Emerging technology is key to unlocking better relationships between commercial banks and their customers – Accenture

In the post-pandemic world, the battle for commercial banking customers will be won by organizations that combine skilled people managers with the best transformational technology. This is according to the multinational consulting firm Accenture.

In its recently published global report, Top Trends in Commercial Banking in 2022Accenture reveals that more than 60% of small and medium-sized businesses value the personal relationship they have with their bank.

“Our research reveals that the role of the relationship manager in commercial banking is becoming even more important despite the rapid digitization of services,” said Christopher Jaggard, Managing Director – Commercial Banking, Australia and New Zealand.

“In particular, business owners are looking for personalized interactions for the most critical moments that define relationships. This is a key area where commercial banks can benefit from investments in a more digital workplace. and insight-driven.

“Historically, bankers have spent a lot of time performing administrative tasks manually or in limited legacy tools. A digital-first approach removes much of this low-value effort, freeing up more time for bank managers to have better relationships with their customers.

“When used most effectively, technology also complements high-value frontline operations. Leading financiers are harnessing the ever-increasing wealth of data and the power of artificial intelligence to provide more proactive and forward-looking advice (a “crystal ball”). The applications are as vast as they are exciting; including identifying business customer growth opportunities and financial challenges, benchmarking against industry benchmarks, reviewing customer supply chain, customer insights and more.

Mr Jaggard said the pandemic had posed many challenges in commercial banks’ relationships with their customers, with New Zealand’s agricultural sector being a good example.

“Farmers face difficult financial circumstances arising from their sector. Current record payments from dairies offer an opportunity to pay down debt, but at the same time they face rising costs for fertilizer, feed and wages. Tailor-made advice, products and services to support critical business decisions are crucial.

“Access to working capital through credit at the right time and at the right rate is imperative for farms, but can be easily disrupted. Giving the relationship manager insight into farm cash flow, commodity pricing, local benchmarking and supply chain sensitivity helps elevate any customer interaction to one that truly makes a difference. difference in the functioning of the farm.

“The ‘kitchen table conversation’ is still where many farmers prefer to consult about their business. As such, bankers need to be able to share data-driven insights on the go. To do this, this information must be provided in a highly accessible format and integrated seamlessly into existing working models. Commercial banks that put customer experience at the heart of their concerns will aggregate data from multiple external and internal sources and show up in their customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

“Advances in data availability and accessibility can provide a simplified, customer-centric process for obtaining credit; optimize revenue streams, gain cross-sells, reduce administrative costs and maximize CRM ROI.

“Ultimately, Accenture believes that companies will be better able to identify expressed and unexpressed customer needs if they equip their relationship managers (RMs) with the right information, tools, processes, incentives and training.

“We call this the Empowered RM: a strategic, insightful advisor who is able to forge differentiated, more profitable relationships that go far beyond the traditional ‘product flogging’ approach to financial services.

Mr. Jaggard said Accenture’s research found that banks that put this information directly into the CRM tool and other applications they use every day see a 3-5% increase in cross-selling, but also an increase in 2-3% from new customer acquisition.

Even more encouraging, early adopters of the enhanced RM are already seeing significant benefits, with revenue growth of 5% to 8%.

“Historically, commercial banks have taken a piecemeal approach to creating customer experiences while meeting the many obligations that financial institutions face. That’s changing, with industry leaders taking a more strategic and transformational approach to winning the war for customers and the war for talent. It’s not just about overcoming administrative tasks and leveraging data, it’s about using these initiatives as a catalyst for broader change in the way relationship managers operate and add value. “said Jaggard.

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