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Case File

Slowdowns bring with them a sea of changes.

Purse strings become tighter and less is just enough. Expansions take a back seat and companies play it safe. But there is something that cannot afford to succumb to this changing environment: the quality of customer service.
21st century bank serving the new needs of the modern customer. We consciously wanted to avoid settling for a system and working with it just because our organization was still evolving. We wanted a flexible solution that would change in accordance to the dynamics of our business. What we wanted was a scalable CRM that could grow as we grew and not just any CRM solution, says Sharma. And from those priorities was born the concept of the Yes Bank Collaborative CRM (YCCRM). But Sharmas in-house YCCRM wasnt satisfied with just fulfilling these needs. Sharma felt that customer feedback was vital, and that the bank needed to embrace its customers. The difference was collaboration. We wanted to make it collaborative by making the customer part of the system. We were keen on empowering the customer to share his ideas and feedback. The system has two logical separation models: a pre-acquisition and a post-acquisition service cycle for customers, explains Sharma. It took six to eight months to develop and implement the solution in the first branch. The YCCRM banks very heavily on employee collaboration. Information lying in islands, without being shared across, is of no use at all. Internal collaboration adds a productive edge to the information we capture, says Sharma. The customer information captured in the YCCRM is mapped to blog-like entries made by employees. These entries include ideas, suggestions, and perceptions of the
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Open to Collaboration
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IllUStratIo n by an Il t

In tough economic times, when money is dear and customers dearer, the lack of a CRM system can play spoil sport. With its expanding business and growing customer base, YES Bank knew it was time to join hands with an in-house collaborative CRM solution so that it could service its customers better. By Snigdha KarjatKar
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flexible and have the scalability to follow It is a time when the phrase customer the business wherever it went. is king holds more water than ever before. While conceptualizing the CRM, I Especially for an industry that is facing a was not looking at a mature and stable lot of heat: banking. Keeping their existing CRM package because our retail business customers intact and adding to that model itself was demand-based and hence customer base is an imperative for banks. very fluid. We wanted to start with a small The definition of customer relations framework-based model which changes is broadening. When every new piece of with our business needs, says Suvanjay customer data can reveal a new facet of a Kumar Sharma, VP (corporate strategy) & customer, information becomes a business chief enterprise architect, YES Bank. opportunity. The more data, the merrier An off-the-shelf CRM solution would everyone is. have made Sharmas job much easier but YES Bank was no exception. It managed he believed that a CRM tool should have customer relations via Excel sheets, customer feedback at every step and only something that the bank was beginning a system based on Open Source would to regret. The problem was that it was a give him the agility that he was looking one-way information sharing system that for. Neither was he willing to settle for a restricted data flow from the customer to the stopgap solution so he decided to build company. Although it was used extensively the solution in-house a tough task by by the banks staff for cross-selling and any standard. up-selling, it lacked interactive features like capturing feedback from a customer. Neither was it the smartest way to run the banks sales force. We had instances when A relatively new entrant in the field where we lost sales leads, or multi-interfaces to the big daddies such as nationalized the same lead and re-assignment of leads. banks have already celebrated their We just couldnt track older leads because cetenaries, YES Bank was established there were multiple registrations and entry in 2004 with financial support from for tracking them, says a branch manager Rabobank Netherlands. of YES Bank who prefers not Fr o m the b a n ks to be named. perspective, its late Reader ROI: Having a customer entrance didnt have to be a The advantages of a relationship management disadvantage. It could give collaborative CrM (CRM) solution was the need miss to legacy migration Why a home-brewed of the hour. But, not just any since there wasnt any and CrM can still have CRM solution. If the banks it could also adopt and benefits management was going implement technology to get one, it needed to be according to the needs of a

