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Banking on Feedback: Why IT Must Know their Potential Customers

Ershad Kaleebullah | Jan. 15, 2013
ING Vysya Bank's CIO C.V.G Prasad believes that listening to the problems of end customers is vital and that it has become a part and parcel of IT's change agenda.

The new process cut service request fulfilment cycle times by over 90 percent.

That's one upside of listening to customers. Sometimes, it could lead to the creation of a new product, that holy grail of competitive advantage. For ING Vysya Bank, that came in the form of Fixed Deposit Plus or FD+. This idea also came about from the net promoter tool.

Anyone who has ever tried to open a fixed deposit knows that it can take a long time. ING Vysya Bank's customers weren't kicked about it. So, apart from speeding up the process, ING also wanted to eliminate the need to visit a bank to open a fixed deposit account. The Bank's product and IT teams quickly got down to the job and figure that the best way was to take the mobile route.

Now, opening an FD account is a simple process. All customers need to do is send an SMS from a registered mobile number with their account number to debit, amount and tenure to book an FD instantly. FD+ was successfully launched earlier this year.

This was only possible because the IT team was involved from the beginning. "The IT team was involved in the entire product design because we need to know the entire end-to-end process of our products so as to understand the nuances," says Prasad.

Yet all of that is secondary. What's more important for CIOs and their teams to talk to customers. Ask Prasad how he rates it on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, he says, "I would rate it 10. Ours is a completely service-based industry. Whatever money we make is driven by the deals our customers make with us. It is important that we constantly listen to their feedback."

To ensure good customer service, the bank also provides customers with a plat­form to give their feedback to open-ended questions. Collating this data, they figured that new customers weren't happy with the bank's online portal and wanted more fea­tures and functionalities. For example, some customers wanted the bank to improve the traditional mode of getting usernames and passwords for the online portal by courier.

"We took that feedback and simplified the process by moving to a self-registration mode," says Prasad. Now, a customer can register for Internet banking with ING Vysya Bank himself by using the credentials that he already has such as debit card, registered mobile number, and debit card pin.

There's no doubt that interacting with customers and taking feedback seriously has its benefits, but Prasad stresses on a defined process. "Without a defined process if you let everybody and anybody talk to the end-customer, you will lose clarity and there is a chance of confusion. Divided accountability could lead to a lot of problems."


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