4-page Case Study - Posted 12/31/2012
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Laurentian Bank improves client services, increases sales and streamlines operations with Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Founded in 1846, today, Laurentian Bank of Canada has more than 4,000 employees today, and operates 158 branches, 36 commercial banking centers and 15 brokerage offices in Québec and across Canada. Headquartered in Montréal, the Bank offers a wide range
of products and services to meet the financial needs of individuals and small and medium-sized businesses alike. In addition to occupying a privileged position among Québec consumers with the third largest branch network in the province, the Bank has also
earned a solid reputation elsewhere in Canada as a leading player in select markets.
||Having to comb through three or four different systems to get a full understanding of a client was a big challenge for staff. Today, when you go into a branch, the teller will have a 360-degree view of your profile within seconds.
| Patrick Remy
The Createch Group, a Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner and Consulting Firm
Laurentian Bank has always prided itself on keeping superior service at the top of its priority list, but with much of its client data either residing on paper or stored in various, outdated digital systems, the Bank felt its day-to-day interactions with its
clients were too slow to meet its high service standards. More specifically, personnel had to comb through four or five different systems – sometimes inputting the same basic data again and again – to obtain a full picture of a client, their assets, and their
“It was very time-consuming,” explains Yvan D’Ortun, Laurentian Bank’s Senior Manager for CRM. “We needed to find a way to boost our pace and enhance our efficiency so as to eliminate repetition during our client meetings.”
With everything living offline, it was difficult to track trends, timelines and opportunities across its entire client base. Employees were having a particularly hard and arduous time because the information was so decentralized and localized on numerous
“Banks tend to be conservative,” underlines Patrick Remy, General Manager of the Createch Group, a Certified Microsoft Dynamics Partner and consulting firm. “Information tends to reside in the exact database as it always has because the system is very complex
– and they hesitate to move anything or to make a big change.”
However, recognizing that its technology needed to be updated, Laurentian Bank began to examine a number of investment projects that would streamline service across its entire operation. At the core of this assessment was the potential introduction of a
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, which organizes and synchronizes data to create better business processes.
While a total of three systems were evaluated, Microsoft Dynamics® CRM with a GaleForce add-on was ultimately chosen due to its flexibility, simple configuration and intuitive user interface. Another factor that came into play was that the other two options
had either high price tags or long implementation timelines.
Working closely with Createch, Laurentian Bank launched a pilot project in the summer of 2010, with official deployment scheduled for September. Over the next few months, Microsoft Dynamics CRM was gradually rolled out across each branch before live activation
in January 2011. Bringing together data from up to five of Laurentian Bank’s disparate systems, Microsoft Dynamics CRM now allows staff to pull up a complete customer profile as soon as they walk through the door.
“Having to comb through three or four different systems to get a full understanding of a client was a challenge for staff,” emphasizes Mr. Remy. “Today, when you go into a branch, the teller will have a 360-degree view of your profile within seconds.”
Microsoft Dynamics CRM also integrates with the Microsoft technology already familiar to many employees, including Outlook®, Word and Excel®.
By harnessing a fuller picture of its clients and their financial assets, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is not only helping Laurentian Bank offer better service, but also to grow the business by bringing together all the information previously stored in disparate
systems. With this greater transparency, the Bank can better track and analyze opportunities, proactively talking to clients as the need arises to build stronger service connections.
||Just by doing better follow-up and better management of this business area, we’ve increased the mortgage renewal revenue rate by 30 per cent (since Microsoft Dynamics CRM was implemented).
| Yvan D’Ortun
Principal Manager for CRM
“Laurentian Bank employees can now have a better understanding of their clients’ needs because they have the information needed right away,” adds Mr. Remy. ”The system has made their day-to-day operations more efficient.”
Ultimately, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is helping Laurentian Bank enjoy increased efficiency, improved client relations, stronger sales, and an easy-to-maintain solution for future business growth.
Before Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the paper-based and disconnected system meant a lot of administrative work for employees when it came to both drop-in and scheduled client interactions. As staff logged onto to multiple systems, they were required to input
the same details each and every time.
“Before we put our information online, retrieving the data took much more time,” explains the Bank’s Yvan D’Ortun. “It just wasn’t integrated”
Today, Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides an entire, 360-degree client history in just two pages – and within a matter of seconds.
