It used to take the Al Rayan Bank (ARB) hours to open a new account for a customer. Now the process is completed in minutes.
Customer accounts opened in real time. Balances available in real time. Product enhancements launched in real time. This is Al Rayan Bank’s vision for its customer experience. And, thanks to Salesforce, it’s not just a vision but a reality.
“With Salesforce, we can react more quickly to customer requests and changes in the market. It is fundamental to the productivity and profitability of the bank,” explains Mohamed Gamil, Chief Operating Officer for Al Rayan Bank — the UK’s only wholly Sharia compliant retail bank.
From tracking leads and monitoring sales progress, to processing home finance applications and managing internal workflows, Salesforce CRM touches every process and every team at the bank.
The launch of the bank’s cashiering app has extended that remit even further. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, the new app will be used by staff to facilitate a range of transactions, such as account transfers, international payments and standing orders.
“The app will enable us to provide a faster service to our customers and ensure account balances are always up to date,” comments Gamil.
The app is the latest in a series of ground-breaking technology initiatives undertaken by Al Rayan Bank. “In the UK’s competitive banking sector, you have to use the latest and most innovative technologies to attract and retain customers,” says Gamil.
It was this conviction that led the bank to deploy Salesforce in March 2010. Al Rayan Bank initially implemented Sales Cloud as a replacement for its ageing and costly CRM system.
“We rapidly realised that Salesforce could help us with much more than just CRM,” comments Matthew Glover, Head of IT and Change Delivery. “It has become an enabler for the entire business, simplifying and unifying key customer-facing processes.”
For example, when a customer opens an account in a branch, by telephone or online, the process is the same, the information is the same, and so is the underlying system.
“As soon as a customer presses the ‘apply’ button on the bank’s website, they are in our Customer Account Acquisition system, which is powered by the Salesforce1 Platform,” reveals Glover. More than 60 percent of account applications are now initiated online.
“From tapping in their details to receiving their bank account number can take as little as 15 minutes,” explains Glover. “We’ve automated the entire application process, including identity and credit checks, which means there’s no wait and no paper trail for our customers.”
Thanks to Service Cloud, Al Rayan Bank can provide an equally rapid response to ad hoc customer queries. Every case is logged centrally in Service Cloud, which means all the bank’s staff can track progress and provide customers with an update as needed.
The solution is also being used by the bank’s IT department to log system changes, issues and access requests.
Al Rayan Bank has also extended this centralised and standardised approach to its Home Purchase Plan, one of its flagship products.
Every time a Home Purchase Plan product needs updating with new rental rates, the bank has to change the underlying workflows and forms. “The product was fed by three systems, which meant we had to key data in manually,” explains Glover. “With the Salesforce1 Platform, we’ve been able to centralise everything on one platform.”
As a result, Al Rayan Bank can now update the Home Purchase Plan product in a matter of hours rather than three or four days and process customers’ home finance applications 10 percent faster.
It can also introduce new products in a shorter timeframe. “We can get a new product to market within 30 days of it being approved by the bank’s committee,” reveals Glover.
Al Rayan Bank has launched three new ISAs since deploying its Customer Account Acquisition system and also completed a major overhaul of its Home Purchase Plan platform to comply with new legislation.
“With the Salesforce1 Platform, it took us just three months to update our processes following the Mortgage Market Review; with any other system it would have taken six or even nine months,” comments Glover.
Al Rayan Bank can also quickly add new functionality by drawing on the Salesforce AppExchange. It already uses apps for managing risk, sending SMS notifications to customers, creating documents and checking postcodes.
Using third party apps and Salesforce APIs has helped Al Rayan Bank control its expenditure. “The more we use Salesforce, the greater the return on investment,” says Gamil. And there are still more opportunities to tap into, for example using Salesforce Chatter, an enterprise social networking tool, which is used extensively as an internal communications tool by the bank’s employees.
The bank’s centralised approach has not only made business information more visible but also more accurate. As Gamil explains: “Previously everyone used different spreadsheets; now with Salesforce we can ensure that our information is consistent and correct.”
This means the hundreds of reports generated by the solution every year are also correct. These reports are fundamental to monitoring the bank’s performance – from its marketing campaigns and savings products to its customer service levels.
“Every member of our team has their own reports and dashboards,” comments Glover. “And we can set up new ones as needed. In the past, we had to ask the IT team, but with Salesforce the ownership sits with the business users.”
By simplifying reports and management information, Al Rayan Bank has reduced its administrative overhead by 30 percent since implementing Salesforce.
“Salesforce provides us with the accurate insight and efficient processes we need to continue to grow our asset portfolio and drive profitable growth,” concludes Gamil.