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The need for banks in SEA to embrace multi-channel banking: interview

Nurdianah Md Nur | June 3, 2014
JR Wong of GMC Software Technology offers his thoughts on the need for a multi-channel approach and brand consistency.

Our survey showed that 72 percent would like to receive information from their banks in a form that they request. A customer may want to receive bank statements only on the iPad, but special promotions by mail. To solve this challenge, the bank needs to gather necessary data and re-purposing them so that it is presented to the customer in a simple and efficient manner on a platform of their choice. This requires technology that taps into various legacy data sources in multiple siloes. It also requires the bank to assemble the desired information and ensure that the completed piece goes out in an appealing format via the customer's preferred communication channel.

In addition, banks will need to make sure that they can utilise existing big data in its raw state from sources in various departments, making it easy to merge and consolidate this data and present it in a clear and appealing way, and as efficiently as possible. Just bear in mind that it also has to create flexible content that automatically changes to match the different formats and layouts as it is a multi-channel approach. A template approach such as that offered by GMC allows banks to leverage on a small number of consistent layouts, making document creation even more efficient.  

Another challenge is determining whether a multi-channel approach to customer communications will be in-house or outsourced. If it is a third-party service provider, banks need to make sure that their partner will be able to meet their needs in the areas of agility, flexibility and control. If it is in-house, the solution has to be user-friendly and offer the flexibility to allow customer service representatives and marketing staff to create point-of-need documents for customers while collaborating with print service providers for fulfilment.  

Q: Why is it important for banks to have a consistent brand to customers across all their channels especially for those embracing a multi-channel approach? 
Wong: Consistent branding across all channels strengthens top-of-mind recall of the brand and conveys messages like competence and reliability. Brand consistency over time matters as well. While new customers are often presented with colourful, glossy brochures and welcome kits, monthly statements are typically in black and white and much duller, weakening mindshare and the reputation of the brand.  

One way of enabling consistent branding and messaging is via customer communication management (CCM) solutions. CCM can streamline document creation processes and produce higher quality, relevant highly personalised communications of all types for delivery through print, electronic and interactive channels.

By using digital communication channels, tracking customer clicks and views and enabling highly personalised offers, banks can also provide a better customer service. In an IPSOS Mori survey for GMC in Europe, UK and the US in 2013, only 10 percent of bank customers felt valued and only 16 percent felt that banks understood what they want. An effective enterprise CCM can guide businesses on customer preferences thus improving customer experience. Moreover, banks can now determine which services really matters to each customer so that they can introduce relevant products and services to them.  


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