8 min read

Achieving the four pillars of Digital Transformation in Banking with Microsoft Dynamics

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Not so long ago, digital transformation in Banking meant keeping pace throughout the third industrial revolution; meeting the digital challenge by providing basic online banking functionality that supported bricks and mortar mainstream branches. As digital evolved, account and loan applications were added, along with mobile transactional functionality to allow people to bank on-the-go. Personalisation and big data made its way into Board and Executive strategy conversations. The Retail Banking sector in particular, rose to the digital challenge, proving itself agile and adaptable to change, despite the unchartered territory of balancing strict risk and compliance controls alongside the necessary digitalisation of the customer experience.

As we hurtle towards 2020, through the fourth industrial revolution, digital transformation has become a lot more meaningful and immersive than simply providing online and mobile transactional functionality. Corporate and Commercial Bankers now find their marketplace in an accelerated state of change, alongside Retail Banking and the wider Financial Services sector. AI in banking and financial services is revolutionising the industry. FinTech, InsureTech, RoboAdvice and open banking capabilities are shifting the goalposts, stealing market share from incumbent banks, building societies, credit unions, insurers et al. And doing so with a side order of brand sass that appeals to younger audiences, almost as much as their instant gratification banking services do.

So how sound is your organisation’s digital strategy?

A recent report by the Boston Consulting Group highlights that executives in the banking sector lack confidence in their organisation’s digital futureproofing. With Big Tech and FinTech threats looming, over 40% of c-suite executives in banking reported that their own organisation didn’t have a digital strategy – never mind a sound one – despite 80% of respondents being aware that digital is leading transformation in the sector. Only 20% of banking executives believe that their bank has a market-leading digital presence, with the number one barrier to effective digital transformation cited as dated infrastructure and challenging legacy systems. Yet legacy IT needn’t hold you back as you map out future transformation and it doesn’t mean you need to rip out and replace high value tech to get started. The power of Microsoft Dynamics is that you can integrate legacy data sources right into the solution for quick results, now.

The four pillars of digital transformation in Banking and Financial Services

So, it’s clear that the opportunity to thrive, not just survive still exists for hungry market players with an eye on innovation. Boston Consulting Group recommend four key pillars for effective digital strategy in Banking and Financial Services. These key priorities align neatly with Microsoft’s four pillars of effective digital transformation and provide a cohesive starting point for reviewing and renewing your digital business strategy, market position and current capabilities. The possibilities, done right? End-to-end customer-focused journeys and increased satisfaction through the latest technologies in the Microsoft stack; from a safe and secure cloud-based Dynamics 365 CRM that unifies your people, data and business processes in a single, intelligent system, to AI for customer services and sales integrations that automate processes and decision making. All driven by sound data and providing enhanced operational workflows for every single person in your business.

Why is it so important to reach digital maturity in banking and financial services now? New technologies are constantly emerging, however, only digitally-enabled organisations with the right foundational solutions in place will be able to make use of these new innovations. The beauty of Dynamics 365 cloud platform is that once implemented, it’s constantly updating. Meaning you’re always working on the latest version, and able to access new release tools as soon as they hit the market. Recent releases include live chat and SMS functionality and new Power Platform capabilities which combine Microsoft Flow, Power BI and Common Data for apps which allow an easy and powerful collaborative integration into Dynamics 365 and Office 365.

Of course, these operational changes and strategic digital improvement can’t and shouldn’t be disconnected à la carte projects and initiatives undertaken in a silo. Successful digital transformation is a unified and co-ordinated business project, created in the Boardroom as a comprehensive, enterprise-wide strategy and implemented, with a clearly defined purpose, and an industry expert and experienced external partner like Redspire supporting the process.

The four key priorities for effective digital transformation in Banking

  1. Reinvent the Consumer Journey

The outdated banking model is dead. Customer expectations continue to rise, desiring and demanding service and personalised sales processes their way. Seamless, safe and secure fingerprint or facial recognition log in, one-click withdrawals, remembering personal preferences at every customer touchpoint and Alexa voice integrations are the bare minimum that customers expect when they interact with their bank today. Market disrupting challengers and nimble, born-in-the-cloud FinTechs have evolved the customer journey and traditional banks, building societies and insurers should do the same to remain competitive.

Cloud-based CRM is one of the most vital tools in the innovative banker’s arsenal. Gain a single view of customers and prospects with Dynamics 365, your entire business in one neat, expandable solution. With all customer data in the one place, available to your cross-departmental agents in real time, you can exceed and delight customers with insights that sell, service and convert. Seamlessly merged with big data, business intelligence and AI integrations, your agents can pick the next best action, systems are automatically updated and your customer gets the service they’ve come to expect from Big Data players like Amazon, Apple et al.

