A NatWest colleague in one of the bank's branches

How NatWest is building a relationship bank in a digital world

In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect quick, seamless services and transactions. This expectation is no different for the banking sector, with a recent report revealing that 44% of retail bank customers do not receive a personal service from their bank.

NatWest has been rapidly innovating its customer engagement platforms. As one of the UK’s largest financial services institutions, it serves over 16 million customers, with a core purpose to champion the potential of people, families, and businesses.

As Wendy Redshaw, Chief Digital Information Officer, Retail Bank at NatWest Group, explains: “At NatWest we are responding to the needs of all of our customers in building a relationship bank in a digital world.”

Streamlining legacy systems into a one-touch service

On average, NatWest’s 14,000 frontline colleagues respond to 50 million customer interactions per year. An interaction is when a customer interacts directly with a NatWest colleague, whether in the branch or on the phone, covering everything from checking account balances to discussing mortgages.

“Like all big, incumbent banks, NatWest has a vast array of legacy applications and tools,” explains Kai Grunwald, Transformation Portfolio Lead, Retail Bank at NatWest Group. “To answer a single customer enquiry requires multiple screens and platforms, switching through different screens and logins.”

“Colleagues are not always able to resolve issues at the first point of contact and they’d often have to pass customers on to other colleagues across the bank. That’s a huge amount of time and energy put into managing these legacy platforms – in terms of both cost and risk management.”

To put it in context, if each interaction were only one minute long, the annual 50 million interactions would equate to 95 years of continuous conversation.

“Our focus is on the human connection,” says Grunwald. “That means placing our customers at the centre of everything we do — and ensuring our frontline colleagues can give them the support they expect of us during important moments.”

To deliver on this, NatWest needed to invest in a system that would help streamline the volume of requests but without compromising on the personal touch.

“We needed a cutting-edge platform to modernise the customer experience across all of our business areas,” says Wendy Redshaw. “In the end, Microsoft Business Applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service at the core was the clear choice.”

Cost savings and faster customer service with Microsoft Dynamics 365

The first stage of the transformation has consolidated five legacy systems NatWest previously used to manage the 700,000 annual appointments in its mass-market business into a single system. NatWest partnered with Accenture to embed the technology in the frontline and support with user adoption.

“Colleagues from across the bank are easily able to book appointments with each other and many of the manual processes are now automated,” says Grunwald.

By aggregating over 150 customer data attributes into a 360-degree customer view in Dynamics 365, NatWest have made over £10 million in software savings.

“Our transformation is geared towards making us the best of digital and the best of human,” says Redshaw. “We’re well on our way to achieving that and we couldn’t be there without Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service. It’s an exciting time for us.”

You can watch the video case about NatWest’s move to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service here.