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Nationwide widens CRM to improve cross-selling

Christian Annesley

Nationwide is extending the use of its core customer relationship management platform to let contact centre staff handling inbound calls make more relevant offers to customers based on information collected during the call.

The building society has also embarked on a related CRM project to give contact centre staff access to self-service application screens that are already available online to customers. It said this would bypass some of the more unwieldy legacy systems that staff have been using.

Nationwide has been using a Portrait CRM platform since late 2002 to manage its customer relationships. The system enables staff to have more relevant and commercially productive conversations with customers by generating targeted sales and service prompts based on analysis of customer behaviour.

Since the introduction of the Portrait system, Nationwide has run a scoring model against customer data to update its behaviour profiles every month. It has now begun trialling a real-time analytics tool from Portrait which should generate improved prompts for staff to offer services, cross-sell or promote special offers.

"The potential offered by Portrait's Interaction Optimiser software is that for certain customers you will be able to recalculate their score on the fly and get a better result than previously," said Simon Baines, head of customer insight at Nationwide.

"Until now, on the basis of batch-mode scoring, we have had to decide all the things we might want to say to customers in advance and draw up a list of priorities.

"We will still do that, but alongside it Interaction Optimiser can now start running real-time rules to check if our original priority list remains valid. If not, it can dynamically reprioritise the chosen messages and even bring in other campaigns or service offers that may not have made the original shortlist."

Nationwide's contact centre and branch services are also being improved by moving staff off legacy system screens to the self-service banking screens that customers use online.

A live pilot in the building society's personal loans application process has enabled staff to view the online prompts rather than legacy screens.

"We are really keen on this initiative," said Baines. "Staff get the immediate benefit of a slicker and faster system."

Nationwide is planning to roll out the system across other product areas in the coming months.


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