According to Mr. D’Ortun says there was a bit of a learning curve in implementing the new system. Employees were concerned about an intuitive system that automatically tracked every new input, but the value of sharing data across every branch was quickly
realized. Their jobs became easier, faster and more streamlined. In fact, Mr. D’Ortun estimates that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is used for about 80% of the average employee’s workflow. Microsoft Dynamics CRM was very well integrated into their daily activities.
Employees are using it constantly and they almost can’t live without it.”
Improved Customer ServiceVia Integrated Profile View
As part of its dedication to service, Laurentian Bank surveys its customers regularly about its performance. Prior to 2011, one of the aspects in need of improvement was the constant repetition during client meetings. The institution had to find a way to
ensure that clients received the same level of service regardless of the particular branch they were dealing with.
“Now,” explains Mr. D’Ortun, “no matter what branch a client goes to, our staff knows that client’s profile — who they are, what they have with us, and what they were most recently looking for, be it mortgages or retirement planning. Right away, clients
have that feeling of ‘Okay, they know me.’ ”
Stronger Sales Via Lead-Tracking
By making a complete client snapshot readily available, Laurentian Bank’s business has been transformed. Staff members now have better tools to deliver tailored, value-added service that benefits both its clients and the Bank itself. “In Laurentian Bank’s
case,” indicates Mr. Remy, “Microsoft Dynamics CRM was not intended to be a cost-savings initiative, but rather, to serve as a means of improving efficiency.”
In the case of mortgage renewals, for example, each representative was responsible for compiling their own lists and renewal dates, as well as for following up with clients via telephone. Inevitably, it was more difficult to conduct systematic follow-ups,
and some of these could very well be delayed.
With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, all of that data is now stored in the CRM system and management can easily track every client touch point, reassigning staff as the need arises to make sure the Bank connects with each and every individual and at the most opportune
time — such as three to six months before a mortgage comes up for renewal.
“Since Microsoft Dynamics CRM was implemented, just by doing better follow-up and better management of this business area, we’ve increased the mortgage renewal revenue rate by 30%,” emphasizes Yvan D’Ortun. “By looking at those leads in advance, we’re able
to call the customer ahead of time to start that conversation. It’s certainly helping us grow our business.”
Ease-of-Use and Simple Maintenance
With more than 700 staff members using Microsoft Dynamics CRM daily – and all with different technical backgrounds – ease-of-use quickly become a huge benefit for Laurentian Bank.
During the 18 months prior to full deployment, the Bank and Createch worked closely to write training guidelines and materials for the financial institution. After that, however, Laurentian Bank wanted to have a solution they would be able to easily maintain
on their own to ensure sustainability for the years to come.
“Subsequent to implementation, they wanted to be able to do everything on their own,” indicates Mr. Remy. “Today, they are totally autonomous, and we are only on call for technical support.”
As a result, training on the system is much more streamlined, Mr. D’Ortun points out, noting that the finding was an unexpected but welcome benefit. Every staff member receives about three days of training before going live on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In
the past, it could take weeks for each new employee to learn the four to five different systems required to do their jobs.
“Whenever there’s turnover – whether that person leaves the bank or changes branches or positions – the new employee that takes his or her place can get up to speed a lot faster than before,” confirms Mr. D’Ortun. “We didn’t really think about that in the
beginning, but it’s meant big value for us.”
And that benefit will spill over into Laurentian Bank’s future plans for the system: Since implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM to manage individual clients, Laurentian Bank is now looking to add its commercial customers to the solution.
“We’re very satisfied with Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” concludes Yvan D’Ortun. “It’s very stable, very efficient and easy to maintain. It’s a beautiful tool for overall business management, especially when it comes to planning and program objectives.”
For More Information
For more information about Microsoft products and services, call the Microsoft Sales Information Center at
(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Canada Information Centre at
(877) 568-2495. Customers in the United States and Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone (TTY/TDD) services at
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For more information about Laurentian Bank products and services, visit the website at: http://www.laurentianbank.ca
For more information about The Createch Group products and services, visit the website at: http://www.thecreatechgroup.com/
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