Customer Obsessive Banking: The benefits of a holistic customer intelligence and risk intelligence approach

“The last time there was a global crisis, banks were widely perceived to be a big part of the problem. This time around, banks are central to the solution”. McKinsey

It took a decade for the financial sector to work through and recover from the global financial crisis. The sector does not have that much time to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 and, this time, expectations of banks are high.

In fact PwC researchers have quantified this, noting that “83% of customers believe banks have a moral obligation to help society during this crisis”.
 

Customer obsession – a competitive differentiator

Customer experience is of paramount importance to companies across all industries, and banking is no exception.

No longer does a bank only have to consider how its customer experience measures up to rival banks – it’s also compared to that provided by digital fintechs and even huge consumer giants like Amazon.

The implication being that, to stay ahead of the pack, banks must focus on delivering an improved customer experience, and leverage it as a competitive differentiator.

However, general expectations of banks are significantly greater now than ever before, and the tipping points of customer dissatisfaction are more acute.

Delivering on banking customer expectations, while managing risk priorities and reducing the cost to serve, has rarely if ever, had such high stakes.

Today’s corporate and business banking customers know what they want and how to go about getting it – whether they be a High Net Worth individual expecting an in-depth conversation, a nimble SME seeking out slick digital experiences, or a large corporate looking for a blend of both for the ultimate in personalisation and efficiency.

To keep pace isn’t just about offering great service but a strategy based on ensuring the customer comes first and is at the heart of the business (from front-line, to bank office operations and compliance/risk management).

Building such a holistic strategy first and foremost requires banks to build a single source of the truth, and richer understanding of every customer.

This means incorporating customer intelligence and risk intelligence into every aspect of relationship management and decision making. Let me tell you why.
 

The benefits of combining customer and risk intelligence in banking

It may be tempting to deprioritise risk when times are good and relegate customer experience to the backseat when times are tough.  But what about when times are uncertain – just as they are now?

A McKinsey report in 2019 highlighted that “Data capabilities are set to become a critical differentiator. Modern platforms support integrated data sets and a single source of truth. These in turn create the ability, in real-time, to offer personalised experiences and run advanced analytics for sharper decision making.”

This statement is truer than ever in 2020.

The best results will be achieved when banks realise that customer AND risk must be held in equilibrium.

A truly holistic intelligence approach that empowers focus, speed and excellence in both decision making and team execution.

When Relationship Managers have the right level of risk savvy and insight, and their colleagues in Operations and Risk roles have the right level of commercial awareness, everyone benefits – the customer and the organisation:

  • Prospect with confidence – quickly sift through and identify prospects and opportunities with greater accuracy
  • Pre-Screen for risk –immediately know the indicators on recent risk events that may need attention when onboarding a new client
  • The foresight to act with efficiency and speed – proactively anticipate, set and manage expectations, whether it’s with supporting a customer, KYC, credit or onboarding steps
  • Have more meaningful person-to-person engagements – a richer understanding of every facet of the customer business builds trust and credibility
  • Optimise KYC and onboarding – using effective customer and risk intelligence together enables banks to ingest, analyse and identify the right information, at the right time for the right step in the process.
  • Improved ability to visualise and map customer journeys – practical building blocks can be joined up to enable banks to consistently deliver on their customer acquisition, transaction and long-term relationship building goals.
  • Build strong long-term relationships – thoughtful use of customer and risk intelligence can augment a Relationship Manager’s ability to understand and jump into a client conversation at a moment’s notice, and deliver value continuity throughout the relationship
  • Keep a finger on the customer’s pulse – continuous real-time customer and risk intelligence makes complex risk and KYC review cycles obsolete. Whether it be a news article, an update on a credit report, or a risk event – delays are eliminated and identification and response are immediate

Building a holistic intelligence approach

Those banks who craft the right strategy and execute well will deliver a reduced cost to serve, strong risk management and greater customer experience for their organisations.

Craft and execution of a holistic intelligence strategy requires first and foremost a common data-driven platform. A customer and risk intelligence platform is an opportunity to consolidate and optimise data management across a bank.

The benefits:

  • Customer obsession – personalised customer engagement marked by proactive needs, opportunities, and early risk identification to build trust
  • A step change to agile – distributed decision making and execution with a focus on iteration and responsiveness, balanced by standardisation of non-value add tasks and hands-on governance to ensure cost and control agendas met
  • Cross-skilling and collaboration – flexible resource allocation based on risk and opportunity drivers
  • End-to-end optimisation of core processes – automate and digitise to increase speed of execution while also strengthening and integrating risk management into processes through early warning indicators.
  • Map core customer journeys – design for alignment and great experiences for both. Use data and analytics to prioritise near-term attention on highest value activity
  • Scalable and lean processes – technology-enabled advanced data, analytics and AI capabilities that can be deployed pragmatically to simplify, clarify, and shorten core processes, as well as identify new opportunities
  • Bold decision making and meaningful progress – strategic plans and thematic priorities brought to life and implemented through thoughtful, tactical execution

In the words of Harvard Professor and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner E.O. Wilson “The world will be run by synthesisers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely”

Forward-thinking banks are already taking a holistic intelligence approach. Triodos Bank, a world leader in sustainable banking, recently announced the deployment of its holistic relationship management platform.

The platform utilises credit risk data and company financial data via APIs, against a series of Triodos-approved decision rules to deliver an immediate summarised view of risk, flagging any potential problems that may arise.

The result is that Relationship Managers can address any issues with the applicant sooner in the customer journey, making for a smoother and faster onboarding process.

Triodos Bank Cbils

In addition, the bespoke platform assists Triodos’s team of dedicated Relationship Managers in their mission to make money work for positive change, by providing them with the deeper level insights they require to:

  • Grow new business by identifying sustainable sectors and organisations that meet their lending criteria
  • Rapidly onboard new customers, thanks to deeper 360° ecosystem intelligence
  • Truly understand the challenges customers face and the world they work in for hyper-personalised experiences and increased value delivery

“Triodos Bank has a mission to make money work for positive change. We do this by financing businesses and organisations that are making a lasting positive impact on society, culture or the environment. Our team of relationship managers pride themselves in understanding the challenges that their customers face, and work hard to provide them with flexible and individualised support. Using the Artesian platform gives them the information that they need at their fingertips: from helping to highlight customer success to flagging changes taking place in specific sectors.” Robert Keegan, Head of SME at Triodos

To find out more about how your bank can realise the benefits of combining customer and risk intelligence within one holistic relationship management platform, get in touch with our specialist team, or why not take a few minutes to read our latest whitepaper – Banking in the New Normal: Reimagining the Onboarding Framework Across Front, Middle and Back Office.

Banking in a new normal