The CRM Roadshow Leaves A Lasting Footprint In SA

South Africa’s first CRM Roadshow was held at the end of March at Microsoft in collaboration with Mint Group. Aimed specifically at the Financial Services Industry (FSI), the event was deemed a tremendous success with the amount of Financial Services Providers (FSP’s) attending and logging in via live video conferencing from all over Africa, far exceeding expectations and capacity.

Unique, fun, and informative were some of the words used by attendees to describe their experience of the day. The main message shared at the event stated that digital transformation is no longer an option but a necessity to ensure regulatory compliance, security and streamlined service delivery that enables, fosters and innovates customer eccentricity.

Kicking off the day, Microsoft Small and Mid-Market Solutions & Partner Lead, Derek Kudsee, spoke about the unique challenges that FSP’s are facing when it comes to customer centricity and technology, stressing that, “in order to transform and perform while satisfying clients and shareholders alike, FSP’s need to drive growth, change culture, simplify processes and reduce costs.”

He added that “digital is driving massive demand for transformation in financial services and that FSP’s need to deliver innovative customer and employee experiences with speed and agility while managing the realities of risk, regulation legacy systems and cost pressures.”
Addressing the real pain points of regulations, Edward Blake Group MD, David Woolnough stressed that they should be approached through client-centered design thinking and that there is a need to move towards a risk-based approach.

“Assumptions can kill a business,” and with the regulation list growing FPS’s need to avoid the risk of over-compliance and misinterpretation of regulations and should adopt client-centered design thinking.

“Let your customers be part of the development cycle. Understand your customers’ journeys, limit the impact of regulation to your customer experience as much as possible,” Woolnough advised.

Concurring with the dangers of assumptions, NewOrder Industries MD, Gavin Hetherington, warned that, when it comes to security in the FSI, organisations can never be too safe. “With the FSI being one of the most-targeted sectors for cybercrime, FSP’s need to use advanced threat intelligence and detection solutions to anticipate, withstand, recover and evolve, warning attendees. “Cybercrime has moved out of the teenage hackers’ bedroom to globally organised crime making front page news with millions lost whenever an attack occurs.”

Content is King

All content presented and discussed during the roadshow fed into customer centricity and how FSP’s can guarantee both safety and growth for their clients, explains Mint Group CEO Carel du Toit, adding that, “as technology evolves clients expect more and want solutions to be tailored to their specific interested, abilities and lifestyles.”

This trend was demonstrated by Yolande Bothma, the Head of CRM for one of South Africa’ most renowned rewards programs, eBucks, who noted that, when it comes to customer centricity, content is everything.

“We use targeted content to help our members extract value from their day-to-day financial behaviors and to do the things that are important to them. We do this by identifying prevailing groups within our market, talking to them and understanding and their respective needs, then we package relevant progammes that will interest, benefit and reward them.”

She then went on to explain how a CRM system is used to enable this, how it should be managed and customised to ensure that you are not just managing data but actually using it to ensure customer centricity.

Following Bothma’s presentation, FNB CRM Portfolio Head, Muneer Ebrahim, shared how digital transformation is enabling FSP’s to be more customer centric; the main changes that are seen in client demands, how FNB is enabling dialogue with its clients and what the four most important customer centricity drivers in the Financial Services Industry are.

The day ended off with a spirited, interactive discussion between Mint Sales Executive, Francois Pienaar, and a panel of experts who addressed questions submitted by attendees.

Paving the way for South Africa’s second CRM Roadshow in 2018, du Toit concludes that the event exceeded everyone’s expectations and highlighted the desire that Financial Services Providers have to network effectively, collaborate efficiently and ensure digital transformation for better client relationships.