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Why start automating banking processes from their shared parts? - a case study of the document distribution automation in Santander's Multichannel Communication Center

Business process automation can be approached in many ways. In the case of Santander and its Multichannel Communication Center (MCK), we decided to automate a step that occurs in many processes, namely sending correspondence to customers – confirmations, documents, attachments, etc. Thanks to the automation of a common part of many processes, the bank saved a lot of time and money on handling them.

Santander Bank
Q1 2023
manual document distribution, scattered guidelines for employees
reduce the time required to handle document distribution and reduce the risk of errors made by employees

Project background

Santander Bank's Multichannel Communication Center is a remote customer contact center. The team handles phone calls, video calls, Messenger, e-mail, chat, and the Santi chatbot. They communicate with individual and corporate customers in Polish, English, Ukrainian, and sign language. Every day they handle thousands of cases that require relevant documents.

Why did the bank choose us?

The changes began when a new specialist joined the banking team and observed that sending documents was not sufficiently automated. She learned about Eximee from colleagues responsible for the architecture of the IT system at Santander, who had been using the platform for quite some time.

Goal

The bank wanted to:

  • automate the process of sending documents to customers
  • make it easier for employees to select and compile documents
  • reduce customer service time
  • reduce the risk of errors

Solution

To achieve the goal, we structured and automated a step occurring in many business processes, namely sending documents to customers.

We configured the Eximee Dashboard to the bank's specific needs. The system now prompts employees on:

  • what documents will be sent automatically (depending on the channel where the customer issued the instruction)
  • what personalized documents they should prepare
  • the order of sending documents

1. Needs analysis 

We started with research and analyzing the needs of staff who handle sending documents to customers on a daily basis. Next, we mapped the requirements and planned their implementation in particular iterations. In each subsequent iteration, we addressed the client's current needs.

We spoke with the bank's business and platform users, gathered feedback from advisors, and reviewed ideas and prototypes with them.

The Eximee team works under a continuous discovery approach, which means that once the system was launched, we gathered user feedback to make improvements (in agreement with Release Management at the bank, of course).

2. An innovative approach to business process automation

In consultation with the bank, we decided we would not automate an MVP of the end-to-end process because the problem lay in a step common for many different processes, i.e., sending documents.

Unifying identical steps occurring in many processes is a good practice. One of the advantages of this approach is a significant cost reduction – the repetitive step is automated once, so the teams responsible for particular processes do not duplicate the work, which also prevents siloing.

The document distribution process was tested in different contexts, scenarios, and all channels.

3. Functional employee interface

One of the biggest technical challenges in the project was compiling the sets of documents that should be delivered to a customer in a given process. Currently, the second iteration of the configuration mechanism is implemented in the bank, and we are working on the third, as we see room for improvement.

Any mistake in a document sent to a customer (e.g., lack of information on the monthly card maintenance fee) can be grounds for challenging the terms of an agreement with the bank. Therefore, it was critical to ensure meticulous validation of documents and the variables they contain.

4. Centralizing case information in the Eximee Case Repository

Another challenge in the project was to aggregate case status information from all channels in one place.

The MCK incorporates various channels such as phone calls, video calls, and chat. A customer can communicate with the bank about their case using the channel they find most convenient at a given moment. Therefore, a consultant who serves the customer must have an overview of the entire history of interactions in all channels.

On the one hand, this solution provides a consistent experience for customers and improves the quality of service across channels, and on the other hand, it has a positive impact on the employee experience.

Eximee Case Repository collects information from all channels and applications, including external and third-party systems. The acquired data on customer cases feeds screens for bank employees (e.g., views in the Eximee Case Management module or third-party applications) and for the customers (e.g., in mobile banking). It allows the bank to keep statistics on traffic in particular channels, the popularity of each product, etc.

What systems is Eximee integrated with?

The Eximee platform can integrate with any bank or third-party system thanks to its API and open architecture. This project required integration with systems such as:

  • Customer Information System (CIS), where client information is pulled from
  • Integrated Computerized Banking System (ICBS), where product information is pulled from
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM), where documents are retrieved from
  • document encryption system
  • Customer Communication Management (CCM), which generates documents and sends correspondence directly to customers

Eximee modules we used:

  • Eximee Customer Contact Center, which allows consultants to respond to customer messages quickly and effectively
  • Eximee Case Repository, which centralizes all information about a given customer's ongoing and closed cases.

Benefits for the bank

  • Reduction of errors such as failure to send required documents or sending the wrong type of document
  • Thanks to the automation we introduced, the bank collects data on the most frequent customer instructions and learns which processes are the most time-consuming and costly. With this knowledge, the bank may decide which ones to automate in the future and estimate savings.
  • Significant reduction of workload
  • Efficient onboarding of users to the Eximee platform that will be used by more and more teams over time (steep learning curve)

What's next? 

We successfully completed the first phase of the project in Q1 2023. The process functions in the Multichannel Contact Center and will be extended to the bank's branch offices.

The subsequent phase could involve automating specific customer instructions, with priorities established through the analysis of data on automated document distribution. These priorities would likely be customer instructions generating most work. Automating such processes would significantly reduce the workload for bank employees. 

  • Process automation
  • Banking product sales

Authors

Michał Stolarski
Eximee Product Owner / Architect
Creates product development strategy, manages backlog, and oversees the implementation.