How rebates and employee engagement are helping CBA build customer loyalty

Commonwealth Bank's head of data and decision science for retail products shares the journey to build a program that drives customer loyalty

When it comes to winning the approval of customers, handing out money can be an effective strategy – although perhaps not a sustainable one.

But for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, its quest to hand $150 million in rebates to customers is backed by the knowledge that doing so will create long-term loyalty that will more than recoup its investment.

CBA’s Benefits Finder program is the latest outgrowth of the bank’s investment in customer relationship banking, which commenced in 2015. According to the Matthew Malady, head of data and decision science for retail products and wealth, the goal was to create more targeted and relevant conversations with customer. A team was formed in a back office at St Mary’s (near Penrith) to begin exploring what was really important to customers, fencing off a subset of customers, call centre staff, branches and relationship managers and systematising the things they did best.

“‘Thank you for your loyalty’ was one of the really important conversations, and ‘Happy Birthday’ and nudges helped customers understand where they could avoid fees and charges,” Malady says. “Those things have worked incredibly well as we have scaled across our channels to where we have got to today.”

Initial success saw the program expanded at the end of 2015. The basic app built to capture and score conversations was then replaced with a suite of customer management tools from tech vendor, Pega.

“We were really conscious of creating a team that could understand what branches dealt with day to day,” Malady says. “But moreover, it was about going to them and asking what worked for them, what were the words that they used, and writing that in the space that all the other staff saw each day, and iterating on that.

“And my commitment to them was if they couldn’t understand the words that we were playing back to them we would change the words.”

While such a process helped secure staff buy-in, Malady says it also remained important to demonstrate his team are listening to employees. This is done by continuing to draw in feedback and suggestions.

Most importantly, the program has positively influenced customer behaviour. Malady is proud to report CBA has the highest main financial institution (MFI) ranking of any bank, due in part to nudges delivered to customers, which include driving them towards unclaimed rebates.

Read more: The experience factor and the retail challenge

“Our goal this year is to create $150 million worth of rebates for CBA customers already out there, and we just want to connect people with those opportunities,” Malady says. “That is far removed from conversations simply about meeting a specific product need.”

Malady says this program flows directly from learnings around customer relationship banking, and the realisation volume doesn’t equal outcome.

“The entire market is changing in this way,” he says. “There is a lot of empirical evidence to sustain the fact that if you service your customers in best and most responsible way, there is much longer and higher long-term value for a customer than you may have.”

Employee buy-in

But convincing colleagues can take more than just statements of faith.

“You really do have to put some evidence and runs on the board to show there is a different way, around targeting and relevance and that having smaller populations and more relevant conversations equals a better outcome for the customer and the retail bank,” Malady says. “We’ve really built those examples over time, and we are in an excellent position now where everyone is really understanding of the value of decisioning and the value of being relevant and there for the customers in the moments that matter.”

The goal now is to work to create a more end-to-end experience so customers are not only drawn in to taking an action, but can see the progress and outcome of their actions on an ongoing basis.

“Once you lay the foundations you are always looking at where to optimise,” Malady says. “We are in a great position now where the vast majority of our focus is not on creating more volume or more conversations, it is on how we continue to refine and use the data we have.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 4: Disruptive category launches

Our multi-part video series, Ready to Launch, is focused on unlocking the secrets of launching brands, products and services by exploring real-life examples from Australia’s marketing elite. The series is being produced as part of the Launch Marketing Council initiative by CMO in conjunction with Matt Lawton, MD at independent agency, Five by Five Global.

More Videos

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Check out tiny twig for comfy and soft organic baby clothes.

Morgan mendoza

Binge and The Iconic launch Inactivewear clothing line

Read more

NetSuite started out as a cloud-based provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software or as NetSuite solution provider, which companies...

talalyousaf

NetSuite to acquire Bronto's digital marketing platform for US$200m

Read more

Thanks for sharing this post, its really good information I get through this blog.CDPO Online Exam Training

Infosectrain01

3 ways Booking.com is improving its B2B marketing game

Read more

Time is of the essence, especially for customer service teams. With chatbots, you can interact and assist customers at a larger scale, al...

Jai

Triple-digit customer database growth, personalised engagement become reality for Stone & Wood

Read more

Blog Posts

​Beyond greenwashing: Why brands need to get their house in order first

Environmental, Social and (Corporate) Governance is a hot topic for brands right now. But before you start thinking about doing good, Craig Flanders says you best sort out the basics.

Craig Flanders

CEO, Spinach

​The value of collaboration: how to keep it together

Through the ages, from the fields to the factories to the office towers and now to our kitchen tables, collaboration has played a pivotal role in how we live and work. Together. We find partners, live as families, socialise in groups and work as teams. Ultimately, we rely on these collaborative structures to survive and thrive.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

The forgotten art of Acceptor/Rejector Analysis

The way we analyse brand health market research is wrong.

Zac Martin

Planning director, Ogilvy Melbourne

Sign in