Before kick-starting any digital transformation project, spend time selecting the right partner and mapping the customer journey collaboratively to put your customers at the centre of your business. The beauty of Microsoft’s cloud technologies are that they can be moulded and integrated to suit your bespoke needs, reimagining and redefining your customers experiences. When you understand what matters most to different subsets of customers during critical junctures in their user journey – supported by the the immense capabilities of the Microsoft stack – can build user experiences that reward, engage and create long-term loyalty. On-board a client in just a few clicks with Adobe Sign. Automate lending decisions with Flow. PowerApps and Portals connect access to Credit Reference Agencies third party tools. The limitations are endless, with a quantifiable ROI evidenced from the outset.

  1. Discover the power of data

What’s the point of harvesting data if you don’t harness its power? Microsoft Dynamics and Power BI reporting provide insights that help you understand your clients and prospects, uncover missed opportunities, identify high-ticket clients or cross-selling opportunities and reduce the cost of acquisition, satisfaction and retention too. Dynamics online and Power BI allow your team to create, share and view immersive visual dashboards on the go, within global geographies, and are key drivers of building consultative client relationships that last.

During a recent Dynamics 365 implementation within the small business banking division at CYBG, unifying data from legacy systems allowed Relationship Managers and Team Managers to deepen customer relationships, easily identify key accounts and identify those at risk of default or depreciation. Data precision and clarity allowed the team to gain 3,175 days in increased productivity through increased data analytics and an 11 x increase on customer outreach calls, with impressive impact on annual results too.

  1. Redefine the operating model.

Living in an increasingly time-poor world, consumer needs have shifted in their banking relationships. That close relationship with the bank manager has become a convenient online digital relationship that’s easily accessible via their devices as and when they need it, outreaching for that human touch only when they have more complex needs. Hybrid sales, customer service and experience operating models that are well executed can inspire loyalty and delight a customer. Executed badly, can frustrate and have them abandon ship for a competitor without even stopping to let you know where you’ve failed.

Banks who successfully combine the human touch with self-service capabilities via AI bots and custom-built portals can expect to see up to a 15% increase in revenue and satisfaction levels and up to a 35% saving in branch network costs. Utilising bionic networks, whilst being open to collaboration with other FinTechs and Open Banking players can create the high value service levels that your customers desire and create seamless services that deliver on brand promise and value.

  1. Build a Digital Driven Organization

The final priority of successful digital transformation in banking is facing organisational culture hurdles face on to build a digital-first business.

When you set out strategically, with board, CEO and senior executives aligned on a vision to build a digitally driven banking business, you reaffirm to your customers, your people and your stakeholders that digital transformation is a priority. You state that every action in the future roadmap leads to agile and digital-first working methods, earmark funding and help recruit the best talent and partners in the sector to make your vision a reality. It takes collective vision to shift a traditional financial provider mindset into a radically changed innovative digital culture. Strong top down leadership is vital to make success happen, with the right partner steering your vision every step of the way.

The boldest incumbents and challenger banks are taking cue from FinTechs, mirroring their agility and born-in-the-cloud best practice to overcome legacy challenges and red-tape laden showstoppers that dampen customer experiences.

Data driven customer experiences, with a human touch

Digital transformation in banking today is connected, blending people, culture and technology to provide personalised service, slick and connected operations that service the customer how they want, when they want and where they want it. It’s speedy and agile, data-driven, with a human touch. Banking executives and the c-suite are under tremendous pressure to keep up and ensure a coherent digital strategy delivers on corporate vision. For more information on improving customer experience and gaining competitive advantage in Banking, join our webinar on Thursday 20th June @ 11 am.

3 min read

Digital Transformation in Banking: Four Key Solution Areas

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As the financial sector experiences its own shift in priorities in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, organisations are placing a much larger focus on the technology that will lead them through digital transformation in banking.

Microsoft frame digital transformation through 4 key solution areas:

Modern Workplace

With an increase in new business models, internal processes and a changing environment that encourages wider collaboration, the right digital tools are key to ensuring stability and productivity throughout a period of growth in the banking and financial services sector.

Some of the key integrations like Skype for business and Microsoft Teams strengthen an already diverse and functionally capable Office 365 suite, purposely designed to improve collaboration, creativity and empowerment within cross-departmental functions.

Business Applications

Functional business processes are becoming increasingly digitised as part of an industry evolution for organisational efficiency. The Microsoft solution model is designed to prevent cross-function disconnect and transform the customer journey by equipping individuals with single-view access to collaborative platforms like Dynamics 365, PowerApps and data-driven insights for customer service and marketing.

