Avinash Chugani, Senior Manager, CLM, Genpact, London
Jon Wood, Vice President, CLM, Genpact, London
It’s tough being a financial institution these days right? Regulations are daunting, compliance costs are escalating and, at a time when customer is king, cumbersome on-boarding, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures can damage relationships, putting revenue at risk.
Worse, those who do endure the on-boarding and account refresh process are often frustrated—and no wonder. Talk about pain points. As much of the process is still manual, it is slow and errors abound, plus there’s the sheer inefficiency of outdated methods: An estimated 25% of client records are either duplicates or inactive.
Why are financial firms stuck in this mire? The short answer: Many are hampered by legacy processes, including standalone systems. That’s where the case for automation and true digital transformation—is strongest.
Leaders know their institutions must change. They really do. They recognize that transformation will help them develop long-term, robust relationships with their clients. It’s just that many are having a hard time figuring out what levers to pull to execute transformation efficiently.
The key is to take a holistic view of the customer through client lifecycle management (CLM). That calls for redesigning processes to deliver a strategy spanning the full client lifecycle—the best way to harness the benefits of digital across the front, middle and back office. The result? Improved customer experience, cost efficiency and agility—all of which drive business growth.
These days, customers expect a flawless digital experience—and they get it with companies that provide innovative CLM. CLM is a great strategy for improving your interactions with clients, helping propel profitability. Effective CLM programs operate in real time and can help eliminate manual breakpoints, as they orchestrate and integrate data across the entire enterprise. However, to keep pace with customer expectations, firms need to carefully consider how best to organize their operation and complement it by stocking their digital arsenal with tools that genuinely deliver value.
Some of the basic components of CLM:
End-to-end workflow: the leader of the band
Key to effective CLM is the workflow component. Think of CLM workflow as the conductor of an orchestra, handling and coordinating a wide range of elements. These include:
- Customer on-boarding
- Client identification
- Due diligence/AML/KYC procedures
- Contract negotiations
- Customer set-up and product implementation
- On-going maintenance, refresh and change in circumstance updates
- Reporting (e.g. FATCA/CRS)
To help maximize benefits, workflow should be dynamic and underpinned by a robust and current rules-engine, plus data integration tools. This simplifies the end-to-end process, helping manage jurisdictional, product and client requirements in a compliant, timely and consolidated way.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): machine learning so you don’t have to
If you really want to maximize efficiency and impress your customers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be a great way to achieve this. Any company that collects data can access AI, opening the door to making more real-time business decisions that can help effectively manage risk and improve profits. One aspect of it? Machine learning—AI that allows computer systems to learn from human decisions. It then goes beyond to uncover patterns in complex data, learn from past behaviors and even predict future outcomes. Machine learning can adjust and improve on all the complex interactions involved in each phase of the customer lifecycle.
AI is also learning to “talk,” so to speak, through Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Natural Language Generation (NLG). These technologies assess vast amounts of data and can generate text-based outcomes. If you’ve ever scanned material using optical character recognition (OCR), you’ve used an earlier version of NLP. This next generation can analyze unstructured records and extract key texts, such as within legal documents.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA): more bang for the bots
Another big boon to on-boarding? Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA is the name for so-called “bots”—software programs that don’t require human input. RPA systems are great mimics: They imitate what people do when they interact with IT systems, workflow and databases. The good news is that RPA can be integrated easily with existing IT, delivering productivity by replacing human effort to complete many repetitive tasks.
Put dynamic rules-based workflow, data integration, AI and RPA together and soon we’ll be seeing true convergence and orchestration as never before across the front, middle and back office. That’s going to promote real-time data flows and rapid decision making.
Typically, businesses digitize their CLM using one of two approaches. You may want to consider which is right for you.
Top down—the end-to-end approach
If you choose this tactic, re-engineering process and implementing a dynamic workflow tool is typically the first step. Here’s a suggested order to make it successful:
- Design your Target Operating Model
- Choose the right workflow tool—one that is dynamic and agile
- Re-structure your processesto align with the base state of the workflow tool to minimize customization, saving time and development cost
- Select an appropriate mix of robotics and machine learning softwarefor key sub-process to further drive efficiencies
- Plan your implementation roadmap, coordinated with other projects that may impact delivery regulatory compliance
- Be patient! Remember Rome was not built in a day, it will take time to fine tune the end-state model.
Follow those steps and you’ll find that you’ll steadily progress towards faster turnaround, optimum process efficiency and provide much better customer service.
Bottom up—digital point solutions
Granted, it’s not always practical or possible to embark on a large scale transformation project. Maybe the budget isn’t there, or it the firm has already invested in some tools, but more needs to be done. Equally, simply knowing where to start can sometimes seem daunting.
Yet even under these conditions, you can still make headway. You just need to focus on tailoring the solutions to meet your need. Applying digital to key sub-processes can be a good strategy.
First, you need to determine whether you want to re-structure your processes or just streamline them—and that takes some thought. If you decide to forego streamlining in favor of introducing digital solutions, implementing the appropriate tools in each subsequent sub-process can still deliver big improvements. Of course, you won’t achieve the orchestration that an end-to-end CLM tool offers, but you will drive efficiency in your existing processes. Over time, as you build out your ecosystem of improvements, the business case for the end-to-end orchestration should become clearer. In this way you can still arrive at the same destination as the top-down approach, it may just take a little longer.
Are you ready to take the CLM challenge?
For all the benefits CLM promises, it can be a challenge to implement. CLM is an evolving concept, after all—and as the study cited here shows, the culture of financial institutions often makes it hard for them to evolve. Here’s what you may face:
- Resistance to change:Half the battle is to be open to new ideas and approaches. Firms that aren’t won’t recognize the benefits of CLM or will fail to implement CLM quickly enough
- Legacy systems: Archaic legacy processes, platforms and systems often leave little scope for maneuvering, making large-scale change a challenge
- Resources: Deploying the right technology, people and tools when introducing CLM can be expensive and may delay the decision to implement
- Where to start: It can be intimidating not knowing how to begin—and with no clear-cut answer, you might be inclined to hesitate
- Client on-boarding issues: The documents you need for on-boarding have never been more complex and varied.Firms need to manage and refresh complete audit trails and ensure event-driven reviews
We repeat: it’s tough being a financial institution today, facing a double-edged challenge. On the one hand: rigorous regulatory requirements. On the other: customers want—and deserve—digital self-service, faster transactions and an all-over rich experience with the firms they place their trust in. Businesses no longer have a choice in the matter. They must use every device available to keep pace with these demands.
Genpact (NYSE: G) is a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation for our clients, putting digital and data to work to create competitive advantage. For two decades we have been passionately generating impact for clients from the Fortune Global 500 and beyond, employing over 77,000 people in more than 20 countries, with key offices in New York City, Palo Alto, London, and Delhi.
Leveraging our deep domain experience and global talent pool, we design, transform, and run operations for banking and capital markets firms. Our CLM service line enables clients to deliver superior performance, comply with regulatory requirements, improve cross-sell effectiveness, and achieve higher rates of client retention.