Volkskreditbank (VKB) AG wanted to be the most customer-oriented bank in its native Austria. The bank needed to make faster, better-informed decisions based on a 360-degree view of the customer, while improving the productivity of its staff and optimizing operational efficiency. The ultimate goal was to reduce the cost of sales and service, and increase profitability. However, the bank’s incumbent customer relationship management (CRM) system did not support this goal. VKB deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM and, as a result, increased the number of customers each salesperson supports by 32 percent in one year. Additionally, the quality of customer service is up 18 percent, sales efficiency is up by 9 percent, and the time needed to generate sales and marketing reports has been reduced by 95 percent. Situation
Faced with ever-changing customer behavior, dissatisfaction with fees and service levels, competition from new market entrants, and the erosion of customer loyalty, financial institutions are competing as never before.
|We needed a CRM solution to power our entire bank, not just a single division or set of products. Our experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM shows that we made the right choice.|
| Michael Reifetshamer|
One of the many banks confronting the turbulence of the European financial sector is Volkskreditbank (VKB) AG, the 140-year-old Austrian bank serving both businesses and consumers through branches located across the country. The bank says its goal is to be the most customer-oriented bank in Austria, and a deep customer focus is key to the bank’s strategy to compete in these difficult times.
However, the bank’s homegrown customer relationship management (CRM) system was not optimized to deliver on this goal. When salespeople, tellers, or other front-line staff needed customer insight, including basic data such as the roster of products and services customers used, they had to search several product-specific repositories—a time-consuming and error-prone process. Additionally, the bank needed to empower salespeople to take advantage of cross-selling and up-selling opportunities their customers presented, and equip customer service representatives with the tools and information to resolve customer issues in real time.
In addition to front-line staff, other key users of CRM data at VKB include executives, product managers, and marketers. Just like their counterparts in bank branches, these centrally located teams had to integrate data from multiple systems. Depending on the analysis required, it could take a week or more to gather and analyze the necessary data. Inconsistencies between datasets also had to be resolved, typically by the IT department, which further slowed the process. Solution
The bank evaluated CRM solution alternatives on a roster of requirements. High on that list was a CRM solution that would enable sales and service staff to be more productive by working with a familiar and easy-to-use user interface, with intuitive tools to enable teams to focus on their core competencies. “We wanted a CRM solution to solve our challenges, not create new ones,” says Michael Reifetshamer, IT Manager at VKB. “Any solution we selected would only be as successful as the willingness and ability of our employees to use it.”
|Every sales team member knows Outlook, so they know how to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM.|
| Michael Reifetshamer|
Solving the bank’s CRM challenges also meant that its choice had to be a fully enterprise-ready solution, enabling the integration of line-of-business applications and data silos to create a unified customer view—including account information, customer profitability, interaction history, and banking preferences and behavior—so the bank could target the right offer to the right customer at the right time.
On that basis, VKB selected Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides an easily customizable and scalable platform that optimizes sales and service productivity with innovative and easy-to-use tools that deliver improved efficacy, proactive insight, and enhanced collaboration. VKB’s deployment of Microsoft Dynamics CRM interoperates with Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, and Microsoft SharePoint.
Employees take advantage of that interoperability in various ways, depending upon their role. For example, front-line salespeople use the Microsoft Dynamics CRM plug-in for Microsoft Outlook as their primary means to obtain customer information, make customer appointments, and communicate with customers, all through the familiar user interface.
The information that the solution provides gives salespeople a comprehensive “360-degree view” of each customer, showing all of the bank products and services that the customer uses. Sales and service cycles can be streamlined by automating key tasks such as credit applications, approvals, and escalations. Customer acquisition can be improved by more effectively identifying, segmenting, and qualifying prospects. Cross-sell rates are boosted by giving salespeople access to historical and predictive data.
| Figure 1: VKB uses its solution to provide comprehensive|
information on each customer, based on the integration
of data from previously isolated systems.
Product managers and executives are also using business analytics for insight into line-of-business and customer segment performance and profitability. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, coupled with SharePoint services, SQL Server, and PowerPivot for Excel, delivers powerful, contextual analytics, real-time configurable dashboards, and key performance indicators to the desktops of product teams, marketers and executives for sophisticated reporting and analysis. Tracking sales status for specific products or services can be as simple as selecting the product and various parameters—such as branch or region, time periods, or customer demographics—from drop-down lists, and clicking for the result. This business insight provides the means to shape and later evaluate marketing campaigns, sales activities, product development, and more.
