As one of Australia’s largest customer-owned banks, Beyond Bank is the challenger brand making ripples in the pond.
Evolving from credit union Community CPS Australia into a customer owned bank in July 2013, Beyond Bank is a banking provider with its sights set on market differentiation.
Its big move recently was being the first bank in Australia to implement the next generation of business intelligence tools, Dynamics 365 through partner UXC Eclipse, a CSC company.
As CEO Robert Keogh describes it, “This group of tightly coupled business applications” can improve staff productivity, make business processes more efficient, and ultimately, enable the bank to deliver “the most exceptional customer experience in the market.”
“Our strategy has always been about customer experience,” Keogh explains.
Robert Aitken, CIO, describes that staff were having to sift through 14 or 15 different tabs and screens to identify the information needed to take a single customer call.
“We really needed a system to bring everything together. We needed to know more about our customers and we needed to put these relationships first in order to remain a challenger. Dynamics was a critical component in our strategy which is about building a value- tuned business focused on the needs of our customers, the owners, and delivering an exceptional experience.”
Eighteen months down the track in its digital transformation, Beyond Bank is now using Dynamics to draw out real time data from core banking processes and applications, and provide a complete, 360 degree view of the customer.
“Beyond Bank recognises the importance of data and is investing in it with a deep data strategy to transform our customer experience. We are working closely with UXC Eclipse to achieve this. The end result is that when clients walk into a branch, or make a call to a service centre, we bring up their portfolio screen with the most succinct and relevant view of who they are and our relationship with them. It’s a nice, easy to understand graphical view for our staff to interact with,” said Aitken.
“In many respects, that’s been the cornerstone for us, that we’re able to consolidate disparate information into a very clean, crisp, view.”
Beyond Bank is also looking at real-time sentiment analyses of customers across multiple touch points, including social.
“It’s something that we’re keen to explore further and one of the reasons why we chose Microsoft, because it enables that sort of business agility.”
But in an industry so focused on security and compliance, the selection process to arrive at Dynamics 365 also had to ensure the utmost trust in the technology Beyond Bank was implementing.
Trust and compliance
“There’s no doubt there was detailed consideration of the move to the Cloud, because in doing so, you need to be very, very comfortable and have the appropriate controls and assurance mechanisms in place as part of our risk management framework” said Keogh.
Being a bank, there’s also heightened awareness because of regulation.
He elaborates, “So that throws in some additional challenges. From our perspective, we needed to satisfy ourselves and the Board that we’d gone through the necessary due diligence and that we weren’t losing any control. Although you’re effectively having someone else, or Microsoft in this case, operate some of your key services, it was important that we could still apply the necessary controls to make sure our data was secure and available.”
The bank’s ongoing risk assessment process continues to confirm that Dynamics 365 hosted in Azure’s Australian data centres was the correct choice.
The need for speed
Aitken explains, “We went through a pretty exhaustive RFP process, but we chose Dynamics based on it being very, very intuitive, well aligned to us as a business, secure, but also for its integration with applications that our people use now.”
“The decision to go with a Cloud-based solution was a business- driven decision predominantly based on the speed of the market we’re operating in. It forces you to be current, it forces you to be on point, and enables you to move quickly.”
“Things that as a business are important to us, like understanding more closely the voice of our customers, we’ve been able to do quickly by leveraging Microsoft technology.”
Better service, deeper integration
After experiencing the success of its CRM system, Beyond Bank has now created all customer-facing processes out of Dynamics 365.
“For example, whenever a customer does anything, like opening an account, or applying for a loan, all processes are now done through a simplified, consistent CRM back-end.”
“As this data feeds into one location, staff can cut down on administration and spend more quality time with the customer. It allows us to focus on an omni-channel environment where we have seamless service delivery through each of our channels.”
Aitken praises the integration of the service, “Be it SharePoint or Outlook, it’s that clever integration whereby you’re able to coordinate emails or convert leads into CRM from Outlook which really makes a difference to our business.”
Seeing this integration at work has led Beyond Bank to other Microsoft systems too.
“We went with Office 365, SharePoint Online, and Social Listening. For us, it was about developing our CRM system to make sure it was attuned to banking but also attuned to how we wanted to use it.”
The customer-facing CRM officially went live on the 8th August with the first area to roll out being the Riverina region of NSW. This was closely followed by the ACT, including branches around Canberra, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley followed, and then finally Beyond Bank Branches in WA and SA went live. Today, Beyond Bank is 100% live in all branches across Australia with all customer interactions being driven through the CRM.
“Staff are very, very positive, and by and large, people can see the end game which is happier customers,” says Aitken.
Unexpected benefits, continuous improvement
He also elaborates on the more unexpected benefits of the technology.
“When you’re on the Microsoft Cloud and you’re running the likes of Outlook, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Dynamics, every now and then a new piece of functionality pops up and kind of catches you by surprise, but in a positive sense. So that’s definitely a benefit, that there’s continuous improvement behind the scenes.”
In terms of what’s next for Beyond Bank, Keogh explains, “In the next six months, we will be in a position to leverage the mine of data sitting in the CRM and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves for our customers. We are keen to explore ‘propensity modelling’ to deliver customers products and offers based on their behaviours and preferences.”
“What’s more, I think it is probably about leveraging the stack, to be honest. The Microsoft stack, that is. In many respects, the CRM has been the enablement piece, which will now flow into social and marketing, to enable marketing automation, leveraging social to understand the voice of the customer on a deeper level.”
When it comes to social listening, he explains, “We’re absolutely loving it. Soon, sentiment analysis for customers will show in their CRM profile and we’re starting to think about how best we can leverage that, and know more about them than we ever would have. The possibilities are becoming clearer and more exciting every day.”
“It is about using technology to create and return value through knowing, understanding and connecting with our customers and being enabled to deliver an exceptional customer experience. This is the other way to bank.”