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Best in Class
Gartner CRM Excellence award winners prove ROI is possible
For the rest of the November 2002 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Gartner closed its fall CRM Summit in Chicago by anointing the latest recipients of its CRM Excellence awards. Gartner analysts selected six finalists in two company-size categories, then all six companies presented their ROI cases to the Gartner CRM Summit attendees. The attending audience hailed Mexican financial powerhouse Grupo Financiero Bital and the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) as the top presenters. Bital, which became the first North American Gartner award candidate to send the CEO to present its case, beat large-enterprise rivals PepsiAmericas and Fleet Wholesale Banking with an impressive display of tenacity under adverse market conditions. Despite a challenged economy, steep drops in interest rates, and an overall decline in deposits in the country's banking system, Bital has grown both loan and deposit activity markedly across its 1,300 branches over the past few years. The bank employs a "business-unit board" concept whereby the ranking members of each branch set a local market strategy, which gives them the flexibility to tweak nationwide product offerings. "Mexico has a very different market in each region; business-unit boards have to minimize the impact of local competition," says Carlos Ramirez, business intelligence manager. "For example, they can customize some attributes of the products and services, such as special rates on investment accounts or preapproved loans for customers," says Gustavo Martinez, CRM manager. Those competitive issues also come into play when Mexico competes with its neighbors, but the issues for competing with a Texas bank are considerably different than those for competing with a Guatemalan bank. The audience and Gartner alike applauded Bital for implementing a working solution without high-priced consulting or top-dollar software. The bank's central offices employ E.piphany for marketing segmentation and campaign management. "On a modest budget, they were still able to pursue CRM, so it shows that you don't have to initially spend millions of dollars," says Beth Eisenfeld, a Gartner research director.
Among smaller organizations, the British Columbia Automobile Association beat out insurer UPMC Health Plan and the City of Des Moines, Iowa. Although BCAA owns 90 percent of the auto club market in western Canada, competition from roadside assistance bundles from automakers, as well as the desire to compete in travel and insurance products, demanded that BCAA look beyond the basic membership/service plan. That meant a massive enterprise data warehousing and cleansing process in the 1990s and the move to greater customer awareness today. "[BCAA's database] has probably the highest data integrity of any organization I'm aware of," Eisenfeld says. BCAA uses Siebel to improve the visibility of customer needs across the groups that sell different services, as well as showing the strategic minds what needs to change. The company recently recognized that most of its members only buy a basic membership, but 10 percent of the pool accounts for 50 percent of net revenue--a balance they are looking to improve even as membership (and therefore, customers who start with just one product) continues to grow. Also noting that just 0.2 percent of the customers account for 5 percent of service calls, BCAA recently decided that it will no longer aggressively campaign to remind those customers when their accounts lapse. BCAA has now launched the second phase of its initiative, which puts emphasis on collecting and acting on customer feedback across all channels of contact. "For the first time we'll have an organizationwide process; business rules for assignment and resolution [of a customer complaint or suggestion,]" says Cathy Giles Castro, vice president, corporate marketing. "People, process, and politics are the killers to CRM, but they nailed that up front," says Eisenfeld, hailing BCAA's commitment to create new internal roles and positions to cross divisional boundaries and manage the CRM change process. Gartner closed its fall CRM Summit in Chicago by anointing the latest recipients of its CRM Excellence awards. Gartner analysts selected six finalists in two company-size categories, then all six companies presented their ROI cases to the Gartner CRM Summit attendees. The attending audience hailed Mexican financial powerhouse Grupo Financiero Bital and the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) as the top presenters. Bital, which became the first North American Gartner award candidate to send the CEO to present its case, beat large-enterprise rivals PepsiAmericas and Fleet Wholesale Banking with an impressive display of tenacity under adverse market conditions. Despite a challenged economy, steep drops in interest rates, and an overall decline in deposits in the country's banking system, Bital has grown both loan and deposit activity markedly across its 1,300 branches over the past few years. The bank employs a "business-unit board" concept whereby the ranking members of each branch set a local market strategy, which gives them the flexibility to tweak nationwide product offerings. "Mexico has a very different market in each region; business-unit boards have to minimize the impact of local competition," says Carlos Ramirez, business intelligence manager. "For example, they can customize some attributes of the products and services, such as special rates on investment accounts or preapproved loans for customers," says Gustavo Martinez, CRM manager. Those competitive issues also come into play when Mexico competes with its neighbors, but the issues for competing with a Texas bank are considerably different than those for competing with a Guatemalan bank. The audience and Gartner alike applauded Bital for implementing a working solution without high-priced consulting or top-dollar software. The bank's central offices employ E.piphany for marketing segmentation and campaign management. "On a modest budget, they were still able to pursue CRM, so it shows that you don't have to initially spend millions of dollars," says Beth Eisenfeld, a Gartner research director. Among smaller organizations, the British Columbia Automobile Association beat out insurer UPMC Health Plan and the City of Des Moines, Iowa. Although BCAA owns 90 percent of the auto club market in western Canada, competition from roadside assistance bundles from automakers, as well as the desire to compete in travel and insurance products, demanded that BCAA look beyond the basic membership/service plan. That meant a massive enterprise data warehousing and cleansing process in the 1990s and the move to greater customer awareness today. "[BCAA's database] has probably the highest data integrity of any organization I'm aware of," Eisenfeld says. BCAA uses Siebel to improve the visibility of customer needs across the groups that sell different services, as well as showing the strategic minds what needs to change. The company recently recognized that most of its members only buy a basic membership, but 10 percent of the pool accounts for 50 percent of net revenue--a balance they are looking to improve even as membership (and therefore, customers who start with just one product) continues to grow. Also noting that just 0.2 percent of the customers account for 5 percent of service calls, BCAA recently decided that it will no longer aggressively campaign to remind those customers when their accounts lapse. BCAA has now launched the second phase of its initiative, which puts emphasis on collecting and acting on customer feedback across all channels of contact. "For the first time we'll have an organizationwide process; business rules for assignment and resolution [of a customer complaint or suggestion,]" says Cathy Giles Castro, vice president, corporate marketing. "People, process, and politics are the killers to CRM, but they nailed that up front," says Eisenfeld, hailing BCAA's commitment to create new internal roles and positions to cross divisional boundaries and manage the CRM change process.
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