Are Financial Institutions Ready for COVID-19? 9 Crisis Management Recommendations

The need of major transformation of banking and more broadly the financial services industry was already quite clear for everybody. Although nobody could have predicted it, the COVID-19 outbreak is completely changing the circumstances overnight. It practically gives banks no other choice but to accelerate digital transformation and adapting their operational models for digital employee and customer experience.

In a series of insights, we will share our team’s combined industry experience, having been previously in your shoes and currently driving digital transformation efforts for many banks and non-banks.

We start off with several questions that are probably on the top of your mind during the current situation. By answering them you can make a quick self-assessment and check if you are ready to lead your organization successfully throughout the crisis.

BULPROS is standing together with you in these challenging times and helping you to stay fully operational. We provide a 3-month free access to selected consulting, cyber security services and digital solutions part of our portfolio.

Question 1: How do you communicate within your organization and quickly answer questions from your teams on risks, prevention measures and incident response in times of crisis or important events?

No, email is not the right tool for this type of communication. Make sure your internal communication is delivered instantly and securely to the relevant audience – no matter if it’s all employees or a single team. Microsoft Teams is the future of teamwork – it’s a secure environment for collaborating within the office, from home or on the go. Your employees can interact within and across teams, access important company-wide information channels and share documents relevant to the topics. Moreover, you can use the same environment to infuse your organization with AI through smart service desk assistants, delivering instant answers to any questions on the policies, procedures, prevention measures or ongoing incidents.

Our recommendations:

  1. Deploy Microsoft Teams now – it’s free for 6 months and integrate it with your identity management system to speed up adoption (we can help you with that).
  2. Create channels for company-wide communication to share relevant information and documents and keep your team spirit high.
  3. Quickly deploy BULPROS AI Assistant to unload internal functions such as service desk, HR or facility management (we can help you with that too).

Question 2: With less people visiting your network due to lockdowns, how do you engage directly your website visitors using instant video calling?

Don’t let your prospects stay underserved during a crisis situation. They will have needs and will be looking for somebody qualified to answer their questions. Why not start engaging your website visitors by creating a virtual pool of experts from the branch network? With the help of BULPROS Expert on Demand – a cloud solution that is simple to set up, your team can provide empathic help, understanding of your prospect needs and the right solutions, right now.

Our recommendations:

  1. Analyze how the new business has been impacted and make a resolution to act quickly.
  2. Integrate BULPROS Expert on Demand for instant video calling that does not require any downloads directly into your website (we can help you with that).
  3. Provide training for the virtual expert team and scale it as the needs increase – we are certain that people will start talking about it.

Question 3: How can you empower your employees to provide advice to your customers remotely?

How can you empower your employees to provide advice to your customers remotely?

Don’t disregard your loyal customers. Most of them will not need to be asked to come to a branch for a meeting with their relationship manager right now – especially when they can do their work from home. How can you continue doing your business and serving your customers? What about sending an instant SMS with a link, which can be used by a customer to initiate an instant video call from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer, without requiring any installation, thanks to BULPROS Expert on Demand? Or why not creating one-on-one calls directly from Microsoft Teams? Now is the right time to integrate electronic signing of documents for many processes, too.

Our recommendations:

  1. Analyze in what areas you are currently underserving your customers.
  2. Deploy solutions for instant video calling and customer collaboration (we can help you with that).

Set up a procedure for remote advice and electronic signing of documents.

Question 4: When there are important events and announcements you need to make, can you overcome the limits of your contact center to reach all of your customers at once?

Here are the days that nobody could really plan for. What’s important is that you proactively provide relevant information and updates to your customers. But how do you break the limits of your contact center and quickly reach out hundreds of thousands or millions of customers via phone, SMS or email? Fortunately, we have the right technology for that – the cloud solution BULPROS Call Automation.

Our recommendations:

  1. Deploy BULPROS Call Automation and start quickly setting up information campaigns for unlimited number of contacts (we can help you with that).
  2. Update your communication strategy for times of crisis, without thinking about limitations – keeping your customers informed is of utmost importance.
  3. Execute!

Question 5: In periods of peak demand, can you provide an adequate response to your customers without making them wait?

What to do when you have too many inquiries coming to your contact center and you cannot handle them? Keep calm and employ AI. In a matter of days, you can set up the BULPROS AI Assistant, covering the hot questions of the day – and continuously improve it with more answers. By the way, did you know that the BULPROS AI Assistant can listen and talk – it’s not just about chatting? And when automated customer care is not enough, make a smooth transition to a conversation with a person over voice or video call.

Our recommendations:

  1. List the currently hot scenarios that you can “outsource” to AI.
  2. Quickly deploy the BULPROS AI Assistant, supporting transition to a human when needed (we can help you with that).
  3. Monitor and improve conversations (we can help you with that too).

Question 6: Can you manage your remote sales teams effectively?

For any bank or a non-banking financial institution relying on close relationship with customers, the frontline sales force is the key to success. And in times of crisis, their morale makes a huge difference. How do you ensure that everybody puts in their best efforts despite the challenges – especially if they have difficulties meeting customers and you can’t meet your sellers in person? Digital technology makes things easier – equip your frontline people with the right collaboration and monitoring tools to create an environment of transparency.