Digital transformation in banking starts by simply having better access to information, more powerful tools to analyse the data, and the processes in place to infuse it into the decision-making process. This allows banking organisations to better ensure customer acquisition and retention are at the very heart of their overall business objectives.

Applications & Infrastructure

Cloud-based infrastructure has become one of the main areas of investment within Microsoft over the last year. The Azure platform is a complementary solution that helps empower banking organisations to build business applications into the very core of their business. The multi-device accessibility and functionality is a crucial component of digital transformation in banking; building a streamlined mobile experience for customers, based on their interests and behaviour.

With such a huge emphasis on security and the privacy of customer data within the banking industry, the Azure cloud solution features safeguarding tools like threat intelligence, information protection and multi-step authorisation to ensure absolute safety to both the user and the data subject featured within the application.

Data & Artificial Intelligence

Modern-day business change is driven by data and insight. By combining this data with AI applications, banking organisations can leverage process automation to better service customers immediate needs. As customer experience becomes a more prominent consideration in decision-making, financial services organisations will be in a better position to offer more personalised recommendations on all touchpoints and product and service offerings by utilising the data analysis and AI relationship within the Microsoft technology suite.

Watch our video below for a short overview of the key solution areas and their impact in Banking:

Choosing the right Dynamics Partner

Choosing the right Microsoft Dynamics partner for your customer experience project is an essential part of success. It’s vital that you select a partner experienced within your sector, who understand the nuances and challenges of your business and who has references and success models within your industry. From pre-sales scoping and needs analysis to, project and process mapping and build… all the way through to implementation and beyond, a strong partner is the primary key to success.

Redspire have particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services, FMCG, Government, and Third Sector and have worked on the biggest operational challenges facing these industries today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client and stakeholder engagement at Money Advice Service and operations and field service at Golden Charter, our expertise in Dynamics 365 and the wider Microsoft ecosystem help our clients achieve operational excellence and project delivery that improves bottom lines.

Join our upcoming webinar: “Driving Change and Meaningful Customer Engagement in Financial Services with Dynamics 365” to dig deeper into how your own business can leverage the technology to better steer customer-focused organisational change.

4 min read

Putting service back into Financial Services: Delivering incredible customer experiences with Microsoft Dynamics

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Financial services leaders are encouraged to adopt the right mix of culture, people and technology in order to improve customer service quality levels – or face being left behind.

Delivering powerful customer experiences in Financial Services was tricky for senior executives, even before the dawn of new digital challengers. Disengaged customers and an industry apathetic for innovation, alongside poor differentiation on brand or product offering had created a stale sector that failed to inspire meaningful interaction, instead delivering one-sided, one-size fits all services to business and consumer customers.

The presence of agile newcomers entering the market however, has (thankfully) shaken up a slumbering sector and drawn battle lines in the sand in the bid for market share. New entrants and incumbents’ approach digitalisation at speed, as they set out to win customer loyalty and gain or retain wallet share. Great news for consumers and for the sector at large, as innovation spans all areas of the Financial Services sector. From consumer banking, commercial banking and insurance, cloud solutions and blended intelligence are shaping a market that excites. Delivering what customers need and want, when they want it, how they want it.

Challenging the challengers

As new entrants like Monzo, Starling and Tide deliver slick digital first in-app experiences, top performing incumbents like MetroBank and CYBG are leading the way in embracing digital disruption in the traditional markets too; delivering services that engage and educate with seamless cross-device experiences. Whilst it may not be the easiest of tasks innovating and reimagining services offerings, at the same time as managing risk and updating outdated legacy systems, those adapting to the new playing field are future-proofing their businesses now, and providing the levels of services that demanding consumers have come to expect in other industries.

Meeting the challenge to deliver excellent customer experiences

The first step for financial firms keen to deliver exceptional customer experiences is understanding that 360 degree customer intelligence across the business is more than a cross-departmental single customer view. It’s a shift in the way data is viewed, stored and managed.

For those ready to tackle service head on, Microsoft Dynamics is the perfect solution to deliver excellent experience in the financial sector. Built on a common data platform, Dynamics aggregates different data types and sets from all across the business, creating invaluable insights that steer amazing customer experiences. Dynamics help your people predict and anticipate customer needs intuitively, suggests next step actions and personalises service and experience. No matter whether it’s machine or human delivering it.

Blending the human factor, machine learning and artificial intelligence with the valuable data in your systems creates a unified service desk that delivers incredible customer service and memorable experiences that customers rave about. Causing loyalty, customer engagement and satisfaction to soar.

