Treasurer SpotlightCase StudiesCase Study: Chile’s CorpBanca and customer relationship management

Case Study: Chile’s CorpBanca and customer relationship management

The head of development at the Latin American bank explains how installing and developing a CRM system more than a decade ago has helped underpin its steady growth.

Founded in 1871 and with its headquarters in Santiago, CorpBanca is Chile’s oldest operating private bank and a leading Latin America banking group, with operations in Chile, Colombia and Panama, as well as branches in the US and Spain.

Owned by Itau Unibanco – the continent’s second-largest banking group by assets after Banco de Brasil – CorpBanca is Chile’s fifth-largest commercial bank, generating annual revenues of more than US$1.2bn. Over the past five years, the group has seen steady annual growth of over 10% and has listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) since 2013.

CorpBanca has 390 branches in Chile and Colombia, and also investment branches in New York and Madrid. Its total consolidated assets are US$29.4bn. The bank has 3,500 employees and specialises in corporate banking for medium- to large companies, also managing a large portfolio of individual high net worth (HNW) clients.

As a competitive differentiator CorpBanca emphasises the quality of service offered to customers; a policy that was instigated back in 2003. In response to fierce competition in the Chilean market, the bank decided to re-position itself by focusing on developing high-quality customer service that distinguished CorpBanca from its peers.

The first move was to select and install a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Back in 2003 the CRM concept was still relatively new and the bank was looking for a quick and cost-effective solution for the short term.

A priority task was to strengthen its contact centre. CorpBanca already had its own internal complaints management process, which was a method based on a numbered ticketing system, through which it was difficult to follow the requests and demands of customers and give them commitment to timescales.

Additional challenges included migrating bank entities to a single system, having all customer data on a single system and addressing the lack of customisation.

Having evaluated the tools available on the market at that time, CorpBanca selected the Pivotal CRM solution developed by US software company Aptean from its local partner CMT Latin America. The bank decided that Pivotal was the most flexible and accessible solution then on the market and one that it could easily implement quickly.

Initially, the solution was deployed in the bank’s contact centre to about 30 users for entering clients’ requests and complaints. Having begun as the bank’s customer service tool, its wider potential was recognised and it quickly also became a platform for customer management.

CorpBanca decided to develop and customise the solution internally. Pivotal was integrated with the phone network and then with the sales department so that sales representatives could have access to customer requests and incidents.

In 2009, CorpBanca decided to further extend its use of Pivotal beyond the contact centre and sales department, and start employing it to manage marketing. By the end of that year, there were around 1,000 users of the system across Chile.

Keeping pace with growth

The next stage came in 2012. CorpBanca expanded its regional operations through the acquisition of two Colombian banks – Santander Colombia and Helm Bank and its branch in Panama – becoming the first Chilean bank to have banking subsidiaries outside its home market.

As a result, it needed to harmonise operations between the different entities. The Colombia banks used their own CRM system, but as part of its global strategy, CorpBanca aimed to unify data and processes between different entities, along with optimising costs. Pivotal was presented to employees of the new branches in Colombia, which happily adopted it as a replacement for their existing and expensive system.

Today, most of the bank’s 2,500 employees are active users of Pivotal, which covers all of the bank’s processes after being incorporated across customer service, sales, human resources (HR) and administration.

Since 2003, the bank has experienced many migrations and updated versions of Pivotal to keep up with the latest technology and meet its business needs. Moving beyond just a CRM, it has become a cross platform system offering a solid, stable solution that has proved versatile, integrates with SharePoint and is customisable.

Over the period, CMT Latin America has proved itself a true partner in working with the bank and understanding its needs – helped by its years of experience with international companies.

Today, when the average customer satisfaction for banks in Chile is around 78%, CorpBanca scores better than average: at least .4 points above, with a focus on its contact centre department.

The bank is now looking into migrating to version 6.5 of Pivotal CRM, designed specifically for mobile applications. With a new customer user experience (UX) and many features such as support for tablets and mobile phones, the migration should provide even more positive feedback for CorpBanca.

*The above article is an edited version of a case study originally published by Aptean.

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