In tech selections, strategic planning gigs, and in industry conference hallway chats everywhere, CRM is a hot topic. And, it is showing up in the numbers. The latest Cornerstone Performance Report shows the one tech spending category on the rise is Strategic Systems, which includes CRM, its nerdy George McFly cousin BI (business intelligence), and other scrappy acronyms like LOS, ECM and ERM. Spending in this category is rising to rival core systems spending, which continues its spending descent. If CEOs and EVPs don’t have these acronym apps in place already, they increasingly want them PDQ or ASAP. Competitive pricing pressure, regulatory scrutiny on fee income, and new industry product disrupters are combining to place a higher premium on the relationships that CRM aims to improve. (“Aims” is the operative word.)
More than 80% of bank and credit union executives report that customer intimacy is their differentiator anyway, right? And they all really mean it, right? Sure they do. As my Gonzo colleague Jim Burson pointed out in our “Strategic Planning is Broken” Webinar (access the playback), many of these lip service claims need to be challenged. Which reminds me of one of the better speeches I have seen over the years, and from the Van Halen era no less: a fatigued CMO gave a post-mortem on why a CRM “sales culture” initiative failed at his bank. Autopsy results: The CEO who initially championed it after a conference caved when it was actually go time. Sound familiar? Regardless of whether it was the CEO (or maybe an overzealous CMO), the real lesson here is it didn’t work, and leadership was the problem, not tech.
Fast forward, we do see more GonzoBankers getting serious about relationship service efforts and keeping it real. Some have even gone so far as to name new czars (e.g., the Chief Experience Officer) to tackle the project. Beyond some tweaks here and there from core providers and traditional industry CRM system vendors, some other names in the news have been interesting, including:
I’m sure I missed some, but are you getting the picture here?
As financial institutions consider launching or reinvigorating their CRM efforts, here are four considerations recently learned from the banking trenches:
Some of the better credit union CRM implementations we have seen took this into account or had strong CEO leadership behind the service culture driving employee adoption.
May your CRM anguish be low, your Net Promoter Score be high, and your summer be a good one!
Whether you’re starting from scratch or evaluating how your existing CRM system could be utilized more effectively, Cornerstone Advisors is at your service.
Cornerstone has helped hundreds of financial institutions assess their technology, strategically maximize their technology solutions, and make educated decisions when it’s time to make technology changes.
Contact us today to talk about realizing the greatest return on your technology dollars.