Blended intelligence fed by Microsoft Dynamics 365 combines the best of human and machine smarts, enabling businesses to deliver rich experiences at the right touch point for each consumer, at the right time, with customer-centricity the core focus.

Achieving customer excellence in Financial Services with Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics is more than a CRM, it’s a connected suite of enterprise business applications that delivers your whole business, in a one unified system. Spanning all department functions; from service, sales and marketing, talent, field service and operations, Dynamics is an end-to-end, fully integrated system that delivers incredible insights, next step actions and automated service funtionality.

Furthermore, Dynamics is the perfect foundational platform to drive digital transformation throughout an entire business, with a phased approach that negates the need for service interruption.

Choosing the right Dynamics partner

Choosing the right Microsoft Dynamics partner for your customer experience project is an essential part of success. It’s vital that you select a partner experienced within your sector, who understand the nuances and challenges of your business and who has references and success models within your industry. From pre-sales scoping and needs analysis to, project and process mapping and build…all the way through to implementation and beyond, a strong partner is the primary key to success.

Redspire have particularly strong capabilities in Financial Services and have worked on the biggest challenges facing the industry today. From Small Business Banking improvements at CYBG, client engagement at Money Advice Service and Saffron Insurance and operations and field service at Golden Charter, we are the experts in Dynamics within the Financial Services space. Our team are driven by delivering platforms that create great customer experience.

Are you ready to put the service back in financial services?

Watch a short video on how MetroBank used Microsoft Dynamics to create an army of loyal fans out of their customers, or get in touch today for a no-obligation chat about your own customer experience improvement project.

3 min read

Social Selling at the Institute of Sales Management, Scotland.

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We recently attended the first ever Edinburgh-based event hosted by the Institute of Sales Management

The inaugural Scotland Event showcased the dramatic change in the sales environment, as businesses spanning all industries accelerate digital transformation through cloud technologies.

Businesses today are meeting the challenge of servicing a new breed of B2C customers and B2B clients who have ever-increasing expectations and demands on sellers. This is the age of the professional consumer.

Throughout the evening, one main question was raised…

Is cold calling dying out as an introductory technique for selling?

Selling and outreach are constantly shape-shifting. With the rise in intelligent, data-driven technology and machine learning, social media platforms are intuitively becoming the go-to place for content placement and customer contact. Cold calling has become a much less popular and effective method of interaction.

In its place, social selling has become a key part of an organisation’s customer engagement strategy. Why cold call when you can outreach to a warmed prospect, and make use of insights that make the nurture and sales process easier for salespeople, marketers and business owners?

What is social selling? And do traditional salespeople need to adapt?

Short answer, yes.

Social selling is a modern approach to identifying and engaging with a custom-built audience based on your business’s target market and a great way to establish rapport, connect and verify the legitimacy of the relationship between seller and prospect. Post-purchase by Microsoft, LinkedIn is proving itself one of the most valuable sales and marketing tools for social selling, with 96% of B2B buyers seeking to read content and engage with industry leaders (Demand Gen report, 2017). Other channels also have validity, and it’s worth pointing out that the fundamentals of social selling translate well to offline relationship building.

So is cold calling dead?

Technology is driving behavioural change in buyers and sellers and it’s essential that sellers keep pace in terms of expertise and personal learning, to avoid becoming redundant. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still a place for a cold call, however where engaged, meaningful contact can be achieved easily, why reduce your chances with your prospects?

Not only does social selling give you a 360-degree view of prospects, it allows you to tailor your approach to current customers and meet their needs at the right time. The social selling model supports account-based selling and allows you to deliver hyper-relevant messaging and content that speaks their language.

Social selling for operational efficiencies

According to a recent survey by CSO Insights and Seismic, one in three B2B sales professionals said that not only was social selling increasing the number of leads they had to work with, but also the depth of the relationships they had with existing and prospective clients. Building relationships rather than leading with the hard sell allows salespeople to maximise their own efficiency by reducing the prospect research time, having a positive impact on the sales cycle.

Transactional vs Strategic Sales

Cold calling is usually a game of chance with decision makers within a company out of reach for the average cold sales call. Social selling converts the sales process from transactional and functional, to a strategic plan that provides hard ROI, produces serious wins and enhances customer experience and satisfaction.

Companies are being left behind because they’re yet to acknowledge that the buying process has changed. It’s no longer a one-way system made up of cold calls, qualifying leads and sales demos. 84% of vice president and C-level executives use online and digital media channels to influence their purchasing decisions.

