s here to stay. While it will surely improve over time, it’s already one of the best things you can do for your credit union or financial institution.
- You can find a financial CRM solution that will integrate with your existing software. It doesn’t need to be a “rip and replace”—with the proper know-how and support, it’s easy to implement.
- CRM will pay for itself sooner than you think. You don’t need to worry about your ROI with our CRM software. It’s a sound investment that will pay you back in dividends!
CRM ROI 101
It’s natural to be worried about a big investment. And purchasing a CRM strategy for your financial institution is a big investment—but it also offers an impressive return on value. In fact, for every dollar spent implementing CRM, you’ll earn back more than $8.70 in revenue, meaning that our system pays for itself in a single year.
Want to learn more? Download our free resource “The Undiscovered Revenue Source.” You’ll discover all the benefits of our CRM software system, including how to improve efficiencies, reduce costs and overhead, and create loyal, valuable customers who stick around for a lifetime.
Ready to Invest in CRM Software for Your Financial Institution?
Are you ready to improve customer and client relationships? Tired of the wasted time and effort involved with shuffling your valued customers from one department to the next? It’s time to put an end to attrition, increased overhead, and bad risks. Our flexible solutions, excellent products, and a proven track record of more than 15 years in the industry means you will get the absolute best value for your money.
At Doxim, we take pride in our ability to provide outstanding customer service, demonstrate innovation, and deliver excellence and quality to financial institutions near and far. Please contact us today and let us show you how we can help you build great relationships with your customers, one client at a time!