At present, the primary trend in running a business is mass automation. Modern companies are involved in a constant race for loyal customers. For this reason, they track and analyze all aspects of customer activity to increase their service level. When the mark of the first 10-15 clients is reached, it becomes challenging to process data manually. That’s why many firms rely on CRM. It helps build personal relationships with clients, offer them the right products, and raise their loyalty.
Today, the CRM market is full of ready-made solutions like HubSpot, Salesforce, Zoho, Pipedrive, and others. So why do you need a custom system? And if so, how to develop a CRM? This post will answer these questions and show how we created the CRM for bank personnel.
What is CRM software?
First of all, let’s understand the nature of CRM, which stands for customer relationship management. It is vital to realize that CRM is the key part of the overall business strategy. It ensures long, productive relations with the existing clients and builds a welcoming environment for attracting new ones.
CRM software facilitates this path by synchronizing the work of all departments that are involved in custom relations. Sales, support, marketing, business development units land on the same page. They share data and collaborate for the common goal – classy service and a growing client base. CRM is essentially a database that keeps records for each client: registration date, purchase log, complaints history, geotags, etc. Based on this data, managers offer unique products for individual groups. They use special CRM tools to turn the available information into a robust marketing plan.
Why banks need CRM
The rise of IT and open banking have changed the game in the financial market. Today, big banks are no longer monopolists. They compete with fintech and neobanks for the place in the sun. That is why each company pays close attention to customer retention and the choice of a CRM system. The main purposes the banks seek to achieve are:
Optimized sales. CRM offers ample opportunities for planning and running the entire sales process. It helps solve such tasks as growing customers’ profitability, forming a new product portfolio to a specific client group, increasing the number of products used, expanding the client base, etc.
Performance management. CRM helps organize tasks for bank managers. It ensures that all bank employees, both experienced and recently arrived, work under the smoothly running processes.
Document flow. CRM stores all the client information in one space. You can trace financial figures for the client, relations with other clients, notable events, chat log, paper flow, and much more.
Collaboration. CRM unites all the bank units and allows you to respond quickly to clients’ needs. For example, if the executive of a VIP client of a legal entity contacts a bank as an individual, CRM will track this appeal and offer the client a proper service level.
Analysis. CRM provides information about all bank events. When planning future campaigns, you can analyze the number of potential clients, the likelihood of relevant transactions, and the outcome of negotiations.
Why choose custom CRM
Despite the presence of various out-of-the-box solutions, many banks prefer to develop CRM from scratch. What is the reason? In short, it is an individual approach. No standard CRM will give you a full range of features you expect. Even though most CRMs provide customization tools, this may still not be enough, especially when it comes to such a multi-purpose organization as a bank.
Key features of a flexible CRM system include:
Ability to quickly make changes. Business processes do not stand still. As soon as a new idea appears, you should be able to implement it. Waiting for days, weeks, or even months is not an option. The system must quickly adapt to current changes.
Ability to implement any business logic. CRM should allow you to find solutions as soon as possible. If it means developing new system components, then so be it.
High speed of work. Your system should be as fast as your business demands. No glitches or delays are acceptable. And even if they occur, with custom CRM, it’s relatively easy to remove them.
Easy data entry and search. Any CRM is based on data input and output. The former should be fast and simple; the latter – provide prompt and flexible access.
Maximum automation. A custom CRM helps minimize manual operations, such as data collection and processing. Thus, your employees can focus directly on work and don’t waste time on third-party activities.
Key banking CRM features [based on a real project]
The beauty of a custom CRM is that you can choose all the ingredients yourself. You are not tied to the standard system format and don’t have to think about getting out within the existing functionality. All you need to do is map out business strategy and get software that fully meets its needs.
This is what we did in our CRM project for Ecobank employees. Although the system still needs some improvements, it is successfully used by the bank’s personnel now. Let’s review its main features and have a peek at the user interface.
Initial setup and configuration
At this stage, the admin prepares everything for the further work of the bank employees: creates units, defines roles, connects chats, and so on. Here is a full list of actions needed to set up CRM:
Create units. The company can create any number of units for different purposes. For example, our client decided to separate micro-business from other customers of the bank. For now, it has the “Microcenter” unit for the micro-business customers and the “Ecobank” unit for the rest ones.
Connect bots. It is possible to connect Telegram, Viber, and Facebook bots to each unit. All bots have unique internal tokens that enable chats with users through a special API.
Create users. The admin can create new users in the system: operator, supervisor, marketer, etc. After registration, the user receives a login and password by email.
Link users and units. The admin can link users with one or more units. If, for example, an operator only serves micro-business, it is enough to get access to one specific unit. If this is a broad specialist, they can join several units.
This part of the program is responsible for the smooth communication between the bank operator and the user. It provides various tools for both operator and analyst.
For the operator, it possible to:
- actually, start the conversation
- get dialogues from Viber, Telegram, Facebook
- send pictures, videos, and docs
- make and see notes for each user
- close chat
For the analyst, it is possible to track chats statistics:
- number of authorized / unauthorized users
- number of dialogues
- number of hits by channel
- average chat rating by day
- average speed of answer from an operator
The analyst can view analytics for a day or a period.
Here you can see detailed information on each client of the bank. The functionality includes two sections: customer datasheet and customer statistics. The former allows you to change individual settings, and the latter – analyze data by customer. See the full list of features for each section below:
- general client info
- block/unblock client’s account
- reset account’s password
- remove the daily limit on transactions in mobile banking
- amount of transfers
- amount of utility bills
- mobile top-up amount
- number of daily transactions
- average amount per transaction
- bank income from top-ups and transfers
This piece of software enables messaging that informs users about the news, updates, and other bank activities. The sending logic is designed so that the program initially tries to send a message through Viber; if the user does not have it installed, they receive SMS. To implement it, we contracted Lifecell – one of the largest mobile operators in Ukraine. From our side, we only pass messages to the operator, and Lifecell is responsible for delivering them to the end-user.
The complete list of features covers the following:
- create/edit/delete messaging
- create/delete a database of phone numbers
- send a message via Viber/SMS
- view messages history
- download messaging report
- search messaging
Next steps: mobile CRM
Smart devices have become an integral part of our life. More and more enterprises are developing corporate apps to promote staff mobility and reduce business downtime. Even though the majority of CRMs still run on desktop, the global mobile CRM market is predicted to grow and touch the $52bn mark by 2029. Realizing the value of this area, we plan to expand our CRM platform to mobile devices.
The main challenge is to translate user experience from large to the tiny screen without loss of quality. Since many data should be entered manually – the user’s name, phone number, email, etc. – it is vital to make the process as convenient as on a laptop. Another question concerns the devices themselves: How do you deploy and manage them? Who do they belong to? How to protect corporate data?
For now, these issues remain relevant, and we are working to implement the most effective solutions. In the near future, we plan to create a mobile CRM, which will be equal to the desktop version in terms of usability, efficiency, and safety