Maturity of customer data: HSBC UK

Digital Reinvention
22/03/2023 Interview
profile picture of Rob Fleming

Rob Fleming


Head of Data, Analytics and CRM

Rob Fleming is Head of Data, Analytics and CRM at HSBC UK. He tells Qorus and Wavestone how they utilize data in order to enhance their customer experience.

In your opinion, how does the use of data and the personalization of offers and paths respond to development or loyalty issues for your organization? What transformation does this evolution presuppose?

Starting with the point of loyalty issues within an organization. My view would be that this is a direct link between two key factors: 1) moments of truth where the customer trust is broken, or they are frustrated with the resolution of a specific query, and 2) lack of proactive engagement in relationship building and maintenance.

The first point is critical, and requires us to be focused on rapid response and slick customer experience (which can also be personalized via the use of data insights, relevant to the specific query/journey). There will undoubtedly be some customers where a single negative experience has a lasting detrimental impact. And others where there could be a build up over time. It’s therefore important to treat each interaction as a critical moment where trust can either be gained or eroded. Whilst the outcome may not always be what the customer would like, or the decision as quick, keeping them informed throughout a process is also critical. This is again where a personalized/tailored experience can be enhanced via the use of data. 

Looking at point number 2, this needs to happen from the initial customer onboarding and any subsequent sales or service journeys. Using data to understand both the customer’s needs and the specific journey they are going through, simply helps us be more relevant. We use data to inform points for proactive engagement e.g. where a customer has expressed interest in a product/service, and also to influence the type of content we display/share. Providing timely and relevant messaging helps provide a better experience and also helps the customer to navigate and/or understand options available to them. Through retrospective analytics we have demonstrated that early activation of products and services is more beneficial to the relationship growth (and therefore customer retention) than purely sales focused engagements. Trying to solve loyalty issues at the point where the customer has decided to leave is less effective to the long-term relationship retention. 

In order to ensure relevant and timely interactions with customers, investment in CRM technology is critical. There needs to be real-time data flows and multi-channel connectivity, such that both customers and frontline staff are communicated with effectively. Also creating an in-depth customer feature set to provide insight into customers’ behaviors, needs and preferences is also key for personalization. We’ve invested significantly in both of these areas, leveraging external tech partners. In my view these are really key enabler areas for personalization. 

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