Our recommendations:

  1. Get everybody in the sales organization within a shared teamwork hub – Microsoft Teams does a great job (we can help you with that).
  2. Add BULPROS Sales Management Dashboards with real time sales KPIs to the mix (we can help you with that).

Align on the big picture and then make regular sync calls on different levels of the organization within Teams, using the data from the dashboards to monitor the performance. Reward your successes!

Question 7: Do you have real time dashboards with customer, sales and financial performance data that can guide you through the challenges?

Our deep understanding of the financial services industry and its processes – as well as data management technologies – will support you by quick development of management dashboards, covering various aspects of the banking business and delivering real time insights to your decision makers. Use Microsoft Power BI dashboards directly within Microsoft Teams, where each person around the virtual table will be able to directly provide their thoughts, set actions and report progress.

Our recommendations:

  1. Identify what’s the key insights that you’re missing right now and what are the processes you’d like to cover.
  2. Bring the people who own these processes, together with IT people and experts in business intelligence (we can help you with that).
  3. Build dashboards in accelerated agile mode with iterations every few days, to get instant results (we can help you with that).

Question 8: How do you react to incidents when your people are already overwhelmed dealing with a crisis?

When your incident response teams are already tired, the last thing they need is another incident. So how can you make it easier for them? Start by gathering the people relevant to the incident together in a virtual room to deal effectively with it. Make sure you consider who is on duty. Keep everybody on the same page. Synchronize with your ticketing systems. Automate all that – really! This is what BULPROS Incident Response 365 is all about.

Our recommendations:

  1. Quickly analyze your incident response processes in IT, cybersecurity, physical security, facilities or customer operations – you name it – and identify the immediate improvement points.
  2. Start using Microsoft Teams as a teamwork hub for your incident response teams (we can help you with that).
  3. Automate the incident response workflow with BULPROS Incident Response 365 and reap the benefits beyond the crisis (we can help you with that).

Question 9: Do you have the capabilities to held important management meetings, crisis committees and business reviews remotely, as effectively as if you were together in the same room?

It’s critical to keep your executives at good shape and make sure everybody performs to their best. Whether some of you are working from home or from different locations to mitigate the risks, make sure you feel in the same room with the help of a digital boardroom, provided by Cisco Premium Meeting Experience.

Our recommendations:

  1. Equip your executives with the right tools for high-quality digital meetings – personal telepresence and digital whiteboards (we can help you with that).
  2. Adapt your collaboration rules and move from emails and phone calls to video even for 1:1s.
  3. Enjoy the virtual management team experience!

Have you already considered any of these transformation initiatives? If so, please, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or you need support. We can help you lead your organization successfully throughout the crisis and make the best out of it by earning a competitive advantage.

Are Financial Institutions Ready for COVID-19? 9 Crisis Management Recommendations

The need of major transformation of banking and more broadly the financial services industry was already quite clear for everybody. Although nobody could have predicted it, the COVID-19 outbreak is completely changing the circumstances overnight. It practically gives banks no other choice but to accelerate digital transformation and adapting their operational models for digital employee and customer experience.

In a series of insights, we will share our team’s combined industry experience, having been previously in your shoes and currently driving digital transformation efforts for many banks and non-banks.

We start off with several questions that are probably on the top of your mind during the current situation. By answering them you can make a quick self-assessment and check if you are ready to lead your organization successfully throughout the crisis.

BULPROS is standing together with you in these challenging times and helping you to stay fully operational. We provide a 3-month free access to selected consulting, cyber security services and digital solutions part of our portfolio.

No, email is not the right tool for this type of communication. Make sure your internal communication is delivered instantly and securely to the relevant audience – no matter if it’s all employees or a single team. Microsoft Teams is the future of teamwork – it’s a secure environment for collaborating within the office, from home or on the go. Your employees can interact within and across teams, access important company-wide information channels and share documents relevant to the topics. Moreover, you can use the same environment to infuse your organization with AI through smart service desk assistants, delivering instant answers to any questions on the policies, procedures, prevention measures or ongoing incidents.

Our recommendations:

  1. Deploy Microsoft Teams now – it’s free for 6 months and integrate it with your identity management system to speed up adoption (we can help you with that).
  2. Create channels for company-wide communication to share relevant information and documents and keep your team spirit high.

Quickly deploy BULPROS AI Assistant to unload internal functions such as service desk, HR or facility management (we can help you with that too).

Don’t let your prospects stay underserved during a crisis situation. They will have needs and will be looking for somebody qualified to answer their questions. Why not start engaging your website visitors by creating a virtual pool of experts from the branch network? With the help of BULPROS Expert on Demand – a cloud solution that is simple to set up, your team can provide empathic help, understanding of your prospect needs and the right solutions, right now.

Our recommendations:

  1. Analyze how the new business has been impacted and make a resolution to act quickly.
  2. Integrate BULPROS Expert on Demand for instant video calling that does not require any downloads directly into your website (we can help you with that).

Provide training for the virtual expert team and scale it as the needs increase – we are certain that people will start talking about it.