VKB is also expanding this business insight capability by providing customers with online, at-a-glance views on their overall relationships with the bank to accelerate purchase decision making. “Previously, we could only provide such information to customers at a significantly high cost,” says Reifetshamer. Benefits
Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides VKB with a customizable, scalable platform that can easily integrate with existing line-of-business systems. The result empowers staff with the tools required to identify profitable customer segments, provide superior financial advice, and execute on high-quality customer relationships.
|Our use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an important part of the reason our salespeople can serve more customers and do so effective.|
| Michael Reifetshamer|
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is making it easier for the business to collaborate, connect, and deliver results. Overall, this pervasive interoperability creates a better user experience, reduces IT costs and complexity, and enables VKB to achieve gains in both the quality and quantity of its sales and service activities.
“We needed a CRM solution to power our entire bank, not just a single division or set of products,” says Reifetshamer. “Our experience with Microsoft Dynamics CRM shows that we made the right choice.”
Easy Use and Interoperability Support Rapid Adoption
Reifetshamer and VKB wanted a CRM solution that would be easy to use, to spur rapid adoption. Front-line staff, product teams, and executives needed one place to get the information most important to them, and move between tasks with greater ease and without disruption. With a native Outlook user experience, Microsoft Dynamics CRM was adopted rapidly and reduced training time and cost by using tools that people already know.
“Every sales team member knows Outlook, so they know how to use Microsoft Dynamics CRM,” Reifetshamer says. “There’s no other look-and-feel to learn. That was a big part of our reason for choosing it, and it’s a big part of the reason the software has been so well-accepted by our employees.”
Sales Productivity Up 32 Percent in One Year
With highly personalized user experiences tailored to their job roles, salespeople have seen major productivity gains, and the time needed to prepare for customer meetings has been significantly reduced. With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, automated alerts and customizable workflow can help advisors maximize opportunities to cross-sell products while reducing time to resolve customer inquiries.
|We’re using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to replace guesswork with real-time analysis. We have more analysis, more current analysis, more accurate analysis. We can conduct analyses that just weren’t possible before.|
| Michael Reifetshamer|
The bank’s salespeople put this time to good use. With less administrative time required to serve each customer, salespeople can work with a larger customer portfolio. The average number of customers that each salesperson serves has climbed by 58 percent over five years. In just the past year, during which the bank undertook a major process-improvement project supported by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the increase was 32 percent.
Quality of Customer Service Up 18 Percent in One Year
Even better, the increase in the number of customers served has not adversely impacted the cost, quality, or effectiveness of that service. Salespeople aren’t sacrificing quality for quantity; they’re delivering more of both.
VKB’s customer adequacy ratio, the measure that shows how salespeople serve the bank’s highest-value customers, has increased 9 percent in a year. Additionally, the customer service standard, which measures the effectiveness of salesperson interactions with customers, increased by 18 percent over that time.
“Our use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is an important part of the reason our salespeople can serve more customers and do so effectively,” says Reifetshamer. “And Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the complete reason that we can track these measures. Before, we didn’t have the data.”
Time to Generate Analyses Reduced by 95 Percent
For managers and executives, the benefits from their use of Microsoft Dynamics CRM are equally impressive. Analyses and reports that used to take a week or more to assemble are now ready in an hour or two, a time savings of 95 percent.
With built-in business intelligence capabilities, powered by SQL Server, Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides real-time visibility into the business. Executives can now better understand the health of the business with real-time and configurable dashboards, improve visibility into branch and channel performance with streamlined activity tracking and goal management, and track customer-related key performance indicators (KPIs) to identify opportunities for operational efficiencies.
“We’re using Microsoft Dynamics CRM to replace guesswork with real-time analysis,” says Reifetshamer. “We have more analysis, more current analysis, more accurate analysis. We can conduct analyses that just weren’t possible before. It means we have the information to make better informed decisions.”
For example, Reifetshamer cites the bank’s employee reporting service, which tracks key indicators in the customer base and appointments data for each customer-facing employee. The bank uses the data and resulting analysis to help employees and their managers to be more productive.
Microsoft Solutions for the Financial Services Industry
Financial institutions continue to seek cost-effective solutions that create rapid and sustainable competitive advantage while laying the groundwork for future innovation. Microsoft and its ever-growing partner community develop solutions that meet the industry-specific needs of banks, insurance companies, and capital markets firms worldwide, and help financial services customers realize their full potential.
For more information about Microsoft solutions for the financial services industry, go to: For More Information
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