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Creating and Enhancing Long-Term Customer Partnerships In an environment of market volatility and change, institutions and corporations of all sizes value stability and reliability. ADCB's Head of Wholesale Banking explains how this approach underpins the bank's value proposition.

Creating and Enhancing Long-Term Customer Partnerships

Creating and Enhancing Long-Term Customer Partnerships

by Colin Fraser, Head of Wholesale Banking Group, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

In an environment of market volatility and change, institutions and corporations of all sizes value stability and reliability, the cornerstones of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB)’s customer proposition. As a result, customers continue to look to the bank to provide continuity, support their liquidity and risk management needs and act as a trusted partner during challenging times. With a clear customer mandate, we are committed to being the bank of choice for institutions and corporations headquartered in the UAE, particularly Abu Dhabi, and foreign entities doing business here.

Innovation to drive customer value

While continuity and reliability are amongst the key attributes to which customers are attracted, they also need ADCB to provide solutions to meet their changing operational, strategic, regulatory and compliance needs. Emerging fintech players have the potential to deliver significant value in these areas in partnership with banks by leveraging new ideas and technology, and porting expertise from other industries. We are proactively engaged both with fintech companies directly, and through our key partner banks, particularly Bank of America Merrill Lynch, but also ING and Santander and UK banks with which we are in discussions to understand emerging opportunities. Some newer technologies, such as blockchain, are creating ripples across the financial sector, but banks and fintech vendors are exploring different angles of opportunity, from fraud prevention through to payments, trade finance and supply chain finance. In addition to our own research, we are working closely with other banks and vendors, both directly and through industry forums, to explore how new technologies can translate into genuine value for customers in solving today’s problems and creating future opportunity.

At the same time as understanding the potential offered by new technologies, we are also investing heavily in upgrading our core banking infrastructure to become state-of-the-art. We are currently completing the second year of a three-year project, with significant value for our customers. Not only are we committed to demonstrating the highest level of security, resilience and scalability, but we are also making it far easier to connect with other platforms to create a seamless experience for our customers. The timing of this project is also closely aligned with some of the fintech and banking technology discussions in which are engaged, in order that we will be in a position to connect new solutions and services that deliver demonstrable, practical value to our customers into our core infrastructure. This further extends our value proposition and depth of offering as together, we deal with the challenges of a changing, uncertain market and business environment globally.

Commitment to measurable customer satisfaction

Leveraging technology is just one of the ways in which we are improving the quality of the customer experience with ADCB. We are also seeing a significant uptick in the use of our electronic banking platforms, and unprecedented levels of interest in automation of transactional and information flows. To support our customers’ financial and operational efficiency objectives, our customer service team is now larger than ever before, including specialist functions to support cash, trade, and the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises.

These initiatives are resulting in a notable increase in customer satisfaction levels. We use a number of tools to measure this, such as Net Promoter Score, Bain’s ground-breaking methodology that places customer satisfaction at the heart of value creation. We also have a voice of the customer system that allows us to collate, tag, evaluate and respond to customer and employee feedback in a systematic and constructive way. This has led to a variety of improvements in the way that we operate, from small presentation issues on electronic banking systems to important ways in which we engage with customers and communicate across the bank.

There is still a great deal of progress we want to make, such as enhancing our customer relationship management (CRM) system and workflow tools, but we have already taken significant strides. These initiatives to enhance customer experience are supported at the highest level in the ADCB organisation. For example, we have a monthly bank-wide committee chaired by our CEO to analyse feedback, define and measure progress against objectives, and highlight action points. To emphasise the importance of customer services across the bank, 30% of performance indicators on which individuals are measured, from the CEO downwards, are related to measurable customer service goals.

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