Increasingly companies understand that their internal customers need simple, fast and easy ways of working, just like their external customers. Indeed the last few years have seen the growing recognition of employee experience as a critical success factor. That evolution helped with our choice of winner in the Best In Analytics Innovation category for the Which-50 Awards, HSBC.

HSBC’s staff had a problem with their customer engagement methods. A solution from Pega was selected and implemented to enhance the customer experience to give more relevant information to the buyer journey.

For employees, the solution created important efficiencies by helping to deliver leads to frontline staff that were customer-based and often in real-time.

Fabian Abacum, head of data and analytics at HSBC Bank Australia told Which-50, “The quality of the leads was very high and enabled the frontline to help customers with their immediate needs.”

“We also delivered real-time inbound notifications for insight-led conversations with customers who have walked into branches or called the contact centre.”

That made life much easier for front line staff who no longer had to dig through multiple screens to discover useful insights. “They are now delivered real-time with the solution,” he said.

Once the solution was integrated the HSBC stakeholders were more easily able to engage with customers with relevant, timely and useful information. That, in turn, leads to increased conversion rates, a rise in meaningful customer conversations and increased revenue for the business. 

Abacum said, “We knew we needed a new platform which leveraged data to make real-time decisions across channels. To find the platform we ran an RFP. The software was selected during this process.”

Abacum said the stakeholders involved were in marketing, digital, product and distribution. The head of product, marketing and customer was the project sponsor. 

The analytics team led the implementation as they are tasked with data-driven insight-led communications, and according to Abacum, and are best skilled to manage the machine learning-based artificial intelligence stack within the solution.

Before the implementation of the solution, the company was not communicating with their customers in a relevant and timely manner across their channels. Customers would receive various unrelated batch and push campaigns from HSBC and were often unrelated to their authentic needs. 

“Customers were mostly receiving all the same communication, regardless of its relevance to them—a ‘spray and pray’ approach. 

“HSBC was unable to definitively determine where customers were in their journey and how they wanted to be contacted. As a result, customers would often receive information and offers that may not have been relevant to them.”

Fabian Abacum, head of data and analytics, HSBC Australia

He said before using the software, the brand used simple customer lists that were sent to a mail house in order to send communications to customers. 

Since using the technology, customers are now experiencing a more personalised journey and relevant messaging across various departments including sales and service. 

“The conversations being had with customers are now more focused, with only one relevant topic being discussed at a time so that customers are having one-on-one dialogues with the business that is more meaningful,” Abacum said. 

The technology has also meant that customers aren’t having to opt-out of communications, because the platform learns and adapts. 

“For example, if a customer ignores a banner, the software realises it isn’t relevant to the customer and won’t share more information on this topic, allowing the business to get a deeper understanding of the customer.”

Its CRM revenue has more than doubled. While the increased revenue cannot be attributed entirely to the solution’s integration as HSBC is undergoing a broader digital transformation process. 

Abacum said it has played a pivotal part in ensuring improved customer service and customer retention. By being able to communicate more effectively with customers, the messaging has been more relevant and in-line with what the customer is looking for.

The insights the platform has given HSBC means customers are being approached based on their broader behaviours. 

“For example, if a customer visits a credit card page, in the past it would have been assumed the customer is looking to buy a credit card; thus prompting the organisation to get in touch with that in mind. 

“Now by having a holistic view into where the customer sits within their journey, HSBC is able to identify that their credit card was declined and they have visited the page to figure out the issue. From here, HSBC is able to get in touch with a solution, helping them without the customer having to make direct contact.”

HSBC has experienced a higher click-through rate, as high as 40 per cent. This is a result of how the bank is able to contact customers with messaging that is targeted to their journey and relevant to their lifecycle. 

Abacum noted artificial intelligence is the biggest trend and important factor within analytics. 

He said, “[It] makes real-time predictions on the fly based on customers behaviours across our channels.”

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