RBC: Doubling Success & Earning the Right to be the Client’s First Choice

By | September 17, 2015
Cathy F. Burrows Dir., CRM Infrastructure & Strategic Initiatives

Cathy F. Burrows
Dir., CRM Infrastructure & Strategic Initiatives

Named one of the most valuable brands in Canada, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is an ideal case study of how to use data to support the brand, sales, and most of all the connection with the customer. RBC’s mission is to be the undisputed leader for financial services in Canada and to be the leading wealth management provider around the globe. As one of the top 20 largest banks globally with market capitalization of $107B (USD) they are fulfilling that mission.

The Teradata Customer Engagement team sat down with Cathy F. Burrows, Director of CRM Infrastructure and Strategic Initiatives for RBC.  Her passion for data, analytics, and the insights gained from them is infectious.  Cathy is excited about the highly successful data solutions at RBC and described the innovative ways RBC uses data, analytics and applications to market and sell financial products and truly engage with the customer.


RBC’s data-driven strategy values data and analytics as an asset; to that end, RBC has invested in a Unified Data Architecture with Teradata Aster™ and the Teradata integrated data warehouse.  All with the goal of having a single view of the customer. Marketing Applications like Teradata Customer Interaction Manager connect RBC to those customers through an omni-channel approach giving them double digit growth in sales campaigns. How did they do it? RBC laid the right foundation for their digital journey and put the customer at the center.

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.02.29 PM“I think the real vision, or the mantra, for the team has been, ‘How do we get smarter, better? How do we get prepared for meeting the client where they are on their path or their journey, and ensure that we have the ability to continue to grow and evolve that way?’ We’ve had a strong history of it, but we need to make sure that we’re ready for what comes in the next waves, because it is changing, and we’re moving from what it is we know about the clients, to, ‘How do they truly want to be treated?’ Because they’re in control.” – Cathy F. Burrows, Director of CRM Infrastructure and Strategic Initiatives

RBC’s client interaction strategy delivers every touchpoint in a meaningful way with the ultimate vision to deliver real-time support at the point of the client interaction in a full service face-to-face, an assisted, or in on-line self-service channels. Products change over time but if RBC creates trusted relationships and the ability to know the customer and connect with them on their preferred channel (or channels), it will ensure customer loyalty.

“I think interactions are truly the point where you can make the difference of a good client experience or not. Our ability to be able to provide the kind of information that staff need to be able to support the interaction at a particular point in time, or even asking staff to be able to gather information that may be useful in a future interaction. For example, if I ask you, at a certain point in your life stage, and the fact that you have a retirement savings account with us, ‘When is your target retirement date?’, that’s an entirely legitimate conversation for a bank to be having with a client, whether they’re in sales or service. Having that information available to us for a future interaction or a future contact plan is pretty critical to see us as a committed and valued, trusted advisor.” – Cathy F. Burrows, Director of CRM Infrastructure and Strategic Initiatives

Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.01.29 PM

The addition of big data has allowed for relevant contact rationale, giving RBC the ability to act on insights from patterns in customer behavior. For example, if a customer starts using the online mortgage calculator, but there is nothing in a customer profile to indicate they’re looking for a mortgage, RBC creates a customer touchpoint.

“We proactively contact the client and say, ‘Is there something that’s going on that might be significant, relative to mortgages, and can we provide more information, based on what you’ve recently been looking at on the website?’ Honestly, we have had fairly positive responses from clients who’ve had that experience. In fact, we’ve had no negative ones, which is an even more important indicator.” – Cathy F. Burrows, Director of CRM Infrastructure and Strategic Initiatives

Following customer behaviors also changed the way RBC operated their customer welcome program.  Before, RBC followed a 2 by 2 by 2 strategy, sending a specific email 2 days, 2 weeks and 2 months after a customer opened an account.  What they found was that by acting on insights from the customer’s behavior with Teradata Aster, RBC doubled the number of leads and increased the cross-sell of products.

“What we discovered was, two days, two weeks, two months doesn’t fit everybody’s profile, and certainly not everybody’s behaviors. What was much more important was to understand when somebody had actually PIN’d their debit card for the purposes of being able to use it at point of sale or ATM; when they had actually funded their Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 12.01.52 PMaccount, or deposited funds in their account that they would then be able to use the account more efficiently.  Certain types of transactional behaviors indicated they were either potentially very highly engaged with RBC, or potentially low engagement, and we might have to do some further kind of engagement intervention.” – Cathy F. Burrows, Director of CRM Infrastructure and Strategic Initiatives

What does the future look like?  RBC plans to integrate Teradata Aster into their Unified Data Architecture™.  Eventually, Hadoop will be considered for data availability and accessibility. All of this supports RBC’s mission to always earn the right to be the client’s first choice.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *