Westpac uses data to get Know Me to know you

Westpac has adopted an analytics approach to customise and personalise services for its 9 million customers.

Westpac has been using SAS analytic tools to rebuild its personal relationship with 9 million customers for the last two and a half years as part of a program called "Know Me", and the results are beginning to show.

Westpac's customer relationship marketing and digital chief, Karen Ganschow, said at Monday's Gartner Business Intelligence and Information Management Summit in Sydney that the bank has raked in AU$22 million in annualised revenue — AU$7.8 million of which is incremental revenue profited from its targeted online communications — as a result of its Know Me program.

"Our data sources are growing fast, and, more joyously, our customer interactions are growing, too. Our goal is ensure it's about our customers first, and to make sure they are at the centre of what we do, and then the bank comes second," she said.

"So, Know Me is about making marketing into a service, and we use customer data for their goodness to make it out like we know them. It's also about recognising and acknowledging their loyalty, as well as about providing them guidance, and rewarding them for their business."

The bank has also seen interaction points with customers change over time, with the popularity of customers physically visiting a bank or calling a call centre declining. Conversely, interaction with the bank via online has been growing. In fact, Ganschow said that Westpac recorded 60 million online interactions per month in 2013 — 50 percent of which came from either a mobile or tablet device. However, there are expectations that this will grow in coming years, with Westpac forecasting that the number will rise to 80 million in 2014 and 100 million by 2015.

Another area that the bank is seeing online interaction grow in is via social media. To help service this, Ganschow said the bank has made social media an online environment to drive its "online ecosystem to give more insights".

"We are driving and using a good part of the marketing budget to go online," Ganschow said. "The data we collect from there helps us form a better picture of who our customers are, where they are in their life journey, whether they're looking at everyday banking, looking to buy a house or build their wealth, and how we can help them get to where they want to in the next step."

According to Ganschow, Westpac has had to tread carefully to ensure that its interactions with customers have been service based rather than product based.

"Our formula takes a service-level approach. Customers should feel like their current banking needs are being helped," she said. "It is about making the bankers the hero, which also gives them more reasons to call, and they would feel more comfortable taking this approach.

"As a result, we have see higher conversion rates and greater multiple products sold."