5 min read

Heal your business pain with Dynamics QuickStart CRM

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When it comes to business pain, at Redspire we’ve seen it all. And help our clients UK-wide solve theirs, via our Dynamics QuickStart CRM package or phased CRM implementation.

As one of the UK’s leading CRM consultancies, we are experts in resolving the digital and data pain points that all businesses face.

Our client base share similar internal challenges, but we understand that the internal approach to resolving them may vary from business to business. Time constraints, changeable budgets and operational capacity all impact the ability to undertake a CRM implementation project, even when it’s badly needed.

That doesn’t change the fact that we are living through the 4th Industrial Revolution. Consumer expectations are at their highest, radically transforming the way businesses interact when they sell, promote and provide service. In this digital age, personalisation and customer connectivity are a fundamental business priority. And the only way to achieve them is with a fit for purpose CRM system that will unify data, streamline processes and improve productivity.

Introducing Dynamics QuickStart CRM…

Dynamics QuickStart CRM is a fixed scope, fast implementation of Microsoft Dynamics 365, built to fit your business need, type and budget. Implement a new CRM, upgrade a current CRM or entirely replace your existing system fast, for maximum impact and little business disruption.

Perfect for busy businesses who want quick improvements and results, and suitable for all organisations of all shapes and sizes – from Banking and Financial Services to Manufacturing, Government and the Public Sector – QuickStart CRM from Redspire is a quick and simple CRM solution that delivers immediate results.

If you’ve heard your c-suite leaders and department heads make any of the following statements, your business will benefit from Dynamics QuickStart CRM…

PAIN POINT 1: “There’s no single version of the truth!”

Also known as the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing.

It’s surprising just how many large multi-national businesses are operating with outdated data silos and no single view of their customer across various departments. Which begs the question, how can you understand your customer, predict sales propensity and provide great service, if you can’t view their interactions with your business holistically?

If your customer, sales and service data sit on multiple databases and spreadsheets, you’re undoubtedly only skimming the surface of your sales capabilities. Whilst delivering poor service to your client base. Yet you can optimise operations fast with Dynamics QuickStart CRM. Your teams and your bottom line will benefit from a single customer view that accelerates sales, personalises service and increases customer engagement.

PAIN POINT 2: “What are the salespeople doing?!”

Also known as the boss is getting twitchy because there’s no visibility of what the moneymakers are up to.

Digitally optimised workplaces and effective data and pipeline management have been proven to make teams much more productive. Yet workforces often resist the serious benefits of a transparent CRM system for fear of big brother watching, measuring their performance and finding it lacking.

With a collaborative, visible pipeline, the improvements to the workforce, customer and management are immeasurable. Put your hands on real time reports with ease, review an up-to-the-minute pipeline status and automate business reports at the click of a button with Dynamics QuickStart CRM

PAIN POINT 3 : “Excellent – sales are up…but where are they coming from?”

Also know as winging the sales process rather than using an evidence-based approach

If you aren’t tracking customer buying patterns, sourcing lead traffic and attributing your sales to marketing touchpoints, how can you understand your sweet spot? If you don’t track the customer journey and how you win or lose, you’re undoubtedly leaving money on the table. Which makes your salespeople’s lives harder and returns poor ROI from your marketing spend. Integrate Dynamics QuickStart CRM with your existing systems to see the bigger picture and find your strengths and weaknesses. And then watch your sales grow.

PAIN POINT 4: “I’m sick of the ‘them and us’ – they’re supposed to be part of the same team!”

Also known as sales and marketing blaming each instead of working towards shared goals

Despite being part of the same organisational family, with shared business goals, Sales and Marketing teams are notorious for being the warring siblings of the business world. How often are you hearing ‘what are marketing doing, there’s no leads coming through, and when they are, they’re awful!’ Or marketing complaining about lack of sourcing and poor conversions from the sales teams?

The issue is typically lack of visibility, reporting and communication. A CRM that works for all departments, tracking campaigns, leads and opportunities will encourage a positive workforce, working together with shared vision, and MI that fosters a collaborative, data-driven approach

PAIN POINT 5: “Where’s the paper trail for this complaint?!”

Also known as lack of customer information management

We’ve all endured the customer frustration of a poorly handled complaint. It’s often just as challenging for agents trying to manage customer services issues if their organisation isn’t managing data properly. Customers need to repeat themselves each time they call or email, and your employee is on the back foot from the outset, not knowing what decisions have been made previously. With QuickStart you can automate and aggregate customer service information, so that your people always have what they need to hand, when they need it.

PAIN POINT 6: “Reporting shouldn’t be this hard. Can’t we automate it?”

