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HOT PROJECTS: Banking
The mortgage-refinancing boom taught wholesale lenders a real lesson about the loyalty and attention span of their broker-partners.
For the rest of the November 2003 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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From South Dakota to South Africa, the business model for financial services companies is changing and expanding rapidly. And like many of its competitors, Nedbank, one of South Africa's leading banking institutions, is experiencing these changes. So the company wanted to ensure that customers are kept informed, and that its marketers understand the response. Nedbank turned to Aprimo's marketing management services to help coordinate a campaign to rebrand a subsidiary while closing nearly half its branches. The goal was to avoid customer confusion and defection because of the changes.

"The management of the business decided that to retain value they had to focus all their resources on the top 20 percent of customers," says Charles Guise-Brown, general manager of Nedbank Ltd.

The rebranding campaign achieved a response of more than 98 percent, with nearly 90 percent of respondents registering themselves as satisfied with the bank. Using the marketing management tools helped to break through the "glass ceiling" of the number of customer contacts that existed with previous approaches, Guise-Brown says. As a result, Nedbank has added nearly $2 million in revenue through campaigns that in the past would have been unmanageable--a return he says resulted in a first-year payback on his investment.

If it's 10 o'clock and you don't know where your money is, your cell phone probably does. At least that's the case if you're a customer of the Federal Bank of India, one of a growing number of institutions using Air2Web technology to send SMS alerts and notifications to account holders when account activity takes place.

The service was initially launched with a fee attached, and drew more than 20,000 customers. But KNC Nair, CIO of the systems and technology department at Federal, says that the service will be offered at no charge in coming months. "We thought that for our relationship with the customers, this is a small price the bank is willing to bear," Nair says.

At present, communication is one-way, but Nair says Federal is looking into providing reply capability, to allow customers to pay bills when one is presented to their account that is not signed up for automatic payment. Although the alerts are no longer a revenue source, Nair says that the service has proven attractive to busy professionals: "There are enough customers who have opened an account at our bank just because this service is available."

The mortgage-refinancing boom taught wholesale lenders a real lesson about the loyalty and attention span of their broker-partners. National City's Home Equity division, not willing to count on loyalty, has made a concerted effort to make it much easier for brokers to start and finish the application process. The organization implemented a SalesLogix system for the account executives and sales managers that support the indirect broker sales force, giving them a more complete picture of pipeline activity, as well as on-demand answers to broker inquiries, increasing first-contact resolution rates. The system also provides account executives a complete view of the pending activities with their brokers as well as a performance scorecard.

Since the rollout in spring 2002 the system has contributed to growing the organization's application-to-close ratio 10 percentage points. Having their questions answered promptly encourages brokers to come back, and the system is credited with an 8 percent improvement in broker activity ratios since implementation. The net result is more business for the lender, with less paperwork and support expense.

"The number of calls coming into the back room has significantly dropped, and that only makes everyone more efficient," says Joe Cartellone, senior vice president and national sales manager at National City.

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