How Salesforce Can Modernize Your Banking

October 20, 2021 Simha Baker

Technology has evolved at a staggering rate over the past several decades, revitalizing most industries, and even creating several new ones. But with the exception of the limited mobile banking capabilities available from most banks today, very little has changed for most financial institutions. The introduction of tools like Salesforce Financial Services Cloud and Marketing Cloud have changed the game for the financial services space, but upgrading your tech stack isn’t an overnight endeavor. 

Most banks and credit unions take roughly three stages to modernize their systems. The first stage is about setting the foundations. In the second, evolution stage, it’s about bringing more powerful tools to your internal team and reimagining how you engage with customers or members. Finally, in the transformation stage, AI solutions layer in to enable a new, enhanced experience with intelligent, thoughtful targeting. 
 

Early Stages

Before you can bring your team and customers a true best-in-class experience, you’ll need to focus on the fundamentals. If you don’t have a CRM in place, standing up Salesforce with Financial Services Cloud (FSC) is the first step. 

From there, you’ll need to establish an integration strategy and begin building out integrations with key systems. Take the time to do your research and find a strategy that works for your team and will meet your long term goals, because integrations will serve as the foundation for all future functionality you will deliver to your team, members, and customers. Consider implementing a distinct integration layer with a tool like Mulesoft or Dell Boomi, or if you have a very strong IT team, consider building your own for complete control. This will allow data to seamlessly flow from your core and ancillary systems and enable you to establish Salesforce as an experience layer for your team. 

Over time and with expanded integrations, you’ll be able to slowly transition all work from various solutions to a centralized interface on Salesforce, simplifying training and providing streamlined process flows. Care centers are often the first to see the impact of a strong Salesforce implementation, with quick improvements to their key performance indicators (KPIs) such as CSAT, first call resolutions, call time, hold time, etc.

This is also the stage when you should start rethinking your communication strategy, especially around email. Beginning the transition of transactional emails (account notifications, updates, etc.) to Salesforce Marketing Cloud is often the first step. Many banks and credit unions have a siloed strategy for transactional emails, letting them be handled by the respective core system(s) with which they’re associated, limiting visibility across the entire organization. Beginning the process of centralizing these messages will help your team identify critical integrations, furthering your foundations while giving more insight into customer communications immediately across the entire team. 

This is the time to also start working on automating essential marketing emails based on customer data in FSC. By bringing things like anniversary and birthday emails into Marketing Cloud, you’ll be establishing the base for all your future marketing automation efforts and getting your team acquainted with the new system. 
 

Evolution Stage

Where the early stages were primarily focused on establishing a strong foundation for your CRM and beginning to execute on a thoughtful integration strategy, the evolution stage is where we start bringing powerful automations to give your team best-in-class tools to streamline their processes while connecting with customers in new and exciting ways. 

If your bank doesn’t already have a strong, automated marketing strategy, this is the time to start. Make the move from one-off batch and blast emails and individual transactional messages to powerful, well designed, branching drip campaigns which usher your customers through carefully designed journeys focused on your intended outcomes. Consider even integrating your direct mail and social marketing into Journeys to drive end-to-end results-based marketing automation

But it’s not just marketers who should be benefiting in the evolution stage. Now is the time to bring these new marketing tools to your entire team. Make sure that activities carried out by Sales, Service, and other departments directly impact the flow of marketing and other communications. 

For example, if a customer has expressed interest to a sales rep in a new product, give them the ability to add the member to a relevant drip campaign or even send out a personalized email fully approved by the marketing department. Other use cases include sending customer appreciation messages, especially following a particularly difficult interaction, recommendations on new products, or even education journeys when you identify a customer could use some more background on a product they have or are considering. 

Consider implementing social listening with Social Studio to give your care center the opportunity to interact with customers where they are. When a customer writes a nasty message on, Twitter for example, your team can identify, interact, and resolve the issue before you go viral. 

Additionally, this is the time to ensure your team has a full 360 view of all the products and services owned by your customers. This will enable your sales and support teams to more easily identify the white space in accounts, giving them the opportunity to grow their cross sell and upsell metrics, while enabling more data for your marketing department on what products to get in front of what customer segments. 
 

Transformation Stage

At this point, you should have a very powerful solution for your team. You should be seeing movement in most of your KPIs, your team should be happier, and that should be starting to reflect back especially in CSAT. At this stage, you should have most of your key integrations in place, and now you’re looking for opportunities to really bring your operations to the next level. Now is the time to start talking about artificial intelligence!

If you don’t already have powerful, integrated BI solutions, now is the time to start considering tools like Tableau or Power BI to slice and dice your data and start finding new insights. For marketing specific data, Datorama is a great tool, and can help you do things like finding segments of customers most likely to qualify for loans, credit cards, and other services, aligned with the white space to create highly personalized campaigns. It can also help build insights to inform lifecycle marketing such as college loans, home loans, and retirement planning. 

Interaction Studio is another powerful AI tool for your team. Interaction Studio will help sales, service, and marketing teams identify customer-specific next best actions to drive the next sale or improve customer satisfaction. It will also ensure that the customer has a highly personalized online experience when they’re logged into your website, or even mobile app. 

Finally, if you’ve not done so already, now is a fantastic time to ensure a seamless customer experience by tying all customer activities together. You should have the integrations in place to suppress marketing campaigns during a difficult customer situation such as attempted fraud or an escalation on a customer service case, avoiding negative customer experiences. You can proactively direct members to documentation and next steps when they start investigating a product or during the application process. You can also bring your tellers into the system to ensure a uniform, best-in-class experience online, on the phone, and even in person. 

If you’re looking to bring your bank or credit union to the next level with Salesforce, Lev can help! Contact us. 

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