CIMB: Transforming Customer Experience in Support of SMEs

CIMB: Transforming Customer Experience in Support of SMEs

With over 98% of the Malaysian business landscape being comprised of Small and Medium Enterprises (“SME”), CIMB Bank Berhad and CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad (collectively “CIMB” or “the Bank”) are committed to support the growth of SMEs in the country. Towards this end, the Bank continuously seeks to improve customer experience via enhancements to its solutions and services. CIMB’s on-going efforts in this area has led to its recognition with two award wins at this year’s most prestigious customer experience awards ceremony, solely dedicated to the best of the best in the finance sector.

CIMB has been honoured with Highly Acclaimed: Best CX Model and Highly Acclaimed: Best Digital Customer Experience in SME Banking at the Digital CX Awards 2020 by The Digital Banker. These award wins demonstrate CIMB’s commitment to enhancing the end-to-end customer experience using a design-thinking approach to make banking more convenient and seamless, particularly in a digital-first era.

Running on its second year now, the Digital CX Awards 2020 received more than 200 nominations across various awards categories. Making it through is a feat in and of itself, with a judging panel that includes subject-matter experts known for their integrity and unbiased judgment from companies such as Forrester, EY, Fuji Xerox, Bain & Company, Wipro Digital and KPMG.

“CIMB is honoured to be recognised with these Digital CX Awards given our strong emphasis on improving customer experience through transformational initiatives. As we transform each of our journeys, we take a zero based design approach with customer first attitude and including them in the design process. As we digitise the journey, we streamline and simplify all steps as well as eliminate non-value-adding steps. Winning these awards inspires us to do better, and we will continue to innovate for the benefit of our customers,” said Gurdip Singh Sidhu, Group Chief Strategy and Design Officer, CIMB Group.

As we transform each of our journeys, we take a zero based design approach with customer first attitude and including them in the design process. As we digitise the journey, we streamline and simplify all steps as well as eliminate non-value-adding steps.

Championing Customer Experience via CIMB’s Forward23 Strategy

Two main pivots of CIMB’s Forward23 strategy are customer centricity and technology and data. In line with this, the Transforming Customer Journey (“TCJ”) department was introduced as a catalyst for the bank’s transformation initiatives. CIMB’s Amazing Customer Experience (“ACE”), a commercial lending platform and mobile productivity tool for the Bank’s Relationship Managers (“RMs”) to assist SME customers, was the first Customer Journey initiative undertaken by the TCJ team.  Since its establishment, CIMB’s TCJ team have imbibed a new working culture by embedding design thinking and the agile methodology to shorten time-to-market. This has allowed Business Units to plan, develop and release products in short bursts while being nimble to change according to customer needs.

Transforming Customer Journeys: ACE – A Catalyst for End-to-End Customer Experience Transformation

The first completed Customer Journey saw the introduction of ACE, which features automation of several key processes and improved customer experience for CIMB’s SME customers. ACE leverages digitisation and automation to streamline customer experience by reducing manual tasks such as data entry for its Relationship Managers (“RM”) as well as improving customer engagement. The mobile productivity tool also allows RMs to serve customers’ needs remotely, minimising the need for face-to-fact contact in line with social distancing considerations.

ACE eliminates the need for manual data entry by utilising Optical Character Recognition-Natural Language Processing (“OCR-NLP”) technology, allowing it to extract data from physical documents and automate data entry into the Loan Origination System, i.e. Business Credit System (“BCS”), through direct APIs or Robotic Process Automation (“RPA”). This process automation allows RMs to spend more time on providing in-depth and personalised advisory services for the Bank’s SME customers. Furthermore, credit decisioning for simple cases is fully automated on ACE while complex cases will feature semi-automated credit decisioning.

In addition, ACE engages customers at every step of the way through auto-triggered notifications and allows RMs to better engage them through personalised message templates. This improves transparency and customer engagement during the loan application process. In addition, it increases workplace and internal efficiency, which accumulates into a competitive advantage.

Having incorporated extensive User Interface (“UI”) and User Experience (“UX”) research and features into ACE, CIMB’s new Service Design Blueprint and improved UI/UX design as exemplified by ACE is the foundation of the Bank’s new holistic CX Model.

By making both its front-facing and non-user facing platforms easier to use with better UI/UX through the design at scale principle and Service Design Blueprint, CIMB seeks to further boost productivity and efficiency organisation-wide. In the long run, it is expected that this will contribute to an improved Net Promoter Score for the Bank’s products and services.

Making Banking Easier for Customers’ Digital-First Lifestyles

CIMB has stayed on course and pressed ahead with its customer-centric innovation agenda since ACE was introduced, especially given the seismic shift in customers’ banking behaviour that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic since early-2020.

In line with the rapid rise of digital banking adoption necessitated by health and safety considerations, the Bank is also introducing its CIMB Biz Financing Portal for SMEs. This paperless solution is aimed at making the commercial lending journey more accessible, providing safety and convenience by leveraging digital capabilities to enhance customer experience. The portal will enable SME customers to upload documents and submit loan applications entirely online, providing convenience by eliminating the need to visit a branch.

“Together, our teams ensure that each Customer Journey is unique and provides a seamless experience of banking with CIMB. The Bank will continue with digitalisation efforts to enhance customer experience and support customers’ needs, particularly in the environment shaped by COVID-19. We aim to remain on the forefront of our Forward23 pivots of customer centricity and technology and data in transforming the Bank to better support our customers,” Gurdip added.

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