Ulster Bank improves NPS score by 10 points since adopting Salesforce

Ulster Bank has managed to boost its net promoter score (NPS) by 10 points after turning to Salesforce by giving its relationship managers better access to customer information.

The Irish bank also considers itself 'first in market' to use Salesforce's Einstein tools, giving its frontline staff access to AI-enabled insights since June 2017.

Speaking on stage at Salesforce World Tour in London last week, Maeve McMahon, head of marketing and communications at Ulster Bank said: "Our vision is to be the number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy."

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The bank started with a small pilot in mid-2016, trialling Salesforce software with just 10 managers within its private banking department and encouraging them to go through the Salesforce training programme: Trailhead.

The trial was clearly a success, with the bank quickly scaling the number of 'trailblazers' to 500 relationship managers within a ten week period across the rest of the bank.

"For anyone who works in banking, to get anything done in 10 weeks is an achievement," McMahon quipped.

Since shifting to Salesforce, Ulster Bank has the best NPS score amongst Irish banks - which is a measure of the propensity for a customer recommending the brand - according to McMahon.

Of course, being part of the RBS Group which had to be bailed out following the 2007 financial crash, as well as a well-publicised IT disaster in 2012, the whole group is starting from a low benchmark when it comes to customer advocacy and trust.

When McMahon joined the bank from GE Capital in 2015 she found that it had Salesforce licenses but it was "out here in the corner, probably in the box and not really being utilised enough. It was probably the bane of our business managers lives, no disrespect to Salesforce," she said.

Once the bank had started running its pilots, McMahon and her team began running some adjacent workshops with relationship managers to find out what their biggest pain points were. She asked: "How do they approach customer conversations and how do we get this technology to help you do your job better?"

Speaking to Computerworld UK as part of a press Q&A later in the day, McMahon explained: "These revealed they were spending a lot of time on manual paperwork before they went and did customer reviews to go through all of the transactions and all of the data over the period of a year.

"That's a lot of data and sales people, with the best will in the world, are not the best people to transact that data and have intelligent conversations at the same time."

Instead, McMahon wants the Salesforce CRM software, and increasingly the embedded intelligence of its Einstein features, to do the heavy lifting for relationship managers before they go into these customer reviews when it comes to having the relevant data and information at their fingertips.

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McMahon's efforts have clearly been noticed too, having been promoted by RBS Group to take this blueprint to the wider bank to improve the NPS score of other subsidiaries like Natwest, with McMahon hinting that this might mean the need for more Salesforce subscriptions across the bank in the future.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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