The key requirements for financial institutions when deploying successful CRM strategies are the clear definition of objectives and the implementation of an holistic CRM process across the company's divisions and processes, according to new research on the financial services industry by IDC.
According to IDC, although the financial services industry has continuously invested in CRM solutions, the profitability of those investments has not always been positive. IDC's latest study, 'CRM in Financial Services: Is It Finally Profitable?', examined the key reasons behind unsuccessful CRM implementation within the industry.
One key reason is demonstrating that CRM applications have evolved from providing useful tools for marketing to a means for effectively managing organisational processes within the financial institutions and are now becoming very important for a company's success. Many CRM projects have failed from not performing positively or not providing profitable results. There have been problems with the size and scope of investments, and failures related to specific applications and business transformation decisions.
Key lessons learned
According to IDC, financial institutions usually make CRM investments with the aim of increasing the quality of customer service, while ignoring the question of how effective these interactions are in practice. The report offers several lessons for consideration:
- Avoid viewing CRM investments as a simple way to increase the number of customers handled;
- Tools and training emphasize the speed over the quality of the interaction, which can increase cross-selling opportunities;
- Motivate those employees who can effectively use the CRM solution to address the real-time needs of customers;
- Consider that call centres are becoming increasingly important contact centres beyond simply answering customers' queries.
IDC identifies the following as some of the major steps for financial institutions implementing a successful CRM strategy:
- As CRM means different things to different people, the first step is to provide employees with a common direction that drives the customer relationship strategy.
- Having built a culture to sustain business and technological changes, the second step is to clarify the purpose of the CRM solution. In particular, high-level aims have to be split into more detailed, relevant, and concrete aims.
- It is essential for financial organisations to perform detailed measurements and continual reviews to analyse facts and proceed with changes before starting the next stage of the CRM strategy.
The study represents IDC's analysis of the challenges and opportunities involved in the implementation of CRM solutions, underlining both business and technology requirements for a successful CRM strategy. The research also includes a case study demonstrating the successful internal CRM development at UBS.