By : D'Andre Davis-Taylor | January 31, 2022 |

CRM for Financial Services – Grow Your Firm, Delight Your Clients

The digital age has empowered disruptive, data-driven startups by establishing small-to-mid-sized companies to compete above their usual “weight class” by leveraging leading-edge tools and platforms. They captured significant market share from long-established financial services (finserv) banking, insurance, and wealth management institutions.  

Yet, are sleepy finserv dragons awakening to recapture their treasured market dominance and profits? A recent Forrester article predicts that in 2022, leading banks will reach deep into their bulging pockets to make significant investments in technology, talent, and fintech. Will these highly regulated institutions recruit talent from smaller, nimbler players in the finance sector?  

Surprisingly, CRM platforms for financial services institutions are often considered “non-core” systems. Customers are undeniably crucial to any commercial business, let alone finserv companies; however, “non-core” status can lead to “SaaS approved,” so that’s a good thing. Experts predict big financial institutions will “double down on innovation” in areas like open finance, artificial intelligence, environmental sustainability governance, and customer experiences.  Perhaps banks will leverage the lure of “cool projects” to attract talent in the years ahead.  

Here’s how small-to-mid-sized banks, insurance companies, and investment firms can leverage CRM to grow their businesses and optimize customer satisfaction. 

1.  Ease of Use and User Adoption 

Many customer-facing finserv employees have endured years of struggling with multiple on-premises siloed, complex, core banking applications. Customer information is more of a feature than a central purpose for many legacy applications. In 2022, wealth management firms, banks, and insurance companies should deploy database-centric client lifecycle management or purpose-built CRM applications to help attract, retain, and win back customers.  

Experts predict the global fintech industry, including online payments, lending, challenger banks, and wealth management, to reach a valuation near $26.5 trillion in 2022. Yet, if finserv providers deploy intuitive, integrated CRM applications and motivate user adoption across their teams, that could change. 

Some key ingredients to encourage CRM adoption include: 

  • Conducting regular administrative and end-user training for onboarding and new feature updates.  
  • Creating a policy where if sales reps don’t capture customer interactions in the CRM, those interactions didn’t happen.  
  • Simplifying desktop and mobile user experiences and workflows to capture activities during or immediately after customer meetings and conversations.  
  • Ensuring C-level and VP-level ownership and sponsorship of CRM success. All customer-facing staff and their managers should use CRM. Spreadsheets should never appear as a workaround for forecast meetings.  
  • Taking advantage of secure SaaS solutions which can integrate with core banking systems and curate from multiple structured databases.  
  • Mirroring real-world business terminology on CRM screens and workflows. Ensure effective, accurate lead routing to subject matter experts by territory.  
  • Recording and sharing CRM wins, losses, milestones, and other KPIs around adoption and innovation. 

CRM initiatives only succeed with optimal data quality, whether captured from other systems or entered by salespeople, investment advisors, and other customer-facing employees.  

Net Benefits: Streamlined processes, better data quality, efficient workflows.  

2.  Foster Trust Through Data Security, Quality, Availability 

A popular survey found that 54% of people trust fintech companies more than they trust their banks. Therefore, banks need to foster better trust within their client base and on a global basis. For example, banks must safeguard their data and privacy, and if breaches occur, be transparent and proactive about remediation and damage control.   

Additionally, financial institutions must win consumer trust, make banking processes more transparent, and offer comparable technology-driven services to fintech companies.  According to a Statista survey, 22% of 2021 survey respondents said they switched to challenger banks due to a lack of trust in institutions. To foster trust, banks must incorporate strategies such as more insightful, intuitive, and secure online service experiences into their customer service business plans if they want to protect their market share. 

Net Benefits: Improve customer trust, safeguard reputation, mitigate fines and data loss. 

3. Minimize Client Churn 

When CRMs become a trusted “360-degree view” of the customer, customers should feel their banks know them, what they need, and when they need it. Emerging technologies like AI and predictive analytics can harvest many insights from social media, cross-channel interactions, and other sources. Customers drop many hints when they have a significant life event.  

CRM applications and integrated legacy banking platforms should be omnichannel “sources of truth” about clients and their needs. Best-in-class customer service calls alert customers to anomalies in their banking patterns. For example, they shouldn’t have to inform their bank about a double-posted transaction or that they cashed a rent check too early.  

Net Benefits: Client retention, better visibility to customer needs, increased offer conversion to sales.  

4. Shorten Resolution Times and Adopt Proven Business Practices 

Many of the leading CRM platforms for retail banks or wealth management companies offer industry-specific versions of their applications. These tools have standard operating procedures and practices “baked in.”  Additionally, they are often tailored to a firm’s unique business needs for repeatable success.  

In other cases, CRM consulting companies develop proven business process frameworks, templates, or ISV platforms tailor-made for lenders, insurance carriers, and other finserv companies. Insurance companies and banks are generally risk-averse and reluctant to “reinvent the wheel.” 

Net Benefits: Standardized, streamlined business processes and faster resolution time.  

5. Portal Solutions for Insurance and Mortgage Brokers 

Much of the financial services industry has embraced self-service, direct interactions. Yet, many businesses and consumers prefer to work with an intermediary to create and manage their insurance policy or mortgage application processing.  

In either case, CRM-integrated portals can enable brokers, consumers, or business clients to submit applications or claim forms for processing and approval. Self-service online channels are becoming the norm for leading banks and insurance carriers.  

Net Benefits:  Empowered brokers, enriched partner relationships, accelerated processing times.  

Finserv Firm Growth – Security, Transparency, Trust, Business Process Efficiency 

Banks, wealth managers, insurance companies and other finserv companies are accustomed to battling for market share with comparable institutions. Digital disruptors are unfamiliar opponents.  

Fintech industry disruptors are finding ways to gain a competitive edge over incumbents through efficiency, cost savings, and predictable outcomes. Finserv companies must find ways to make better use of their customer data with the added context of their transactional data.  

Big banks are doubling down on innovation and challenger banks are emerging online. Intermediate banks and insurance companies need to leverage client lifecycle management platforms to grow, satisfy their clients, and survive. For more information on how to optimize CRM for financial services firms like yours, visit our website

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