Last month I was a guest on “Working Lunch” a thirty minute UK Financial Services Industry Team Webinar run by two colleagues of mine Phil Allen and Bruce McKee. The website for the event and future dates can be found here and further details of the webinar including the full recording can be found here.

I was delighted to be a guest and hope to be invited later in the year to talk about some of the developments in the road map and new releases, particularly “Orion”. Below is an extract from the recording:

Phil:For the next section I’m delighted to welcome Mark Margolis, from our Dynamics team to talk about innovation in customer service in the financial sector in particular.
Phil:Welcome Mark
Phil:So Dynamics – is it just about customer relationship management right?
Mark: 🙂 I like to think about Dynamics in terms or Product + Platform. Product in terms of features, functions and workloads (sales, service, marketing). Equally Platform and extensibility is a key strength and perhaps one of our primary advantages. When we think about Platform we can consider the XRM +and Application Rationalisation aspect:

  • XRM – Anything Relationship Management (Broker Management, Stakeholder and Regulator Management)
  • Application Rationalisation – is not an obvious use of CRM. It s about replacing exiting legacy built applicationas and taking advantage of out-of-the-box features and components such as  mobile, security, workflow etc.

This realises benefits such as :

  • Office based outlook and familiar interface
  • Drive User adoption
  • Reduce Time to value
  • Risk Reduction
  • Reduce implementation and support costs
  • Multi- channel / multi device
  • Scalability & Security

Top 5 areas where CRM can be used to replace existing applications:

  • Applications that involve some form of relationship and activity management
  • Applications that require multiple experiences across channels & devices
  • Applications that have had low user adoption
  • Applications that have been difficult to change (agility) and maintain
  • Where users are having to open to many disparate applications and want to reduce to a single point of entry

Phil: A big topic across the retail banking, wealth management and insurance companies we talk to is to do with their customer channel strategy. How much of a shift in the way customers interact with financial services providers are you seeing?
Mark:This really depends on if you are talking about business to business or business to consumer. Clearly there are big changes in the way consumers are interacting with customers. But that has been the reality for years, this isn’t really new but organisations are still trying to find optimal ways of managing this.
But this does impact business to business as well. Ultimately we are all consumers and that impacts the way we do business. We are more informed, we have less time, we are impatient and have high expectations about our customer experience and that is tied to the way we communicate. I have different expectations depending on the channel (twitter, email, phone). Emails feels outdated now but will probably become more important as the noise decreases and channels move. Organisations need the ability and flexibility to adapt to these rapid changes.
Dynamics gives you the ability to manage these channels, trigger alerts, store preferences so becomes an ideal application and multi-channel platform.

Phil: Are consumers driving change or FS companies changing in an attempt to differentiate?
Mark: Both, I will take the easy way out!
Consumers are demanding change because they are better informed,  it is easier to switch and they are less loyal. Financial services institutions are trying to find ways to combat this.
People are increasingly demanding a personalised experience from the people they buy products and services from. Organisations are trying to find ways of understanding which customer are high value and which are less so. When they know who their customer are, they are then attempting to do something about it whether that’s automation for lower value customer or moving customers up the value chain or even providing a very rich personalised experience for the most important (profitable) customers.

Financial Services institutions are innovating also, and certainly mobile is probably one of the most common ways of doing this. A Mobile strategy however is not just about providing a mobile self-service portal to your clients and customers it is also about rich experiences for the workforce. The successful organisations are empowering their people with the applications, insights  and experiences that make them more informed and that is driving great client service experiences and loyalty.

Phil: You obviously come from the Dynamics CRM team – what sort of use cases for dynamics are you seeing across banking and insurance and do you think all opportunities to innovate on the platform are being taken?

Mark: I have probably been directly responsible for over 100 projects and perhaps  surprisingly I would say that the majority of the projects (I have seen) are based upon relatively straightforward CRM principles:

  • Most organisations don’t have a (true) single view
  • Most or some have predictive analytics (best next action) but it is not embedded in the customer journey, its somewhere else
  • Not all organisations take advantage of the platform. Some organisations still insist on build you own.  I think those organisations that only use a small part of the application, could benefit hugely by understanding the power of the platform that they have already invested in.
  • Growth Vs profitability, my clients used to say all my customers are important, that is no longer the case , its about profitability and understanding the value and future value of your customer is paramount. Not all customers are treated equal. Organisations that understand this, measure this and act on this are the ones that will be most successful.

Phil:Where does Dynamics CRM differentiate in the market, what is the sweet spot, and is there anything it can’t do?
Mark: This is software, anything is possible 🙂

  • Outlook & Office integration and familiarity drives user adoption
  • The choice of deployment models, on premise, on line, hybrid cloud
  • Product & Platform – Dynamics gives you the best of both worlds, off the shelf & build your own
  • Speed of deployment and time to value (Forrester: 243% ROI in 4.1 months) (Gartner: Microsoft CRM projects take avg. <8 months vs. 17 month  )

Phil:What does the Marketing Pilot and Netbreeze acquisitions mean for Dynamics moving forward and who are the new groups that will be interested?
Mark: These acquisitions that were announced at Convergence are very exciting, in the last twelve months we have seen the acquisition of Skype and then Yammer and now we’ve just announced Marketing Pilot and Netbreeze (social listening). These acquisitions fit very much in our applications pillar for our road map investments. We only need to look at what some of the analysts are saying to see why this is so important:

  • Gartner analyst Laura McLellan, by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs.
  • IDC, “Marketing Automation is expected to grow faster than any other segment of CRM over the next 4 years

We have great features today in Marketing with closed loop capabilities right out fo the box. We also have an amazing array of very credible partners delivering horizontal apps. With Marketing Pilot and Netbreeze we are taking enterprise marketing to the next level in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Phil:Where is Dynamics going in the near term? Tell me about innovation in the tablet and mobile space?
Mark: We are very excited about the new release code-named “Orion” available later this year. Primary investment areas for Orion include:

  • New clean, streamlined User Interface
  • New Features
  • New Platform Capabilities
  • New Mobile Experiences

Phil: Will Outlook integration and web interfaces be retained and are will still committed to the traditional customer service agent/call centre type scenarios?
Mark: Absolutely and we will continue to see further investments in 2014

Phil: What other scenarios are you seeing across retail banking, cap markets and insurance?

  • Core CRM
  • CRM in their language
  • Replacing legacy systems & Back office integration
  • Bringing not just data from disparate parts of the system but putting CRM in the hands of those business across not just sales, service, marketing but Onboarding, Compliance etc.
  • Using Dynamics as the platform of choice and as a driver towards user adoption. Dynamics CRM becomes the authoritative source of data.

Phil: Tell us about the Mobile and tablet experiences in financial services webinar you, Bruce and Simon are running on Wednesday?
Mark: Its about the usage of Mobile and tablet experiences in financial services, we going to talk a bit about how organisations are taking advantage of the platform and using it to innovate. We will look at :

  • Microsoft out-of-the-box experiences
  • Partner apps
  • Build you own

Phil: So we look to be out of time. Mark, Bruce, thank you both very much for coming on and sharing your thoughts today.

This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Next time on Mark Margolis’s BlogXRM for Financial Services – Updated