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Case File
sales representatives. The We focused more on sales and product teams can capturing data from mobile then analyze this information phones into the CRM system and figure out related instead of capturing CRM business opportunities. system in the mobile phones. SNAPSHOT Such information can also We leveraged the fact that YES Bank be leveraged to customize people are more comfortable EMPLOyEES: 6,000 existing products or conceive with their cell phones than new products altogether. their computers to introduce LOCATIONS: 60 Earlier, with Excel sheets, greater comfort for the user, sales staff culled out details says Sharma. IT STAff: 65 of customers by tabs in The new system also the form (name, company, helped sales representatives VP (CORPORATE STRATEgy) & account number, etcetera). in other ways. As a sales rep, CHIEf ENTERPRISE But with YCCRM, they were part of the job includes being ARCHITECT: provided with a template constantly on the field, which Suvanjay Kumar Sharma where they can fill details leaves them little time to fill (other than the standard in their reports. As a result, it keywords) noted during their interaction is not always possible to feed details of their with the customers. This meant they could interaction with customers on the day they personalize their dashboards. meet them. The old system marked the day Typically, sales staff interacts with they filed their report, not the day they met customers over the phone, jotting down the their customer. YCCRM has changed that. most important parts of their conversation It provides an additional tab of source date on little pieces of paper. This information (the date mentioned as the source date when was later filled on a separate form. With they meet the customer and the system date the new CRM, sales reps can now upload or when it is registered in the system). Sharma download scribbled information from their says, Adding the source and system date phones to the main CRM system. has helped calculate the turnaround time of serving a client. The integrated and personalized dashboard with an activities planner enables the smooth functioning of a sales rep. And its social value-based relationship management helps in cross-selling. Take for instance a software developer who wants to move from an employee status to being an owner of his own firm. That piece of insight can be uself for the bank. The social valuebased relationship management component will help cater to his changed needs. On the dashboard, a small search box allows the bank staff to do an internal as well as a Web search on their customers. We modeled the system so that it is practical. We wanted people to take part in the development of the system. The system has to be agile and ideas have to come from the users. This also allows you to add features according to your requirements, points out Sharma.

Credit Limit

Information lying in islands, without being shared, is of no use at all. Internal collaboration adds a productive edge to the data we capture.

But this convenience comes at a price. It wasnt easy to implement the CRM solution across YES Banks multiple branches. The foremost challenge was convincing the business about using the Open-source CRM software and customizing it for their use. But Sharma was convinced it was the way to go. He also knew that it was a decision that would introduce its own special set of challenges. One example is an initial performance issue related to JBOSS. When the number of concurrent users grew to over 80 to 100, performance started deteriorating and JBOSS shutdown. We have done some optimization to solve the issue and also have logged the issue with Red Hat and have received some patches, he shares. Developing a CRM solution in-house was not just about having faith and confidence in Sharmas team but meant that he needed to get involved with even the smallest details of the project. This gave him complete visibility of how the project was shaping. Since they worked closely with business, articulation of business needs was very clear and hence, Sharmas team was to develop features close to user requirements. Getting business users who were Suvanjay Kumar Sharma accustomed to offVP (corporate strategy) & chief enterprise the-shelf products architect, yES bank. to use the unique

Photo by SrIVatSa ShandIlya


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Case File

At Your Service

yES Banks yCCrM solution helped the company retain its customers and improved customer service by 60 percent.

Core Banking yCCrm SyStem This data then goes through the core banking system, YCCRM and the SAN. After the sales rep meets a customer, he feeds the details of the interaction into his personalized dashboard. San

This data can be analyzed and reports created to identify changing customer trends.

collaborative features of the YCCRM which could possibly give the bank competitive advantage was a task. The business users needed to be convinced because people prefer to walk the conventional path and hesitate to give up their existing mode and processes of working. But once you help them understand smaller processes they gradually accept the change, says Sharma. The idea of making the system with self-servicing functionality is to give the business users the ability to define the fields that they want. The business division rather than the IT division should be responsible for all the contents displayed and they can manage the user interface without ITs help, he says.

Its collaborative feature helps the sales force share customer data through discussion boards, chatting and blogging, thereby increasing business opportunities.

The Credit List

The implementation of a key tool like CRM has already started reflecting positively. There has been a drastic improvement in customer acquisition after sales leads were passed on via discussion boards. There is servicing of 10 lakh leads and around 5 lakh service requests per year. Customer service has improved by 60 percent and turnaround time for its processes by almost 70 percent, says Sharma. This helped achieve greater service excellence, capturing all customer
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queries, complaints and their feedback into the common system. It has helped us understand our customers better and analyze the resolution time for each query or complain and then improve internal process accordingly. It also added lots of intangible business benefits and helped retain customers better, says Sharma. The cross-selling of products has substantially surged after the implementation. The collaborative CRM has given a new window of social valuebased relationship which is key for future cross-selling. Further, the centralized repository for reports generated numerous benefits for the organization. When data gets captured in a central repository there is more than one advantage to it. First, data loss is prevented. Second, data can be extracted and analyzed, which helps in understanding the business better. It allows us to observe trends and take proactive action to improve the customer experience and products, says Sharma. The repository also enables geographywise customer segmentation to plan a

promotional campaign better. With the implementation of the YCCRM almost complete in all the metro branches, the next phase aims to cover the non-metro branches, bringing all 60 locations of the bank on board. The next logical step is to take YCCRM online, where customers can directly be part of the system. Since this is an initiative to accommodate customers in the banks process, we want to get the CRM system online soon so that customers can directly send their feedback or use blogs to interact with us. This will definitely open new sources of information and at the same time it will provide us with a new set of opportunities in understanding the customer. This would surely help us serve our customers better, says Sharma. CIO

Snigdha Karjatkar is correspondent. Send feedback on this feature to

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