Absa inks key CRM deal with Salesforce

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Big-four bank Absa has signed a long-term contract with Salesforce, a provider of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

According to the bank, the deal is aimed at bringing about a step-change in servicing individual and business-banking customers as it accelerates its digitisation programme.

In a statement, the bank says in line with its efforts to get closer to customers, it is rolling out the software across its South African operations, providing customer-facing employees with CRM features that provide a “360-degree view” of the customer, enabling employees to service customers more efficiently.

“The agreement is a significant milestone in Absa’s digitisation transformation,” says Thato Matolong, Absa's managing executive for channel, infrastructure and change.

“In the past, customer-facing employees had to use multiple applications relating to customers. Now, we will have a single tool that provides a 360-degree view of a customer,” he adds.

According to Absa, the new agreement with Salesforce builds on work it previously commenced with the global cloud-based software solutions provider.

It says the difficulty for many banks in servicing customers is that various teams across different product areas (such as transactions, home loans, insurance, vehicle financing and banking), many geographies and different channels (such as contact centres and branches) often use different systems and processes to service customers.

This can result in customers experiencing services as uncoordinated or inefficient, says the bank.

By using a single customer interface, employees are better equipped with a seamless view of customer data and history across multiple areas and they are enabled to provide solutions more rapidly, says Absa.

At the same time, it adds, the new CRM solution better enables Absa to cross-sell products, thereby supporting revenue generation.

While implementation is a gradual process across the group’s operations in Africa, the cloud-based solution will allow for quicker client onboarding, faster solutioning for customers and “solving right” the first time, says Matolong.

The ultimate objective of the journey is to align behind a single distribution strategy and build world-class channels that deliver optimal experiences, he notes.

"Absa Bank exemplifies how to successfully conduct a true digital transformation journey, and we are honoured to be a part of it," says Denis Terrien, executive vice-president and CEO of Salesforce for Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

"Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and dealing with them in the new digital world requires developing an omni-channel strategy that is supported by a single view. This is the goal of the Salesforce Customer 360 platform."

“The new agreement not only talks to our digitisation journey, but also speaks to our strategy to partner with global leading organisations that continue to innovate in a space where we want to excel in terms of customer experience,” Matolong concludes.

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