Make a New Year's Resolution to Go Digital

Before today’s modern customer relationship management solutions, there was the rolodex, appointment books, Excel spreadsheets, the sticky note, email, and MCIF (Marketing Customer Information File) systems. Now, digital solutions such as CRM systems, offer a “one-stop” place to see everything important about your customer.

CRM systems are designed to make customer information understandable, transparent, and actionable to all employees while providing managers information about employee activities — and they are gaining greater priority for financial institutions across the country. This prioritization reflects CEOs’ growing understanding of the limitations that older technologies are putting on their businesses, yours included.

Here’s why you should make a resolution to go digital in the new year:

To Be More Responsive in Every Interaction

The true power of going digital through implementing a CRM is in helping you better understand the value of your customer’s relationship with your bank or credit union, while empowering you to be more responsive to the changing needs of your customer over time. By going digital, you see benefits amplified across every department in your organization.

A CRM gets rid of all those disparate systems and cumbersome manual processes that are limiting your ability to understand and serve your customers. It becomes the one place where you can see every customer touch and stay informed in real-time about your customer — empowering everyone in your organization to seem like the customer’s primary relationship manager.

To Build Better, Long-Lasting Customer Relationships

It has been proven time and time again that developing and nurturing existing customer relationships is far less expensive and provides a higher ROI than expensive marketing to attract new customers. It makes sense, then, to invest resources in tools that enable your staff to build better relationships with your customers.

Strong customer relationships are best built through a series of positive experiences, each building on the other, proving to your customer that you not only know who they are and value their relationship, but that you understand and are willing to meet their sophisticated needs. A CRM solution is the tool that allows you to do so. Building better relationships with your customers will translate into more wallet share and a strong and loyal customer base who will become your best advocates for new customers.

To Set Your Employees Up for Success

Pigeonholing CRM as just another software application to be managed by your IT department is a mistake. CRM is so much more. Its greater purpose is that of a management tool to help streamline and consolidate work processes in effort to ensure a more consistent experience for your customers and to set your frontline employees up to succeed in their roles.

You invest a great deal in your employees via compensation, training, and mentoring but if you don’t also provide them with the tools necessary to perform, then they are unequipped to do their job. It’s a given that they need a workstation and the ability to communicate with you and your customer; likewise, it should also be a given that they need quick and easy access to a history of customer information and interaction in order to properly service your customers.

To Avoid Getting Left Behind By the Competition

In today’s data-driven world, if you do not take the time to invest in the tools and technology that will help you better understand and build life-long relationships with your number one asset — your customer — then you can be assured that your competitors will. If you have been on the sidelines thinking CRM is a passing phase, then think again. CRM is here to stay and your competitors are adopting it at a great rate of speed.

A recent study by Gartner shows CRM leading all enterprise software categories in projected growth worldwide. The total number of sales organizations leveraging CRM has increased to 82.9% — a significant increase from the 48.7% adoption rate reported a decade ago. Using technology for better customer service is vital for financial institutions, with 48% of banks and 67% of credit unions listing it as a top priority.

With these benefits (and more) in mind, we created the CRM 101 Guide for Banks and Credit Unions to help you better understand the basic tenets of what makes for a good CRM while highlighting areas where this technology may best complement your organization’s growth and service strategies. This information should prove beneficial to you whether you are already a user of CRM or looking at CRM solutions to help you go digital in 2017.