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How NAB Embraced Digital Transformation so It Could Lower Costs and Ramp up Internal Efficiencies

NAB’s new business banking platform is delivering greater value for bankers and customers through a use-case approach to digital transformation.

NAB recently embarked on a digital transformation program that led to a new business banking platform. We caught up with Andrew Irvine, Group Executive for Business and Private Banking at NAB, to hear how the bank employed a use-case approach to building the platform that lowered risk, increased efficiency and united business bankers with a single view of its customers.

In banking, nothing is more important than the relationship between a bank and its customers. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any business and meeting their needs, whatever they may be and however unique they are, should always be the number one priority.

To help customers be more effective and lift the customer experience, NAB recently developed and deployed a business banker platform. To achieve this, the bank adopted a use-case-driven approach to the digital transformation needed to craft this new solution. Read more about how NAB devised a use-case-driven approach to transformation and accelerated value creation from technology in this BCG x Salesforce research, The Reset.

Andrew Irvine, Group Executive Business & Private Banking, National Australia Bank

Andrew joined NAB in September 2020 as Group Executive Business and Private Banking. He previously held a number of executive roles with the Bank of Montreal since 2008, most recently as Head of Canadian Business Banking.

Time for change

“​​We’re always on the lookout for how we can digitally enhance our customer relationships, using both a customer and a banker lens,” says Andrew Irvine, Group Executive for Business and Private Banking at NAB. 

“We ask questions like: How are we delivering solutions that make a banker’s life easier? What makes NAB a simpler bank to work with? Are we using all the data available to us to understand our customer’s behaviour to offer personalised solutions that meet their needs?” 

Before NAB implemented its Salesforce solution, the only way a banker could form a complete picture of a customer was to assemble data scattered across separate and disconnected systems. 

It was difficult and time-consuming. This fragmented process also made it difficult for bankers to form the best action to take with a customer, says Irvine. 

To overcome this, the team at NAB developed a platform to enable bankers to be more effective, efficient and productive for their customers. 

“We knew that putting the customer front of mind from the outset would be critical to a project like this one. If we are a simpler bank to work for, bankers can support customers faster and in a way that works for the customers – saving both the customer and banker loads of time,” says Irvine.  

“Our customers expect that we know and understand them. Data is at the heart of how we do this.”

Want to learn how to lower costs and boost efficiencies?

Download The Reset to learn how.

Delivering value quickly

“When we built our business banker platform, we focused on value creation from day one,” says Irvine. 

“Time was of the essence; we wanted to deliver ease and simplicity to bankers and customers quickly. Any system improvements had to be delivered quickly and in stages along the journey. Perfection and years to deliver was not an option.”  

NAB was driven to get the ball rolling and deliver ease and simplicity to bankers and customers quickly. To do this, it delivered system improvements and implemented updates at pace and in stages.

For NAB, working on the solution for years and striving for perfection before release was not an option. Instead, the bank iterated the solution and released it at stages, allowing bankers to come to grips with the new system as early as possible. 

When it came to the initial release, NAB rolled out the banker platform in a pilot phase that was embedded into the workflow for one-third of the company’s bankers. This meant the NAB team could gather feedback, iterate and adjust features as they went. “This approach meant we could avoid over-investing in the wrong solution or aspects of the program that wouldn’t deliver value to bankers and customers.”

Taking a use-case-driven approach

Before building the solution, the NAB team first homed in on what they wanted to achieve with this transformation project. In understanding its ideal end-state, NAB could focus on building a comprehensive solution that would help the company reach its goal. 

The solution needed to meet both customer and banker expectations. To begin with, NAB defined a series of use cases that articulated the requirements for each side, the functionality needed and the value at stake.

As a result of this analysis, NAB identified four key use cases that would deliver genuine value to bankers and customers alike. These use cases included: 

  • predictive needs-based leads 
  • predictive retention management
  • a consolidated view of customer interactions
  • notifications for servicing calls. 

Over six months, NAB worked within the Salesforce platform to deliver on three of these four use cases. As part of this work, NAB combined more than 300 separate data points to create a single source of truth that would help bankers uncover better customer insights and receive improved next-best-action advice.

Download The Reset for practical guidance on achieving a successful transformation

New ways of working require a cultural shift

The pilot program helped NAB refine the technical solution it needed, but it also highlighted the cultural shift and change management needed to drive adoption.

“Developing a new solution is one thing, but it’s pointless if people don’t use it,” says Irvine. 

“Our iterative change model meant we could collect feedback from our first users. This feedback helped us improve the technical aspects of the solution and allowed us to better understand how to encourage adoption,” he says.  

“Ultimately, we were able to show our bankers how to get the most value for themselves and deliver added value to their customers.”

Delivering more value to bankers and customers

“Twelve months on and we’re rolling the platform out across the business bank and seeing results. The platform has driven higher conversion rates, lowered portfolio risk, and helped our bankers to be more productive,” says Irvine. 

“The platform means we can better use all the data we have about our customers to help our bankers have deeper and richer conversations about how we can support their business,” he says. 

Irvine stresses that the most important thing is that NAB keeps its customer, and their desired outcome, at the centre of what they’re doing. 

“With this platform in place, we can know when a customer is facing stress or looking for support with a new opportunity, and our bankers can support more proactively – it enhances the relationship our bankers have with customers,” he says. 

“Our journey showcases the value of a use-case-driven approach. It shows how technology can be rapidly and iteratively deployed with less risk and at a lower cost. Most importantly, it’s delivering great value to NAB, our bankers and our customers.”

You can get more advice from financial services leaders from NAB and AMP in our latest report with BCG, The Reset. The report pairs stories of success from industry trailblazers and reveals three ways to accelerate value creation that will increase the odds of success.

Download The Reset to see how NAB made the most of its digital transformation

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Salesforce Staff

The 360 Blog from Salesforce teaches readers how to improve work outcomes and professional relationships. Our content explores the mindset shifts, organizational hurdles, and people behind business evolution. We also cover the tactics, ethics, products, and thought leadership that make growth a meaningful and positive experience.

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