BNP Paribas Fortis is Belgium's largest bank and the result of the acquisition of Fortis bank by BNP Paribas Group, the largest company in financial asset management worldwide. Gunter Uytterhoeven, Director of Multichannel Banking, and Eva Borms, CRM Manager, explain how the bank manages a clear client-oriented strategy and the role Selligent plays.
The activity is focused on three client segments: retail clients, companies and entrepreneurs, and private banking. Gunter Uytterhoeven, Director of Multichannel Banking, and Eva Borms, CRM Manager, explain how the bank manages a clear client-oriented strategy and the role Selligent plays as an ally to put the customer first across all activities and channels.
The cross-channel customer is king
Over the last few years client expectations have evolved significantly. The focus on the customer has increased even more in the financial world because of the global recession. Banks are amongst the most innovative companies in the area of marketing and communication. And this is definitely the case with BNP Paribas Fortis.
Gunter Uytterhoeven explains what BNP Paribas Fortis wants to be for its customers: "We operate from a strong drive for innovation and modernity, yet at the same time also from human values such as attentiveness, accessibility and warmth. Servicing is essential, throughout all channels: offices, pc-banking, contact center, self-banking and mobile banking."
BNP Paribas Fortis gives high priority to five promises:
- listening to the client
- being accessible
- being clear and transparent
- being a partner for the client
- being a socially responsible and committed bank
Meeting the challenges of multi-channel interactions
In this digital era of the cross-channel client, online channels play a leading role in the bank's proposition. In fact, all possible ways to optimize the contact moments with the clients are used and optimized to offer a valuable and personal service.
Gunter Uytterhoeven: "People nowadays go online to buy books, book travel arrangements, read the news etc. They also expect their bank to offer online services. This is reflected in the traffic on our site that increased with about 20 % per year over the last five years and now has more than 300,000 visitors per day. All of these visitors want the possibility to do everything from a distance."
And the digital habits and channels are still evolving. Uytterhoeven: "At present Belgium counts more mobile phones than people, often with an internet connection, the iPad is on the rise, etc. Recently we launched mobile banking and, more rapidly than expected we reached our first milestone of 20,000 registrations. I am certain that these early adopters are only the beginning: within three years a third of our pc-banking clients will also use mobile banking."
With its multi-channel interactive marketing solution, Selligent offers a perfect answer to these digital changes requiring an integrated and consistent customer experience throughout all client contacts. A centralized data model is key to succeed in this.
Selligent Interactive Marketing has been integrated in all channels where customers can request information, open accounts or add new services the bank offers. These data are collected via internet and automatically passed on to the contact center. They are also added to the other applications of the bank. The application further steers all emails, so it can be used by local branch managers to send secure and personalized emails to their customers, based on a centralized system to ensure consistency. Finally, all web forms are managed by Selligent Interactive Marketing".
Eva Borms adds that Selligent Interactive Marketing is used throughout the entire fulfillment of applications and in the decentralization of content, both in the email and the mobile channel.
A secure hub for information, interaction and transaction
Since banks deal with very confidential data and have strict requirements in the area of security, BNP Paribas Fortis worked together intensively with the Selligent team when integrating the tool. Gunter Uytterhoeven: "This required an intensive analysis, whereby the people of Selligent helped us enormously. It was truly a meeting of two worlds: that of a high transactional security, with that of interactive marketing. Creative solutions had to be found, which was a learning experience for both parties."
The marriage between the transactional, informative and interactive aspect wasn't only about security, but also about market evolutions.
Eva Borms: "Where we used to have an informative and purely transactional component regarding the internet, we now much more interactively start a relationship with the consumer."
This evolution also has an impact on communication. Eva Borms: "Every channel has its own way to deal with communication." Gunter Uytterhoeven: "The media mix is also changing. Conventional media remain important, but will be increasingly more supplemented with new media. Not only bannering, but also social media, which are already used by the bank both for campaigns and listening to the customer."
Greater understanding of the clients’ needs
In order to realize its client-oriented promise, BNP Paribas Fortis is busy with the further expansion of an even more personal interaction based on clear attentiveness, optimal data management and personalized, dynamic services.
Eva Borms: "We are also building a marketing data warehouse where we centralize all information of our clients. We connect this with an operational database with the various channels to enable us to listen to our customers and to act in real time. Selligent Interactive Marketing helps us a lot with this interaction in the direct channels."
She continues: "The tool takes care of the distribution of segmented newsletters. But even more interesting is that the target groups are not divided according to our segmenting model, but that we distinguish between what the client personally indicates as being interesting. We are now expanding that behavioral profile so that we can better customize this approach in our direct channels. So far we have focused on the integration of Selligent Interactive Marketing within our current infrastructure. This allows us to trace the consumer both in public and in the registered environment and to offer him dynamic content aimed at his specific activities and needs. With regard to acquisition, the application helps to ensure that if one doesn't feel like or can't make it to the office to register and go through the entire procedure, he or she can still do this via the Web or the contact center."
The increased focus on the customers also means that the possibilities for direct contact in the different offices and branches of the bank are maintained and even further built out. Gunter Uytterhoeven: "Next to the virtual environment and its direct contact possibilities, the local bank manager plays a crucial role in guaranteeing authenticity and a personal human interaction. And this role becomes more important than ever in this world of virtualization."
Eva Borms adds: "This personal relationship is also pulled through to the digital environment, so that, for example, the client can also address his advisor in his personal pc-banking environment."
A solid partnership for building customer value
Gunter Uytterhoeven believes that this is also the largest challenge for the next twelve months: the further expansion and customization of all the channels to interact with the individual client. A consistent, human and multi-channel service approach that breaks down all borders between "physical" and "virtual" interactions, thus ensuring optimal customer value.
And it's clear that the role of Selligent Interactive Marketing as an important partner can be continued. As Gunter Uytterhoeven concludes: "Selligent Interactive Marketing has proven to be a partner who is in line with our strategy and is able to provide a great deal of experience and knowledge in the area of interaction with the client, in a list of areas. A new approach, new tools, that is what Selligent Interactive Marketing has contributed to. And, in this win-win situation, we benefit from a wonderful client database with a wealth of (often transactional) contacts in a high-security environment."