Ulster Bank says it is a pioneer in using Salesforce's AI suite for CRM

25 October 2017 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Ulster Bank, one of Ireland’s traditional Big Four banks, has according to a press statement released by its PR team completed the world’s “first full-scale Salesforce Einstein CRM implementation” in the financial services industry.

With over 3,000 employees serving around 1.9 million customers across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Ulster Bank is one of UK and Ireland’s larger banking institutions. The Dublin headquartered company is a subsidiary of NatWest and part of RBS Group.

Over the past months, Ulster Bank embarked on a major technology transformation to revamp the way it manages its customer relationship management (CRM) endeavours. Leveraging the capabilities of a new and better system, the bank aims at improving the customer experience it offers to its customers, through among others having a customer 360 degree view, enhancing the touchpoints it has with clients and bolstering the smoothness of its end-to-end digital process. 

The bank, supported by consultants and technology professionals from Atos, pushed through a full renovation of its existing Salesforce CRM platform, including a data quality cleanse of the database, the build of a new Single Customer View (SCV) and, most importantly for its objectives, the addition of Salesforce Einstein. Salesforce Einstein is according to Salesforce, the vendor behind the solution, a comprehensive CRM platform that builds on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, allowing for users to benefit from a self-learning and more efficient infrastructure.

Ulster Bank says it is a pioneer in using Salesforce's AI suite for CRM

“This sophisticated technology platform means that Ulster Bank can now act in real-time to optimise its customer relationships, drive performance and gain a real competitive edge. The solution is ready to develop, learn and grow to give Ulster Bank a strategic and cost effective platform to meet and exceed future needs,” explains Alan Grogan, Head of Data and Analytics at Atos in UK & Ireland. He provided an example of how AI can improve client service: “we designed the platform to also include a next-best product recommendation engine in order to optimise managers’ time to respond to the needs of its customers.” 

Across the board, the new platform will according to him enable Ulster Bank to “enhance customer relationships, deliver greater business efficiency and increase sales revenue”.

Implementation in just six months

To bring the solution to live, Atos drew expertise from a global development team based across five time zones, which was put in place to accelerate delivery from what would traditionally have been years to just six months. Throughout the engagement, Atos experts worked closely together with experts from both Ulster Bank (business and IT) and Salesforce. 

Reflecting on the transition, Damien Judge, Head of Business Commercial Excellence at Ulster Bank, said “With the new platform, we have changed the system, the culture and the way our people interact with customers. The pace of change was phenomenal and now we have a CRM system with customer 360 degree view, generating insights to develop our business and moving us far ahead in the Irish banking market.”

Building on the first satisfactory results, the Irish bank is now investigating other advances using the platform, including better customer journeys, customer communications and knowledge sharing, plus even closer integration of the platform with the bank’s infrastructure and business.

Ulster Bank’s digital strategy is part of a wider strategic transformation journey which the financial services player has taken on. In line with its goal to become “the number 1 bank for customer service, trust and advocacy” in Ireland, the institution last year also called in support from McKinsey & Company to craft its growth development plans.