Finance in Focus: Client conversations at the Forum for Financial Services

Finance in Focus: Client conversations at the Forum for Financial Services


This industry customer panel was recorded live on Wall Street at the IBM Forum for Financial Services in New York City on 20 September 2016. It includes comments on the business benefits of IBM Customer Insight Solutions from Pershing, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, USAA and US Bank.

Enhancing customer experience

Moderator Jim Marous, owner of the Digital Banking Report and co-publisher of The Financial Brand

After Marous gave a presentation on the trends and direction of the financial services industry, he led a discussion among this panel of customers on the use of data and analytics to improve customer experiences. From this discussion you’ll learn that Marous believes the tools are available now to improve customer experience and meet the end goal of building loyalty. 


John Hershberger, USAA

USAA has been capturing transaction data for nearly eight years and in that time has accumulated 11 billion transactions. This large volume of data provides the basis to do far better work in the cognitive computing area, with the objective to improve members’ experiences. USAA is most interested in creating insights to anticipate specific customer life events for presenting personalized offers to its members. To build loyalty, USAA looks to provide the analytics solutions that can make the experience better than ever and take the friction out of the transaction.

Originally, the organization wasn’t comfortable with a cloud proposition, but in working with IBM it was able to guard its data and test the use of a cloud-based solution, which it was able to deliver on time and on budget. Analytics capabilities have improved the member experience. The organization looked at patterns between online usage and phone calls that helped it discover processes needing to be simplified to avoid the friction that causes abandonment. 

Rick McKissack, Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company

Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company is a small, lean organization with only three members in its department, and it needed to find a solution that balanced capabilities with the complexity, which the IBM solution did provide for them. It enabled the organization to use analytics to match customer needs with correct offers at the right time. Data and analytics help the organization to be there when its members are in need. Using IBM solutions, the organization has been able to learn who will buy a product and who will convert a term life insurance policy to a whole life policy. This result helps serve members better, and agents can sell more products.

In just a short time using the product, agents were shocked and awed by the possibilities they were seeing. Southern Farm Bureau is working on rolling out a lead-generation and product recommendation system that includes a scoring model for giving agents the confidence to serve their members and make the sale. Future goals include more narrow segmentation that can better match member need with the right product at the right time.  

Nathan Munson, US Bank

US Bank leverages technology and data to complement and augment current staff to meet its promise to “be better every day” and “enable the possible.” The organization chooses technology solutions that align with its corporate brand and strategy. Technology assists in conversations with customers but doesn’t replace human interaction.

Two words the organization lives by are complement and augment. The organization is using data and analytics to complement and augment what it thinks is the right solution for customers. The application of data is improving the velocity of reacting to customer demands. It can now respond in real time to provide value, convenience, personalization and the unified customer experience. The pace and variety of options including branches, virtual payments and cards is expected to continue to grow. The most trusted advisors can leverage their knowledge to provide superior products that outperform competitors. And analytics is showing that the desire for personalization is common among all customers, regardless of age or propensity to technology. 

Shawn Rodgers, Pershing

Pershing provides global financial solutions to advisors, broker dealers, family offices, hedge fund managers, registered investment advisor firms and wealth managers. An analytics solution for hedge fund managers is an interesting use case that looks at a holistic view of supply and demand. To take this use case a step further, Pershing is working on models to look at certain influencers of supply and demand.

And to help agents stay ahead of the competition, the organization is providing tools that work seamlessly on the same platform to make working with it easier for agents. Robo-advice is a solution to build planners’ skills and to augment human planners. Consumers can opt in to use a robo-advisor if they choose. A future goal is expected to be the use of virtual reality for financial planning that shows clients what their future life will look like based on decisions they are making today.

Understanding the customerFinance in Focus: Client conversations at the Forum for Financial Services

IBM is bringing cognitive computing and analytics to the masses, making getting started and taking advantage of these technologies easier for organizations. All these businesses are focused on specific sets of customers, and they have found the need to understand their customers better. They are focused on very specific markets and very specific sets of customers, and they have found the need to enhance their understanding of customers.

IBM Customer Insight Solutions is based on industry-specific models and can effectively predict, personalize and address the changing needs of your clients in a new era of customer segmentation and cognitive computing. These solutions empower companies by dynamically segmenting clients based on their behaviors, anticipating life and financial events, foreseeing client attrition, identifying product opportunities and delivering tailored news and alerts.

To learn how you can turn data into insights with IBM Customer Insight Solutions, visit http://www.ibm.com/analytics/us/en/industry/