The simple answer is yes. And you should be! Free up your key people’s time from hand preparing reports and get them back to their day job. With QuickStart, you’ll access management information, sales, marketing and customer satisfaction reports as and when you need them, even when you’re on the go.

Ready to find out more about QuickStart CRM?

At Redspire, we specialise exclusively in Dynamics 365, helping clients across different industries – from Government to Financial Services – transform digitally. Working with world-class tools from the Microsoft universe, Dynamics integrates seamlessly with existing operations to unify whole businesses into a single, intelligent system. Get quick installation, rapid delivery and faster return on investment with Microsoft Dynamics QuickStart CRM. Read more today or get in touch for a no-obligation chat with our consultants now.

6 min read

Public Sector: Digital Transformation through Microsoft Dynamics 365

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Can public sector organisations afford not to take advantage of digital tools?

It’s a slightly controversial statement but nevertheless true. Whilst commerce and industry advance at speed towards great digital change, the public sector in the UK is in danger of being left behind. Potentially, at great sacrifice to public health, well-being and economic wealth. It’s indeed an uncomfortable truth that our most visionary, forward thinking public sector leaders are challenged every day in a drive to make UK public services world-leading again.

Digital transformation in the public sector

In the UK’s Institute for Government’s Manifesto for Changing Public Services it’s estimated that up to £46billion could be saved across UK public sector year on year with digital transformation that eradicates out-dated legacy systems and the need for costly suppliers. Which equates to an additional 1m frontline public servants.

Which begs the question, can public sector organisations afford not to take advantage of the digital tools available today?

Innovative public sector leaders value digital change

Innovative leaders in the public sector continue to push the mandate in a positive direction, encouraging their boards and final decision makers to engineer the digital change that will steer the UK and its people in the right direction. All the while, commercial private sector businesses, innovative third sector organisations and manufacturing, banking and financial services leap ahead with digital transformation that’s energising their business, boosting their bottom lines, massively slashing costs and increasing customer satisfaction tenfold.

Deploying an innovative digital toolkit has the power to solve much of the organisational pain our local authorities and service providers face, whilst correcting the disconnect that so many of our citizens feel from our elected leaders and public services. Saving heaps of money from public funds in the process.

CRM for citizen engagement

As the demographic make-up of our country ages and shifts, it has never been more important to reach citizens at a time that suits them, where they naturally consume their media and messages. Our culturally diverse and digitally switched on nation demand personalised multi-channel, multi-lingual interactions. Keeping citizens informed, engaged and aware in a cost effective, timely manner, and in a way that speaks their metaphorical language is invaluable. Yet a difficult operation without the right digital tools.

CRM solutions for the public sector

Enter Redspire and Microsoft Dynamics 365, with the tools and expertise you need revolutionise your organisation. Bespoke solutions built to your organisational needs, these purpose-built Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications work seamlessly to help manage specific business functions across the organisation including Customer Service, Operations, Finance, Field Service, and Marketing, and all contribute to Customer/Citizen Insights.

CRM in simple terms simple terms is a category of integrated, data-driven solutions that improve how you interact and do business with your clients. CRM systems and applications are designed to manage relationships, track engagements and sales, and deliver actionable data, all in one place.

The next generation of intelligent business

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is the next generation of intelligent business applications that enable organisations to grow, evolve and transform. As technology continues to transform the world, Redspire are a driving force that will help public sector organisations optimise operations, reach and engage with the public and empower employees to deliver services and the most personalised and powerful ways

Digital Transformation is here. And it isn’t only for corporate, digitally focused businesses. The tools must be deployed for public sector organisations. Our public services can, and should be as accessible as Amazon, as easy to use as Google and as exciting and flexible as Uber and AirBnB. And all delivered ethically to deliver front end services, in the public’s best interests and with the ability to save millions in public funds.

AI for the Public Sector

Artificial Intelligence has become ‘The New Normal’ and touches many aspects of our everyday life. Early adopter public sector agencies like Enfield Council and Aylesbury Vale District Council are already seeing the transformative value for services and citizen engagement, investing in AI chatbots to improve customer service, simplify internal processes and to guide residents through various form fill processes.

Constantly learning from previous conversations with residents, these revolutionary bots have the power to improve response times to generic service queries in areas like benefits and council tax queries, refuse collection requests and so much more.

Future planning with CRM

What does the future hold? The certainties are improved efficiencies, reduced demand on services and employees, a holistic citizen view that creates a better client experience and improved insights that lead more effective service provision. Digital tech provides a tremendous opportunity to improve all citizens life, for the common good of our country, and with ethics, security and privacy at the forefront of all decision making.

