To retain a competitive advantage, financial services firms that invested in customer relationship management (CRM) systems before they were mainstream now need to begin implementing newer technologies that have since been tried and tested by firms in other sectors, according to a research paper from GartnerG2.
According to the paper, 'Eight New CRM Solutions Are Emerging for Financial Services', the key solutions yet to be adopted are:
· call centre text mining;
· event-triggering and profiling;
· lead management;
· marketing resource management;
· scenario planning;
· dynamic pricing tools;
· partner relationship management (PRM).
"Financial services providers that already have a solid CRM foundation must take advantage of the new CRM applications and tools now available to bring them to the next level of sophistication and enable them to stay ahead of the mainstream competition," said Kimberly Collins, author of the paper, and research director for GartnerG2.
"But firms that fail to do so risk not only their CRM strategies becoming tried-and-true competitive requirements but they also risk being overtaken by mainstream financial firms that can potentially achieve a quicker time to market," warned Collins.
This latest breed of CRM solutions will allow its early adopters to improve targeting, empower sales, enhance existing business functions, and to extend CRM strategy further into the organisation, and also out to channel partners.
But out of the eight new CRM applications identified, some are more effective and more critical to implement than others, depending on a firm's particular sector within financial services.
Retail financial services
For example, in the retail financial services space, the research highlights text mining, event-triggering, and online profiling as the applications that will produce the best return.
"These tools will provide even greater customer insight that will improve customer relevancy by identifying opportunities at critical points in time," explained Collins. "However, optimisation and cross-functional business process integration (such as lead management) are also essential or the leads will quickly lose their intended value."
Insurance and investment
For intermediary-based financial services companies (including insurance and investments), or those with extensive partner networks, partner relationship management (PRM) applications should instead be the primary focus.
"PRM will allow providers with independent partners to extend CRM beyond their own organisation," said Collins. "PRM solutions will enable them to finally achieve a holistic customer strategy that extends across the whole value chain."
Corporate financial services
The research paper also suggests that corporate financial services providers should concentrate on scenario planning and pricing tools that would empower relationship managers to handle corporate clients' portfolios more profitably while mitigating risk.
"Those tools will be important to corporate financial services providers, enabling them to drive greater customer value through the empowerment and accountability of relationship managers," said Collins.
The full research report is now available for purchase from the GartnerG2 web site.