To achieve its goal of becoming Australia’s most customer-connected bank, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank wanted to shape a customer-centric approach to interactions across every channel—but how?
The bank deployed an integrated platform for customer engagement, enabling it to harness omni-channel customer behavior data to predict their unique needs and proactively support their journeys.
Enablestargeted, relevant communications based on behavioral triggers
Shapesseamless customer journeys across every channel
Enhancesthe customer experience and helps build closer relationships
Business challenge story
Meeting rising expectations
In the retail banking industry, customer expectations around personalized services are higher than ever, and leading banks are now striving to deliver products, solutions and experiences that are relevant to each customer’s individual needs.
This is the goal for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, one of Australia’s leading retail banks. To help achieve its vision of becoming Australia’s most customer-connected bank, the organization aimed to deepen its insight into customer behavior and preferences.
Ian Jackman, Head of Customer Voice at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, begins: “In recent years, we have been transforming our operations to put the customer at the center of every interaction. One of our early achievements was bringing customer data and voice-of-customer insights together within a single view of customer—enabling us to use analytics to uncover opportunities to improve the customer experience.”
He continues: “We identified the customer journey as a key area of focus. When customers are researching a new product or engaging with us to meet a specific need, they don’t necessarily follow a linear route on a single channel. For example, a customer might start by browsing one of our websites from their mobile, follow up with a question to our contact center, and complete their application or interaction in one of our branches.”
In the past, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank relied on separate systems and processes to manage customer interactions on each of its channels. This made it difficult to understand the way that customers moved between channels on their decision-making journeys, and offer personalized, connected communications to support them.
“We wanted to empower our customers to follow their own path and choose the way they interact with us, rather than dictate the journey to them,” Jackman explains. “To turn that vision into a reality, we decided to build a centralized platform for omni-channel customer engagement. The aim was to extend and enhance the customer experience by delivering tailored, relevant content at each step on their journey, regardless of the channel of engagement chosen by the customer.”
Shaping personalized services
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has created an automated, analytics-driven platform for in- and outbound marketing—enabling it to engage and market to fine-grained segments based on a 360-degree view of customer interactions across all touchpoints.
“We have more than 1.8 million customers, which means automation is crucial to achieve personalization at speed and scale,” continues Jackman. “Embracing a centralized customer engagement platform increases our control and visibility of customer communications—helping us deliver consistent, high-quality experiences on every channel.”
Today, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has deployed event-based triggers for outbound communications via email, SMS, mobile, direct mail, and phone.
Jackman adds: “Our goal is to harness our data on customer behavior to predict their unique needs, and use that insight to present relevant content at the right time and on the best channel to support their journey. For example, if we sense that one of our customers is preparing to buy their first home, this might mean reaching out by email with a relevant guide to purchasing property and the different types of mortgages.”
By continually mapping out customer journeys, the bank is building a better understanding of customer needs and how to address them.
“Our aim isn’t to launch more campaigns—it’s to create cohesive moments of engagement that meet the needs of our customers, make things easier and deliver a great experience,” says Jackman. “We are one of a number of players in the customer’s journey, so the focus must be on the end goal from the customer’s perspective and how we can help to enable the customer to meet that need. Words like ‘marketing’ and ‘campaign’ tend to enforce a traditional mindset of mass mail-outs to achieve sales outcomes. We’re trying to avoid that, and make sure we’re focused on managing relevant experiences with the customer.”
Looking ahead, the bank plans to extend the integration of its digital marketing platform with its customer relationship management (CRM) system for outbound calls—enabling contact center personnel to view recent customer interactions on other channels.
“In total, we have identified over 150 opportunities to trigger automated personalized interactions with our customers, and the majority of these are based on improving the service or experience we offer them—not simply attempting to drive sales,” comments Jackman. “Within 6 to 12 months, we aim to bring our web and social channels into the customer engagement platform, and deliver real-time personalization on our inbound channels.”
Connecting with customers
With a centralized platform driving its omni-channel engagement strategy, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is shaping interactions that are relevant to each customer’s needs.
“It is vital that we recognize where our customers are on their journey and offer support that’s relevant, valuable and compelling,” comments Jackman. “Thanks to our new capabilities around omni-channel customer engagement, we’re rapidly growing our ability to achieve exactly that.”
To support its ongoing customer-led transformation, Bendigo and Adelaide has restructured its operating model and a number of key functions. The bank has established more dedicated and separate teams across customer analytics and customer insights, and created a new function for direct engagement.
“We are moving away from the more traditional approach to outbound marketing, and while our marketing teams continue to own the execution approach, they are working extremely closely with our voice of customer functions, which includes our analytics and insights teams,” Jackman explains. “To make that happen, we had to look at where we had gaps and fill them. We are currently working with consulting resources to accelerate and boost our internal capability. While we continue to work with key partners, we also aim to become more self-sufficient in turning our data into insight and customer engagement.”
He continues: “Our refined operating model encourages a test-and-learn approach based on agile marketing methodologies—an approach that extends to services and sales. Our business enablement division is actively working through a transformation that will shift the whole organization to the new way of working, and this will enable us to be more dynamic, flexible and responsive.”
Jackman concludes: “In today’s retail banking environment, understanding our customers and delivering high-quality experiences are key to building long-lasting relationships. Through the new capabilities that we are developing, we are in a strong position to deliver relevant, personalized and seamless customer experiences, which are crucial to realize our vision of becoming Australia’s most customer-connected bank.”
About Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Founded in 1858 and headquartered in Bendigo, Victoria, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is Australia's fifth-largest retail bank, with more than 7,200 staff helping 1.8 million customers to achieve their financial goals.
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