The fourth Industrial Revolution is here

We are now part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. The McKinsey Institute has stated that AI is contributing directly to a tremendous transformation of society, “happening ten times faster and at 300 times the scale, or roughly 3,000 times the impact” of the Industrial Revolution in the 1800’s.

What does this mean practically? Digital learning and skills development will be a core component of literacy and basic life skills. From pre-school to higher education, our education system must revolutionise and ‘keep up’ with the constant digital developments to ensure we don’t face skills shortages or challenges with talent acquisition.

What is certain however, is that change resistance within the public sector is beginning to break down. The opportunities for cost and efficiency savings, shared resources and joined up processes are too phenomenal to be ignored. Case in point, the Smart London plan, in which the City of London sets out the bold yet achievable ambition to become the smartest city in the world through mobilised services, data innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Improving the lives of some 30 million visitors, residents and workers.

Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders

Redspire has been a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner for over 15 years, helping all types of organisations across the UK transform through digital innovation and improvement. Our ever-expanding team of Microsoft certified consultants bring Dynamics 365 to life, with a bespoke solution that overcomes unique organisational challenges with a straightforward, customer centric approach. Our clients stick around, partnering with us long term, every time.

If you’re a digital leader who’d like to be part of the discussion on advancing digital transformation for the greater good in your organisation, reserve your spot at our interactive forum for public sector leaders today.

This not to be missed forum at Microsoft Scotland HQ, Edinburgh on 1st November 2018 will be chaired by Dr Jim Hamill – in association with Microsoft, Bridgeall and Exactive. Together, we’ll set the tone for the future of digital innovation in Scotland, and provide invaluable tools and support that persuades stakeholders and key decision makers on your future vision.

Full details can be found here – Accelerating Digital: An Interactive Forum for Public Sector Leaders. Sign up today.

3 min read

Why CRM Doesn’t Instantly Create Customer Experience

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Every year, at around this time, we like to reflect on the year that’s passed and what the key learnings have been for us as a business and for the wider CRM landscape.

This year, unsurprisingly, one of the main themes is the blurred line of customer experience and customer service.

With much of our new work this year coming from the insurance and financial services sector, we’ve been at the coal face of one of the most commoditised markets, and each and every one of those projects has been a salient reminder of the enormity of customer experience.

Regardless of the sector that your business is operating in, customer service and customer experience are two different things.

Customer service is about those individual moments when employees are providing direct interaction to customers, what happens prior and what happens next.

Customer experience is so much wider than that. It encompasses every single aspect of how a customer perceives your organisation. Website, packaging, events, marketing campaigns, sponsorships, blogs, product delivery, going beyond the necessary, knowing customers so well you can predict what they might be interested in next, knowing when to back off, knowing their price.

So, even with the best efforts of every single department to provide excellent customer service every time, if they are not joined up, your customer is left with just a snapshot, and that’s not enough to evoke the positive feeling you need to create customer loyalty. It’s enough to satisfy their need in that particular transaction but nothing more.

That comes down to emotions. Yes, even in B2B.

Emotions shape the attitudes that drive decisions. More than 50% in fact according to the Journal of Consumer Research.

Customers will be loyal because they remember how they feel dealing with you. If you get it right once, well done. If you get it right twice, not bad at all. If you get it right across the whole journey, you’ll win their loyalty. I know if I think about the businesses that we deal with, and those I interact with personally, I know I could go anywhere at any time. I have to like them. I have to think they make my life easier or better in some way. And for our insurance clients where prices can always be matched, it’s been even more critical that they don’t slip up, ever.

In one department such as claims handling, everything could go beautifully. But if I’m the customer and I’m contacted at the same time about a fantastic new product and it doesn’t recognise I’m currently dealing with another claim, I’m going to wonder why departments aren’t talking to each other! Separate decisions in separate departments all impact on customer experience so it MUST be joined up.

Businesses starting their journey with CRM generally always want to know how it will help create customer experience.

It won’t. It will, however, facilitate it.

It will bring together all of those excellent customer service efforts into one place meaning that the overall effort can be overseen and future needs can be predicted before the customer even knows they have the need. You can be attentive and proactive without wasting their time.

With 60% of customers willing to pay more for a better experience (according to American Express) and the increase in customer loyalty that comes with it, look beyond the functionality of the CRM systems you are looking at, and really get to grips with the very first stage of how it will inform your overall experience.

 

Want to follow up on this?

We’ve broken the CRM journey into key chapters. Find the full series overview here.

