15 July 2016
Written by: Kamil Grzybek – CRM expert, architect .net
The financial industry, because of the large capital expenditure on IT solutions, has been for a long time at the forefront when it comes to implementation of new technological solutions which are mainly designed to automate and streamline processes in enterprises. These processes support workers during their operational activities. They can help managers to make better and faster decisions and monitor the work of their employees.
IT CRM solutions (Customer Relationship Management): make automation of sales process possible, increase the efficiency of customer relationship management, and provide data that help to streamline business processes in the company.
The company which decides to implement the CRM system can benefit from ready solutions that are available in the IT market and properly personalize them to its needs or produce such solution by itself. In the second case (regardless of outsourcing), in the process of designing CRM, some pitfalls can appear.
CRM systems often serve to aggregate information about clients – their agreements, invoices, financial data and other. To do this, they must collect data from several source systems. These systems can be the engineer in different technologies, they can work in other computer environments and usually they are not compatible with the designed CRM system. It can also happen that they were carried out by different contractors. The design of CRM system requires to take into account time and work needed to construct and implement interfaces to cooperate with external systems.
During CRM data processing in various source systems, you may find that some data exist in more than one source. For example, the customer contact data are needed both in the offer, accounting or debt collection system. CRM system should be designed to take into account this type of situations. Set of business rules that will ensure the consistency of data type needs to be designed and implemented.
As mentioned in the introduction, CRM solutions are designed to help employees during the operational activities. For this reason, they must be efficient, and they should provide the highest level of ergonomics. Sellers or advisors, during their working day, have to be in touch with several customers to reach their sales goals. Every contact should be carefully summarized and recorded in the CRM system. If the utility of the system is low, the employees will not be able to realize their goals or they will begin to collect contact data out of CRM. During the design process, a constant cooperation with the end-users of the system should be assured to avoid this type of problems and to get the optimal solution.
During CRM design process, particular attention should be paid to the language of communication between IT employees creating software and end-users. For those second, some of the concepts, processes or the requirements are obvious because they have contact with them all the time. On the other hand, for the IT team, some things may not be clear or even wrong interpreted at the beginning of the work. To prevent this type of situations, there is a need to provide the frequent contact with IT staff and Business and create a constantly updated project documentation that contains the dictionary of terms and processes that describe the business domain.
Big financial companies store data on their current and future customers in numbers reaching a hundred of millions of records. Processing and transformation of these data for the operational purposes may occur to slow and for that reason unacceptable for the user. During the design of the CRM system, one needs to consider performance requirements in the designed architecture from the beginning. The designer and with the users should think over which data must be processed in on-line mode, and which can be aggregated to the denormalized form and updated at the desired time.
During the designing process of the CRM solutions for the financial industry, one should take care to fulfill the functional requirements of systems, in particular, these requirements which are often overlooked in the process of software development. Despite the fact that CRM solutions are the back office type systems, they are the first line of contact with customers and affect the quality of customer relationships with the company. A well designed CRM system will raise the level of client satisfaction and will provide customer growth in the future.