Banks keen on transforming customer experience: SugarCRM

In this struggling economy where does CRM figure on a banking or insurance sector CIO’s priority list?

The sky is falling as reported by the financial media is greatly exaggerated. IDC is forecasting that Asia has 3X the CRM growth potential than any other region. Over the next 4 years, seats of CRM in the B2B business sector will grow from 20M to 350M. Our banking customers in India tell us that they are investing heavily into “transformation”: technologies and solutions that will improve internal efficiencies, provide centralized visibility into the meaningful business metrics, facilitate collaboration, and improve the customer experience.

Globally what are some of the key trends that you’re seeing within banking / insurance domain as far as CRM investments are concerned?

One of the most dramatic trends is the desire to centralize data into a single solution. Many companies have multiple business applications, not only in one branch, but also from one branch to the next. The business impact: disparate silos of data can not be monitored, and therefore cannot be measured in an time-sensitive and meaningful way. In the “Cloud-era”, it is now possible to easily connect different solutions into a single systems, a consolidated view. The other trend that we are seeing is the importance of social media. Banking and Insurance firms build strong brand and service relationships with their customers. With over 500M users of Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, LinkedIn, etc, successful companies are now joining their customers’ conversations about their services and products.

Despite their repeated claims about being customer-centric, customer relationship management leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to Indian banks. Where do you think they tend to get it wrong?

The first and second generation CRMs were designed for corporate management, not for the actual users. A third generation CRM such as SugarCRM is first designed for the users, and additionally for management. Our belief is that CRM implementations will fail when there is lack of user adoption. Our goal is to make our solutions useful and meaningful for our end users: a simplified view that can be quickly customized by each end user. Our interface design is similar to social media such as Facebook, which promotes fast “manual-free” adoption. And by integrating social media into SugarCRM, there is real value to the end user. For example, a banking customer service person can see social feeds directly inside an account. Imagine that you call your bank, they know who you are, your name, and they congratulate you because you Tweeted your wedding engagement.

India still forms a very small portion of SugarCRM’s overall global business. Why have you kept away from this market?

India continues to be very significant to SugarCRM’s global strategies, and has been for over 4 years. SugarCRM’s commercial success globally is due to a channel approach rather than direct sales. In the “pre-Cloud” era, ISVs needed to establish direct sales offices in every country around the world. In the “Cloud-era” successful ISVs like SugarCRM invest into channel partners who have direct relationships with local businesses, and who understand country-specific business requirements. This strategy, combined with SugarCRM’s open source solutions, has enabled SugarCRM to grow to the #3 CRM worldwide in the mid-market CRM (based upon number of users). It has also enabled SugarCRM’s solutions to reach feature and functional parity with first and second generation CRM ISVs who required decades of R&D to keep up with 3rd generation solutions such as SugarCRM.

Source : Bank Tech India

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