In the spirit of customer experience, we also like to talk. Every conversation leads to more knowledge so feel free to get in touch!

3 min read

Customer Experience: May the battle commence

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How would your customers rate the customer experience you give them? Would they call you customer-centric?

The various departments of your organisation may all be delivering exceptional customer service but if it doesn’t all hang together into a solid journey from start to finish, then you are probably losing opportunities and loyalty.

Customer experience is a big topic.  Where customer service is about a one-time interaction, customer experience is about the coming together of all touchpoints with consistency across channels. The aim is that each customer feels like you know and understand them and that you know what you are doing, that all the moving parts of your business work together effortlessly to produce the products and services that you are guaranteeing. One weak link such as incorrect records, repeated conversations, chasing for information or poor delivery standards after a promising start casts doubt over the whole operation.

It’s predicted that 2020 will see customer experience overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. That’s a good thing for businesses striving to provide the best quality of product and service in their category but without the operational set up to make the customer journey work, it could be the end for many.

 

What does a good experience look like?

The goal is that intangible factor- likeability. If you imagine you were looking at two identical proposals from two different companies whom you believe to offer very similar products and who want your business. Which one do you give the business to? Yep, the one you just feel more drawn to, who seems more able, who is ‘on it’, who you don’t have to teach to suck eggs, who you feel can relate and understand you and your needs.

 

Here are just a few of the most important factors.

Consistent Customer Insight – With insight from across the business, you can personalise experiences, tailor communications, cross-sell, up-sell then use all that knowledge of what works to create other opportunities. Single Customer View and Voice of the Customer are just two of the tools that let you collate and access this level of knowledge in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Omnichannel Engagement – It seems obvious but a customer should be able to interact with you over a multitude of channels and still get a consistent experience. So, if a customer has engaged with you on one channel, they then expect you to know that when they then contact you through another channel. Likewise, they expect you to know the detail of that interaction and to be able to pick up where they left off with no repetition. 52% of consumers say that they are less likely to engage with a company if the mobile experience is a let-down.

Responsive customer experience – Every interaction should help to inform the next and not only that, it should help to improve the customer journey for every customer that comes after.

 

So, what now?

Businesses are investing.  According to a Gartner survey, more than 50% will redirect investment into customer experience technologies next year with the first focus on the ways that they collect and analyse customer feedback.

Do you know how your organisation will respond to the new customer experience battlefield?  In our next blog, we’ll give you the lowdown on how Microsoft Dynamics 365 is making it easier for you to bring your organisation into alignment with your customer experience goals.

And if you’re currently looking at CRM, you might find our webinar ‘What CRM solutions are available?’ helpful where we’ll explore the many options open to you!

2 min read

The Truth About Your Customer Service

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All successful businesses have one thing in common. They ‘get’ their customers. Not only do they make sure the product/service is meeting their needs, they make sure that their relationship with them is unshakeable by providing the best possible customer service. So, what does that look like?

Well, here’s what it’s not. It’s not keeping your customers waiting for information, it’s not being passed around multiple people, it’s not missing deadlines and only explaining after the event, it’s not when the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, it’s not blaming other departments when things go wrong, it’s not incentivising new customers and taking the existing customers for granted, It’s not providing information only when it suits you.

Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? Yet UK firms that aren’t getting customer service right are losing £234 billion a year.  So what gives? Why is it proving so hard?

First of all, the service you think your customers are experiencing and the reality can be two different things and it won’t be because you’re not trying. One of the first things we do with our own clients is look at their existing processes. Yes, we’re IT driven but every piece of software and every application have the potential to enable or disable your team’s best intentions.  So we ask questions like:

  • How do your processes look?
  • Are teams able to communicate effectively with one another?
  • How easy is it to access and share information between departments?
  • How quickly and effectively can a client’s query be answered?
  • How easily can you spot a pattern in complaints or in product issues before they happen?
  • How do your customers want to interact with you?
  • What are your customer satisfaction rates?
  • What areas do your customers need you to work on?
  • Every process you have should be removing the barriers that prevent all of these happening.

How would you answer all of these? At the end of this month, we’re holding a webinar to look into exactly how Dynamics365 removes the barriers to gold standard customer service.  Not that long ago, CRM was a means to collect and store data, identify your best customers and prospects, send customer communications and to look at buying patterns.  Dynamics 365 has responded to the new age of customer expectations and has changed the customer service rules significantly.

Find out more information by watching on our Dynamics 365 for Customer Services webinar.

4 min read

Marketing Wins: Keep Your Customers Coming Back with CRM

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A new blog on how the right CRM customer experience can retain customers, not just attract them. Read more