Don’t disregard your loyal customers. Most of them will not need to be asked to come to a branch for a meeting with their relationship manager right now – especially when they can do their work from home. How can you continue doing your business and serving your customers? What about sending an instant SMS with a link, which can be used by a customer to initiate an instant video call from their smartphone, tablet or personal computer, without requiring any installation, thanks to BULPROS Expert on Demand? Or why not creating one-on-one calls directly from Microsoft Teams? Now is the right time to integrate electronic signing of documents for many processes, too.

Our recommendations:

  1. Analyze in what areas you are currently underserving your customers.
  2. Deploy solutions for instant video calling and customer collaboration (we can help you with that).
  3. Set up a procedure for remote advice and electronic signing of documents.

Here are the days that nobody could really plan for. What’s important is that you proactively provide relevant information and updates to your customers. But how do you break the limits of your contact center and quickly reach out hundreds of thousands or millions of customers via phone, SMS or email? Fortunately, we have the right technology for that – the cloud solution BULPROS Call Automation.

Our recommendations:

  1. Deploy BULPROS Call Automation and start quickly setting up information campaigns for unlimited number of contacts (we can help you with that).
  2. Update your communication strategy for times of crisis, without thinking about limitations – keeping your customers informed is of utmost importance.

Execute!

What to do when you have too many inquiries coming to your contact center and you cannot handle them? Keep calm and employ AI. In a matter of days, you can set up the BULPROS AI Assistant, covering the hot questions of the day – and continuously improve it with more answers. By the way, did you know that the BULPROS AI Assistant can listen and talk – it’s not just about chatting? And when automated customer care is not enough, make a smooth transition to a conversation with a person over voice or video call.

Our recommendations:

  1. List the currently hot scenarios that you can “outsource” to AI.
  2. Quickly deploy the BULPROS AI Assistant, supporting transition to a human when needed (we can help you with that).
  3. Monitor and improve conversations (we can help you with that too).

For any bank or a non-banking financial institution relying on close relationship with customers, the frontline sales force is the key to success. And in times of crisis, their morale makes a huge difference. How do you ensure that everybody puts in their best efforts despite the challenges – especially if they have difficulties meeting customers and you can’t meet your sellers in person? Digital technology makes things easier – equip your frontline people with the right collaboration and monitoring tools to create an environment of transparency.

Our recommendations:

  1. Get everybody in the sales organization within a shared teamwork hub – Microsoft Teams does a great job (we can help you with that).
  2. Add BULPROS Sales Management Dashboards with real time sales KPIs to the mix (we can help you with that).
  3. Align on the big picture and then make regular sync calls on different levels of the organization within Teams, using the data from the dashboards to monitor the performance. Reward your successes!

Our deep understanding of the financial services industry and its processes – as well as data management technologies – will support you by quick development of management dashboards, covering various aspects of the banking business and delivering real time insights to your decision makers. Use Microsoft Power BI dashboards directly within Microsoft Teams, where each person around the virtual table will be able to directly provide their thoughts, set actions and report progress.

Our recommendations:

  1. Identify what’s the key insights that you’re missing right now and what are the processes you’d like to cover.
  2. Bring the people who own these processes, together with IT people and experts in business intelligence (we can help you with that).
  3. Build dashboards in accelerated agile mode with iterations every few days, to get instant results (we can help you with that).

When your incident response teams are already tired, the last thing they need is another incident. So how can you make it easier for them? Start by gathering the people relevant to the incident together in a virtual room to deal effectively with it. Make sure you consider who is on duty. Keep everybody on the same page. Synchronize with your ticketing systems. Automate all that – really! This is what BULPROS Incident Response 365 is all about.

Our recommendations:

  1. Quickly analyze your incident response processes in IT, cybersecurity, physical security, facilities or customer operations – you name it – and identify the immediate improvement points.
  2. Start using Microsoft Teams as a teamwork hub for your incident response teams (we can help you with that).
  3. Automate the incident response workflow with BULPROS Incident Response 365 and reap the benefits beyond the crisis (we can help you with that).
It’s critical to keep your executives at good shape and make sure everybody performs to their best. Whether some of you are working from home or from different locations to mitigate the risks, make sure you feel in the same room with the help of a digital boardroom, provided by Cisco Premium Meeting Experience.

Our recommendations:

  1. Equip your executives with the right tools for high-quality digital meetings – personal telepresence and digital whiteboards (we can help you with that).
  2. Adapt your collaboration rules and move from emails and phone calls to video even for 1:1s.
  3. Enjoy the virtual management team experience!

Have you already considered any of these transformation initiatives? If so, please, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or you need support. We can help you lead your organization successfully throughout the crisis and make the best out of it by earning a competitive advantage.

About the author

Radoy Stoyanov

Principal Consultant

Radoy is a former C-level banking executive in IT, Operations and Marketing for more than 10 years, and a software consultant for another 10 years. He has spent the last 3 years advising and delivering digital transformation projects at banks, insurers and FinTech startups. He specializes in digital business models, digital customer journeys and user experience, Open Banking, PSD2 and API economy, mobile wallets, payments, loyalty, AI, as well as cloud native architectures.