The Provident Bank Implements PRODUCT4 to Achieve CRM Goals

Microbanker Banking Technology Strategies
by Mary Norton-Miller

The Provident Bank of New Jersey ($4+ billion) implemented PRODUCT4 Deposit Platform and Customer Care modules in January 2003 as one step in a series of initiatives to assist in achieving their CRM goals. The bank’s employees can see the total customer relationship in a real-time environment, including host and third-party data, along with a customer-specific guide to present appropriate products and services. This helps the full service community bank to offer customers the services of a large institution with the feel of a small institution.

The Provident Bank of New Jersey is implementing the server-based product in a thin client environment throughout its 50+ branches, as well as its call centers. Founded in 1839, the bank is headquartered in Jersey City, New Jersey

Cross-Selling Already Doubled

"Cross-selling has at least doubled since PRODUCT4 was implemented," reports Greg French, svp marketing development at Provident. "The Provident Bank
of New Jersey is continuing business as usual in addition to carrying out our CRM strategies. As a result, we are seeing larger balances and higher conversion

"We want to provide our customers with good value, knowledge, and information at all touch-points and give them a consistently outstanding experience regardless of the channel they use," says French. To achieve this end, Provident is making improvements in its call center and online banking. New offerings include online account opening, online check imaging, and a friendlier look and feel to online banking steps. The bank is looking at and evaluating the appropriate areas to determine the implementation of PRODUCT4 Call Center Agent Platform and Sales Tracking and Referral System (STAR) modules.

As a result of using PRODUCT4, Provident has added browser-based check ordering to its service offerings and foresees the addition of other service offerings. "We can now pre-qualify lending at the branch because we can make the offer with the CRM information at the point of sale," says French.

Provident has set CRM goals to increase customer profitability, increase customer retention, and increase customer satisfaction. They plan to do this through strategy, technology, and organizational development. French says that organizational development is the most difficult piece because of the training involved and the fact that it challenges established processes.

"One View" Consolidated Relationship

To facilitate Providents’ CRM effort, a "One View" screen was customized by PRODUCT4 using the Snapshot feature. In addition to a customer’s consolidated relationship, pending issues are also shown. The Customer Strategy Profile shows what the next step should be to maximize the customer contact and develop a stronger relation based on a uniform measure of customer values and statistical models of customer behavior.

Provident finds One View and Customer Strategy Profile very useful, but French explains that it is more of a journey than a destination. The bank and
PRODUCT4 are continually coming up with more ideas to improve the functions. Provident is extremely happy with the flow of screens. A new customer might be taken directly to an account opening screen while existing customers would flow to the CRM area.

"There are several ways to determine what a customer wants," says French. "He can tell you what his needs are, you can infer what his needs are based on clues, and you can use analytics based on behavior to anticipate and target opportunities to fill his needs."

Snapshot, the basis for One View, is a feature of PRODUCT4 applications. "Snapshot is the integration of Customer Care, 3rd party core applications, and data that you have all over the place that is either in-house or outsourced," explains Daniel Moskowitz, President of PRODUCT4 Inc. "Information that has been traditionally stored on paper in files, multiple core systems, various WANs and LANs is now combined with sales campaigns, propensity to buy models, conditional navigation, customer sales, and cross-selling opportunities, all integrated and packaged in a single-sourced, fully usable format."

According to French, PRODUCT4 was selected by The Provident Bank for many reasons, including its ease of implementation, cost, and the ability of the suite to accommodate expansion. The bank found the implementation surprisingly smooth. The front end application had some customization and is interfaced with Horizon, the bank’s host system, in addition to other banking systems. PRODUCT4 is expected to be expanded to the back office in the future.

"An unexpected bonus has been how very easy the people are to work with. We appreciate it," says French. When asked if he would recommend PRODUCT4,
French replied, "Not to my competition. Let them struggle with something else."

PRODUCT4, Inc., founded in 1991, is a leading developer of software products and services, which assist financial institutions to use technology to meet business goals. Its suite of products includes solutions for Teller, New Accounts and Service Platform, Loan Origination, and Call Centers, as well as robust Customer Care (CRM), Sales Incentive Tracking, Reporting, and Imaging Functionality. The company's systems have been installed in over 130 financial institutions throughout North America and the Caribbean and support over 6,500 bank branches.

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