ABOUT THE VENDOR
SEDONA Corporation is a provider of CRM solutions for small and mid-sized financial companies. SEDONA's Web-based software, Intarsia, and supporting marketing solution services enable the entire financial institution to help identify, acquire, foster, and retain loyal, profitable customers. Intarsia helps clients to increase their ability to acquire and retain customers and to improve product pricing, packaging, and cross-selling opportunities. SEDONA's Intarsia also increases operational efficiency aimed towards improving overall profitability. SEDONA markets Intarsia together with leading solution providers such as IBM Corporation.
ABOUT THE CLIENT
The Savings Bank of the Finger Lakes is a $360 million community savings bank with seven offices throughout the Finger Lakes region of New York.
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
Intarsia 3.2 has a new Web-based query builder and report writer which is a guided, point-and-click interface that enables customers to build and publish reports once, yet still provide a report that is tailored for each individual user. Intarsia's Point of Service combines its Quick View snapshot of customer and household relationships together with Lead Factory and its ability to track and enter all interactions a bank or credit union has with customers and prospects. This enables an immediate, comprehensive view of a customer. It also has advanced householding;
The Savings Bank of the Finger Lakes implemented the SEDONA system to create targeted marketing campaigns. SearchCRM spoke with Leslie Zornow, senior VP of retail banking, about the project.
SearchCRM: Why did you choose Intarsia 3.2?
Zornow: We looked at a couple other systems, but the main reason that we went with this system -- other than that it met all our needs -- was that we had this great relationship with Deluxe [the company that owned the system at the time]. The relationship and the service part was as important to me as the actual system. Now we like working with SEDONA; it turns out they've been a great service company.
SearchCRM: What were some of the challenges of the implementation?
Zornow: It took us a while to get the CRM functional. Our core operating system is Open Solutions Incorporated, and we were one of the first companies that had OSI that also had the SEDONA CRM, so it took almost two years to get it to work. That was a long and frustrating process. It wasn't anyone's fault -- it was just that the connection between SEDONA and OSI had never been made before. The linkages weren't there and they had to be built from the ground up.
SearchCRM: Can you tell me how you use the CRM system on a day to day basis?
Zornow: We have two ways that we function with it. One is the marketing end, which is my end. The other is in our systems department, which does the nuts and bolts of it. We do downloads to the system once a month with our refreshed customer data, and then they maintain it in the systems department.
We have a relationship with an outside advertising agency called Quinetix. They're a database marketing specialist, so I work closely with them. They help develop the profile of what kind of customer we want to extract from the CRM, then the people in our systems department do the actual physical work of pulling it out. I do marketing campaigns with it, and systems does a lot of reporting for people throughout the bank. They also do more standard mailings like informational mailings.
SearchCRM: How does this help your customers?
Zornow: It helps us to get the best product to the right people. Instead of doing mass mailings of products that don't pertain to a certain customer, we're able to determine what is the profile of the customer that best suits the product, then target other customers who look like that.
SearchCRM: Can you give me an example of a marketing campaign you've done using SEDONA?
Zornow: We've done two home equity campaigns. We targeted both our customers and prospects. What we did was to go in and look at who currently are our home equity customers -- what other products they have, how long they've been with us, what are their ages, what their income is. We then used the CRM system to select other customers who fit that criteria and to bounce that profile off of marketing lists that we purchased from outside sources. Not only does the system select the customers, but it ranks them. We did mailings to those customers and then a telemarketing follow-up through our branches, and the rankings turned out to be key because [the reps] can focus their time and energy on the people at the top of the list. When we finished the home equity campaign we did four call nights. The first two call nights were so much more successful because we had the top customers on the list. The last two were less so.
SearchCRM: Have you met ROI?
Zornow: I've only gotten our first campaign back. We mailed to 10,000 customers and opened 50 accounts for about 1.5 million dollars in home equity. So the ROI for that campaign worked out to be about 500 percent.
SearchCRM: Do you have any advice for companies starting a similar project?
Zornow: For me the key has been working with this outside agency. Most people who work for a small bank wear so many hats that you can't be a CRM specialist, and we're not big enough to have someone who does that full time. Having an outside source that are specialists in it is the key for us to be successful. You need to determine where the expertise is going to come from -- from inside your company or from outside -- and that might be your account rep at whatever company handles your CRM, or it might be a third party like we have.
Linda Formichelli's writing appeared this year in Woman's Day, Wired, Writer's Digest, Family Circle, Psychology Today. Contact her at email@example.com, or check out her Web site http://www.twowriters.net
This was first published in December 2001