Here's why CIMB is keen on using innovative technologies to drive #CX. Source: Shutterstock

Here’s why CIMB is keen on using innovative technologies to drive #CX. Source: Shutterstock

How CIMB’s top brass is leveraging technology to wow customers

TECHNOLOGY is a disruptor for most industries, but in the banking space, it is as much an enabler as it is a disruptor.

Banks are trusted by customers to handle their data, and through regular interactions between customers and branch or relationship managers, are able to capture the changing needs of customers.

As a result, they’re in a position to really translate customer expectations into technology-powered financial solutions to wow customers.

CIMB understands that. In an exclusive interview with Tech Wire Asia, CIMB Consumer Banking Group CEO Samir Gupta shed light on some of the initiatives that the bank is taking to drive technology adoption to remediate customer pain points and improve the overall experience.

“The customer is at the heart of everything we do and we aim to delight our customers in their banking journey with us. We have a strong focus on customer experience, which is why we established a customer experience (CX) unit in 2016.”

Gupta emphasizes that all of the bank’s technology innovations and projects are built with the customer or end-user in mind.

“We have an ‘experience design’ team that works on optimizing both front-facing services and back-office processes for a streamlined CX.

“We embed design thinking methodology in each step of our experience design such as journey mapping, customer research, user interview, user testing to ensure we walk in the customer’s shoes end-to-end throughout the process.

“By incorporating these methodologies and technologies in the design process, we are able to deliver a truly delightful experience to customers.

CX is a recurring theme at CIMB

Although the bank’s focus on CX started a couple of years ago, Gupta explained that customers being top of mind has made CX a recurring theme in the bank and its various initiatives.

Most recently, CIMB announced its mid-term growth plan Forward23. The series of projects will explore the use of analytics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence, and other technologies within banking operations at a total projected investment of MYR2 billion (US$480 million).

“As part of our next mid-term growth plan, Forward23, we aim to up the ante by being customer-obsessed.”

While the company aims to accelerate its journey to digital, it believes that it needs to carry its people along as well. Hence, Gupta revealed that part of the budget for Forward23 is reserved to upskill employees and help them support the company’s endeavor to provide a better CX.

“CIMB has allocated MYR75 million (US$18 million) to equip at least 15 percent of our workforce Group-wide to be digitally skilled by 2023, in tandem with customer demands of the digital economy.

“Core roles to be developed or acquired include agile leader, scrum master, data scientist, data engineer, UI/UX designers, and digital marketers.

“With digital culture embedded across all levels, we aim to wow customers by leveraging on data and delivering the best CX to them.”

In line with the bank’s ambition to be a customer-obsessed organization, Gupta says CIMB has kicked off 2019 with investments in transforming customer journeys, digital applications and business solutions, tech resiliency and security, and data and analytics.

Can CIMB conquer the culture challenge?

The biggest obstacle to digital transformation is an organization’s own people.

If the company’s people don’t want to think outside the box, resist innovation, and prefer to avoid new technologies introduced by management, then accelerating digital transformation can be a big challenge.

Moreover, when the company’s culture fears change, it tends to get in the way of providing a world-class CX.

Luckily, CIMB understands that.

“One of the initial and biggest challenges was transforming work culture into a customer-obsessed digital mindset.

“Every employee of the company must learn to think from a customer’s perspective. Instead of creating product requirements and moving straight into product development, we must spend more time understanding customers’ needs and incorporating them into our product design,” emphasized Gupta.

Given the massive investment in upskilling 15 percent of its workforce and ensure they have the digital skills to turn CX goals into CX results, it seems as though CIMB is walking the talk.

As a bank, CIMB is already ahead of many of its competitors that are still fighting the transition to digital, holding on to the legacy systems that have served them for the past few decades.

To usher in a new era in the industry in this region, all that CIMB needs to do is continue developing customer-centric innovations powered by cutting-edge technologies.