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Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +27 87 550 3493


Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 1, 2017

Banking customer relationship management (CRM) is a way for the banking industry to provide better and more reliable support for its customers and clients. By investing time and capital into creating a firmer foundation for the relationship between you and your customers, you can improve their experience, and make them more likely to choose you over your competitors.

Banks typically lack the benefit of brand loyalty that other businesses earn over time. To stay competitive, then, in addition to providing world-class financial services, you also need to create a first-rate customer experience. This means being responsive to customer needs, knowledgeable about their history and able to predict the future services they might require.

This is where banking CRM software can help you out. The automation, streamlining and consolidation that this software can offer your organization will allow you to better satisfy your customers and retain their patronage. A robust CRM package can make the difference between satisfied customers and a high attrition rate.

On this page, we’ll provide you with a guide to banking CRM software that will help you make an informed decision between the many systems out there.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Banking CRM Software?
Common Features of CRM Software
Common Features of Banking CRM Software
Evaluating Banking CRM Software

What Is Banking CRM Software?

Today's financial institutions face increasing competition from global banks, regional institutions, the Internet and alternative funding sources.

The best solution for this is to improve customer experience—clients that feel valued and receive high-quality service are less likely to look elsewhere. CRM software for banks will help your financial institution improve customer retention and maximize referral opportunities.

In this guide, we will describe CRM in general, banking-specific CRM functionalities, as well as other considerations for evaluating software in this category.

Common Features of CRM Software

CRM software allows businesses to better organize and manage relationships with their customers and clients by consolidating contact information into one location that is accessible by stakeholders across the company. Some software will also allow for various processes to be automated and for management to monitor performance and productivity, both across the board and for individual employees.

Although different systems have differing features, a rich CRM software suite will include at least four core functions:

Contact management. Most CRM products will provide a searchable database of stored customer/client contact information, as well as important documents such as contracts and sales proposals. This is the broadest offering of most general CRMs, but industry-specific systems (such as those for banking) will incorporate them as well.

Interaction tracking. As an adjunct to contact management, many CRM programs will allow you to track all conversations held with those contacts—whether they be over the phone, face to face or via live chat, email or other channels. Depending upon the system, these interactions may be logged manually, or potentially automated through integrations with your phone and email. More and more CRM suites will also track interactions with clients on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.).

Workflow automation. Through combining task lists, calendars, alerts and templates, workflow automation can help standardize business processes. Based on certain predetermined steps, for example, the system can automatically set the next task in the process once the previous task has been marked as completed. CRM systems can often also be set to provide automated alerts and reminders for follow-ups that need to be taken care of personally.

Reporting and analytics. Management can use these CRM tools to create reports and generate analytics that will track performance and productivity. These reports are based on the activities that have been logged into the CRM system, such as the amount of revenue generated or the creation of new contacts. These tools can also prove helpful for predicting future sales figures in the next quarter and beyond.

Common Features of Banking CRM Software

CRM software for banks and financial institutions will have standard features like contact management, sales automation and marketing, as well as the following industry-specific features:

Banking workflow automation Banking CRM software is designed to expedite the loan qualification process. All forms and fields contain the information terminology used in the financial services industry, and the workflow will automate processing of loan requests, ensure uniform enforcement of credit checks, help mitigate risk and track account activity.
Financial research engine Some CRM systems, particularly those designed for non-banking financial institutions, will include industry data to consolidate research into one place. This will include product information, competitive analysis, financial news and stock tickers.
Security & compliance Regulation of the banking industry is already complex, and it’s not getting any simpler. One of the biggest benefits of a banking CRM program is that it contains all the security features required for the industry and helps ensure compliance with all regulations, including an audit trail for later use if necessary.
Account consolidation & tracking Most financial institutions store client information in multiple systems, which makes accessing that information labor intensive and unreliable. A banking CRM program will consolidate all this data into one place, so that investments, needs, preferences, payment status and change in risk can all be managed from one accurate, up-to-date location.

Evaluating Banking CRM Software

Commercial or residential; regional or national; community bank or credit union; mutual funds or capital markets; every financial institutions has different needs that should be carefully considered before purchasing CRM software. When evaluating the software, ask the following questions:

  • What sector of banking/financial services are you in?
  • Does the software integrate seamlessly with accounting and other software systems already in use by your company?
  • Would you benefit from a system that supports upselling?
  • Do you want to be able to track your best referral partners and reward them accordingly?
  • How important is email marketing in your lead generation process?
  • Who in your company will need to have access to the software?
  • What processes would you like to have automated by a CRM system?
  • What kind of license do you want for your software—perpetual (one upfront fee) or subscription?
  • How do you want your software deployed to you—cloud-based or on-premise?

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