NatWest Bank is working with Accenture to replace multiple customer support tools with technology from Microsoft, which it said will save time and enable staff to provide more personalised services to its customers.
Front-office systems used in NatWest branches and contact centres will be put on a single platform based on Microsoft Dynamics 365, a cloud-based enterprise resource management (ERP) software.
Customer support staff will be able to help customers through the digital platform, which will give them access to services such as customer messaging and video banking in one place.
With more and more customers choosing different ways of engaging with banks digitally, and branch networks being reduced drastically, banks are investing in digital channels to help staff support more customers.
NatWest itself announced the closure of 32 branches in February as customers increasingly switch to digital banking channels. At the time, it said: “We understand and recognise that digital solutions aren’t right for everyone or every situation, and that when we close branches, we have to make sure no one is left behind.”
Wendy Redshaw, chief digital information officer, retail banking, at NatWest, said the integration would free up time for support staff and enable them to personalise services. “Over eight million of our customers are regular users of our market-leading mobile app and, alongside this, our colleagues are there for important moments,” she said.
“Our investment in integrating all of our colleague support tools onto one, digital platform will enable our staff to really focus on delivering personalised support for each and every one of our customers at every stage of their lives.”
Banking customers, in all age groups today, want mobile apps, websites and human contact.
Nina Raphael, managing director in Accenture’s UK financial service practice, said the platform would free up “many more hours to be dedicated to the human side of banking”.
“This is particularly crucial given the financial challenges that many in the UK are facing, with energy price hikes, bigger bills and tax increases. The prominent role of banks in helping customers navigate these challenging conditions is growing, and improving digital capabilities will significantly free up NatWest staff to focus on providing support in these times of financial difficulty for many.”
For example, through the platform, the bank is launching a new appointment booking service that it said should reduce appointment booking times by up to 75% and enable staff to carry out thousands more meetings.
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