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Boost Relationship Managers’ performance through Digitization

Being a Relationship Manager

Relationship Managers (RM) are always on the move and it is vital that they have access to all relevant information to excel in this fiercely competitive banking landscape. Over the years, the role of RMs is evolving along with banking technology. During my tenure with Banks as a RM, I seldom had answers to customer queries/remarks like these:

  • We met an RM from your bank last week and told him that we don’t have any banking requirements currently / we are interested in the following products. You should have checked internally before coming to meet us.
  • Is it possible to meet your business head? (Since business heads were based out of headquarters, it would take quite some time for them to fly down to customer location and have a personal meeting)
  • I have been spending a lot on banking fees and interests. Can you advise me how your bank can help me in save on these expenses?
  • I submitted my loan application sometime back, can you let me know the status of the same?

To add to it, I had to manually check with various departments/access various systems for critical information like:

  • Target Vs. actual status and my performance as compared to my peers
  • If cross-selling / up-selling products to customers, the person in the bank who could help me understand the product better 
  • The different critical exceptions pending for clients in my portfolio which needed my immediate attention
  • The status of applications that have been sourced by me

 

Enabling Relationship Managers – Digital Device Framework

Times have changed since then and banks have started equipping their RMs with the right ammunition or have plans to do so in the near future. And digital can play a very important role in this process. In this era of BYOD and banks providing tablets/smartphone to their employees, these gadgets can be effectively used to address the above described challenges. In short, the work of RMs can be digitized through an app which can provide access to real time data, along with various real time analytics on their portfolio.

Banks can look at developing an app for RMs with the following features:

  • Reports and Dashboards: The app has to provide status of his targets (income - fee and interest, exposure, balances, new clients etc.) and his performance in terms of MTD, YTD etc. This can be coupled with suggestions on areas on which he needs to focus with reference to his target. Banks can provide data on peer comparison and ranking with respect to target achievement. Senior RMs must get reports about their team members, their targets, pipeline, client list, exceptions, current task each member is working on etc.
  • Customer/Portfolio view: RMs can be provided with their portfolio information with drill down functionality on various parameters including ability to view details at customer level. This information can be further classified across products, checking accounts (balance, recent transactions etc.), loan account (limit, outstanding, recent transactions etc.), income, customer contact persons (name, designation, phone) etc.
  • Customer Insights (Cross-sell/up-sell/Potential Income/Advisory): Through analytics, RMs can be prompted about the products which can be sold to customers based on customer preference/business. Since these products would be recommended based on customer preference, chances of conversion would be high. RMs can be advised on existing products available to the customer to maximize revenue for the bank. They can then offer better advice to customers using simulation models explaining the impact of interest outgo/saving because of certain products, change in interest rates etc.
  • Call Report: RMs can capture meeting notes (call reports) of all their meetings (new and existing clients) in a structured way (with details like company name, revenue, sector, person met, designation, opportunity, existing banking arrangement, key point discussed etc. ). These notes can be accessed by anybody in the bank for future meetings. It will help them become proactive with respect to products/ services. Meeting updates can be sent to anybody in the bank automatically, as and when required. Details can be used by the bank internally for further analysis like call to conversion ratio, area with business potential etc.
  • Application Status: RMs should be able to view the real time application status (loans, account opening etc.) like date of log in, current stage, expected date of closure etc. This will enable them to better advise their clients. This app can further call in the RM, if his intervention/clarifications are required at any stage of the application.
  • To-do List: RMs are expected to manage their accounts not only in terms of improving income but also to ensure compliance of various terms related to customers, like mortgage perfection, KYC, documentation etc. RMs should be able to view the critical activities which need their attention and the activities should be prioritized based on deadlines. This will enable then to better plan their day and activities. Senior RMs should also be able to grant their approvals.
  • Contact List: RMs needs to manage their contact list for both internal and external stakeholders. Internally, they need to interact with product, risk, operations team etc. They should be able to view these contacts along with the list of customers tagged against each name. This will help the RMs interact with the concerned people. Also, RMs need to manage list of clients with details like contact person, phone numbers and email ids.
  • Product and Policy Information: Banks keep rolling out new products and regulators keep coming up with new norms. RMs often find it difficult to keep themselves abreast with all these developments. The app can provide quick and interactive training to RMs on new products, policies and any other important aspects which they should be aware of. Also, RMs can use the available product details to keep customers informed and share the same with them through mails.
  • Video Chat/Social Media: The app should enable video chats for RMs to interact internally with other team members and superiors based out of other offices. This feature can also be used to arrange video calls between business heads/risk heads and clients. RMs should be able to connect and interact with customers using social media. This will help RMs follow up on important tweets which could be potential leads. Senior RMs/ RMs can share feedback/suggestions/information with team/peers and collaborate in a superior way.
  • Manage Meetings (Tracking and Planning): RMs should be able to enter the meeting details planned for the day and view it based on location from their offices. They should be able to plan their meetings based on the suggested travel time and best routes to reach the client places.
  • Initiate Process: If a client shows interest in some product, RMs should be able to initiate the application from the client office and the subsequent tasks should be automatically routed to concerned department/person. RMs should be able to scan and upload the relevant documents required to process the application for the concerned product.

 

Benefits:

Banks stand to benefit greatly by developing an app exclusively for RMs:

  • Increased Productivity: RMs can focus on their key responsibilities. They can do better consultative selling without wasting time on accessing various systems, departments for the necessary information.
  • Improved efficiency: With easy access to information, other departments will not need to update various MIS periodically. This is bound to increase efficiency in the system. RMs will be able to manage their tasks better with timely alerts and notifications.
  • Increased Wallet Share: By offering products and services as per customer preferences and proper advice, banks would not only be able to sell more of its offerings but also increase usage of products and services currently offered to customer. This will result in better product penetration and maximizing income potential from the customer. 
  • Customer Satisfaction: RMs will be able to offer better advisory to customers as they will be better informed prior to meeting them. This will help build customer trust.
  • Better Training: With ready access to information on products and regulations, RMs will be able to learn and build on their skills. This will help create better interactions with customers.
  • Better Team Management: Senior RMs will be able to track and enhance team performance with the help of various reports.

 

Conclusion

The app will help banks improve the productivity of RMs by equipping them with all the required data to better engage customers. This will not only help senior RMs in team management, but will also lead to better collaboration between team members. If implemented effectively, the app will help control customer attrition as RMs are the face of banks and customers can completely depend on them for timely and accurate information.

 

Relationship Manager's Digital Device Framework
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Comments: (4)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 23 September, 2015, 14:02Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Comprehensive post, based, as you say, on your tenure as RM. And I'm curious to know when that was. Because, going by my recent interactions with them, banks project RM as the go-to person but are putting more thrust on making their customers do more via digital banking especially mobile banking. RM seems to be a dying breed and technology for RMs is somewhat moot. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 September, 2015, 08:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Ketharaman, thanks for your insights. This is based on my expeirecne around 3-4 years back. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 24 September, 2015, 09:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

And this is also based on recent interaction with my previous colleagues who are with Banks working as Relationship Managers

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 24 September, 2015, 13:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

What a change 3-4 years can make! Recently one of my banks introduced a service whereby customers could call a telephone # and their RM would call them back. On probing further about why a customer shouldn't simply call their RM's telephone #, the bank admitted that they were downsizing their RM organization. In the absence of a dedicated RM, anyone in the centralized pool of RMs that was free at that point would take the call. When I tried this service, the lady who called me back had no idea who I was despite the fact that I'd called from my "registered mobile #". Overall, it felt like dealing with a call center. This suggests that banks might need technology of a different nature - CTI? - for their RMs!

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