“Crucial for banks to understand the digital language of their customers”: Shalini Warrier, Executive Director at Federal Bank

In a recent conversation with CXOToday, Shalini Warrier, Executive Director at Federal Bank, shared how the banks are focused on strengthening their customer experience (CX) journey with new-age digital technologies such as Analytics & Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cloud among others. She also talked about Federal Bank’s recently introduced digital command centre – FedHive and its benefits. She further highlighted about how Federal Bank has implemented Oracle CRM solution to leverage the true potential of AI and data to understand the consumption patterns of our customers.


  • How do banks with the implementation of new-age digital technologies can deliver a better customer experience and streamline the functioning of internal core processes?

The term ‘digital technologies’ is quite wide and far reaching in its implications for the financial services industry.  Digitization can make a material difference to customer experience & increase employee productivity. Two examples that I can quote which could help illustrate this:

  • Take the example of the use of Analytics & Machine Learning; through these technologies, our Bank has been able to cross-sell the most appropriate product to our customer base. Whether it is offering credit cards or personal loans or insurance, we use algorithms developed through Machine Learning to identify the right customer segment and deliver the next best product to them.
  • Robotics Process Automation or RPA has proved very useful to eliminate repetitive jobs in Operations. We have more than 200 processes that have been automated through RPA and that has not only enhanced productivity but also reduced the occurrence of errors.

The point I am making is – from Artificial Intelligence to Machine Learning to RPA to APIs – all of these have played a role in taking the Bank closer to our ambition of becoming the Most Admired Bank.


  • According to you, how prominent is Customer Experience (CX) for the banks and how they can prioritize it?

Today, banking is a highly commercialized service, and an in-depth customer research suggests that customers expect bespoke and personalized experiences. The actual power of “one” that signifies a personalized experience for each, and every customer will enable to increase in the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which is only possible with the adoption of robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions with proper analytics.

The preferences of today’s customers have taken a tectonic shift ever since the pandemic has hit us, and there has been a change in their behavior, attitude, purchasing patterns, and to manage the remoteness, they’re going digital, and we expect that will continue. Banks have proactively identified this trend and have accelerated the journey to digitization. It is crucial for banks to understand digital language, priorities, and new purchasing patterns of customers. To manage this segment, banks also need real-time intelligence to provide this kind of personalization. And FedHive is an important milestone in our Customer Experience (CX) journey.


  • What kind of advanced features in particular does your new digital command centre – FedHive offers around digital experience to your customers?

FedHive is the digital war room conceptualized to monitor our bank’s social media presence. digital moments. We started this more than a year back wherein the platform comes with various advanced features including social listening, brand monitoring, competition benchmarking, sentiment analysis, and crisis management. It is curated to support us into listening, analyzing, and engaging with customers across all our social media platforms on a real-time basis. Furthermore, other exciting features such as brand activity, social trends, customer sentiment, online behavior, share of voice, social reputation, brand performance, competition benchmarking, influencer mentions, geographic & demographic data and more are captured in FedHive through the power of advanced social listening powered by Locobuzz. It is a new-generation digital customer experience management platform that aids organisations to leverage their digital presence with AI-driven audience insights. As an aside, let me add that I personally have a screen in my office which, using the underlying technology of FedHive, actually shows me all that is happening in the social media world. It really helps me understand the pulse of the customers all day through.


  • Your announcement also talks about AI-driven insights. Can you tell us about these insights and the prominent role of technology here?

Digital technology, primarily Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the banking industry. The emergence of AI technology is disrupting the physics of industry, weakening the bonds that have held together the components of the traditional financial institutions and opening the door to new operating models and more innovations. AI is playing an important role in changing the quality of products and services the industry offers. While it has been there for a long time, but it has started impacting the banking space more prominently from since the last few years and the pandemic has accelerated the adoption rate. It basically enables banking organisations to typically manage record-level high-speed data to receive valuable insights. Moreover, features such as digital payments, AI bots, and biometric fraud detection systems further lead to high-quality services for a broader customer base.

FedHive also works on this model with AI-driven insights. Over the last one year, this unique platform has provided actionable information to the bank to enhance market research and assist our customers. Apart from this, competitive analysis and share of voice (SOV) insights have helped us create our own strategic brand narrative. Therefore, AI as a technology has a very important role to play here.


  • How is Cloud technology particularly supporting your businesses in bringing transformational changes? Also, please tell us about your association with your Cloud partners.

As part of our digital transformation, cloud technology has been instrumental in transforming our internal core processes. Moreover, cloud-based solutions have helped us to strengthen our operations, become more connected, data driven, and intelligent customer experiences across all touch points. From the beginning, our mantra has been – “Digital at the fore, human at the core” and the implementation of the next generation cloud-based solutions was a significant step in this direction. Last year, we partnered with Oracle and Infosys to implement CRM solution and to offer a more strategic, integrated platform with such industry aligned solutions that can result in richer experiences for our customers. Specially by opting Oracle Customer experience solutions, we were able to leverage the true potential of AI and data to understand the consumption patterns of our customers and deliver relevant yet uniform customer experiences across various platforms.

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