Single View of a Customer: are financial institutions still seeing double?

So is Single View of a Customer (SVoC) or Single Customer View (SCV) new?

Single view seems to have made its debut as part of the Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive (DGSD) (December 2010) to ensure that compensation can be paid out quickly in the event of a Bank default. But Single View Of a Customer must surely have been in existence prior to 2010 or before the new entrant and challenger banks started to emerge…

Challenger banks and new entrants are fighting for those last remaining USPs that will galvanise customers into switching from their current provider at a faster rate than the 802,036 customers who switched during the first nine months of 2016 (source: BACS CASS dashboard 20 October 2016).

But these USPs need to be underpinned by systems, solutions and the latest FinTech, often from multiple providers, to deliver both a dream service to customers and the rewards the new entrants and their investors are looking for.

The shopping list of components grows and once the new entrant has a full basket and has gone through the checkout, they need to complete the task of plumbing all of these components together to create that seamless customer journey to (and beyond) customer satisfaction.

These shopping list items have often originated from multiple providers, from those on robust platforms with many years of implementation experience, through to the latest and greatest on the most leading (and sometimes bleeding) edge technology.

Will they talk to each other? Do they want to talk to each other and can we expect them to work together? “Who’s the Daddy…?” becomes the issue: which one single component will step up to the plate to orchestrate the other components, what to do and when to do it, all whilst delivering 24×7 availability?

It all boils down to how that Single View of a Customer is delivered: if each component operates in its own little world and creates a customer profile and footprint that is stored in that little world, then how is this information shared, analysed and used to provide an enhanced customer experience? In such a scenario, there seems little chance of creating the bigger picture and instead we continue with lots of small, single dimensional views of the customer.

Both the Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) and the Core Banking host have big parts to play in solving this dilemma, but that still leaves us with two primary candidates vying for the key role of providing the Single View of the Customer. The Core Banking host clearly has its role to play in storing financial information and in maintaining the lifecycle of the account. Likewise, the CRM looks after customer interaction – but it is also looking after prospects before they mature into customers, an area which may not be covered by the Core Banking host.

Let’s use the scenario of customer complaints to help us understand the answer. The complaint may be about an interaction that has taken place, what was said or perhaps what was not said to the customer. The catalyst for what turns into a complaint may have been an interaction which can be traced back through the CRM.  However, the counter-argument from the Core Banking host side might be that the complaint could be down to an issue with the lifecycle of the product, a payment problem, a fee charged or the amount of interest paid. This analysis from the FCA shows that complaints can arise from a number of areas within a bank:

pie chart: 60% Advising, selling, arranging; 26% general admin/customer service; 11% T&Cs; 1% Arrears related; 2% Other

(Source: Financial Conduct Authority – March 2016)

So who has the edge over the other components on the single view at this stage? It has to be the CRM, doesn’t it? After all, it manages the interactions and holds the non-financial view. However, we have to guide the CRM, as it is not a single ‘fix-all’ on its own: we need to consider the number of external service providers, how they are working together and whether they are using standard communication platforms and methods not only to output information but also to receive fresh inbound data. This leads to a parent-child relationship, where the CRM (and that’s a unified CRM platform) is the parent and all of the other service provider components need to abide by the standards and toe the line.

The CRM needs to be fed information that is accurate and consistent in real-time (or as near as it gets). It needs to be able to know when customer interactions take place, what was the nature of the enquiry and who is handling it. If further interactions arrive, who is available to manage these, as there is little point in routing to already busy agents or distributing multiple interactions for the same customer to different agents. A customer interaction routed to a customer advisor they have previously spoken to or one that has dealt with their case in the past should increase the level of customer satisfaction by at least a couple of points.

So, by first accepting that customer delight and attraction may require some complexity within the solution design, an SVoC solution should:

  • start from the CRM host and build out
  • maintain clear flows of data where the latest data set resides in the CRM
  • use common communication methods
  • rationalise the number of external service providers to maintain a single focused view

But the main message here is – don’t underestimate the potential complexity and critical importance of creating your information and single customer view strategy at the start of your journey, especially where there are multiple service providers involved.  Putting off your SVoC strategy until later can leave you with a siloed, inefficient and costly environment to manage………

What do you think? Leave a reply below or contact me by email.

Published by

Liam Lannon

I have nearly 30 years experience in the retail payments and payment card technology arena, with expertise in strategy definition, proposition development, project delivery and programme management. Prior to joining Sopra Steria, I spent 7 years as an independent payments consultant, developing & implementing mobile proximity payment solutions.

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