Banco Bradesco Combines Self-Service and Great Service

Customer Service
Customer Service

Brazilians spend more time online than any other population in the world, and more citizens there access the Web every day. So it makes sense that Brazilian consumers would be comfortable going online to conduct banking activities. Banco Bradesco, one of the country's largest banks, sees this burgeoning channel as an opportunity to get closer to customers and enable one-to-one relationships.

Although it is one of Brazil's largest banks, with $200 billion in assets, 83,000 employees, 6,000 branches and millions of customers, Banco Bradesco is not content to rest on its laurels. The company has a clear focus on improving customer interactions by encouraging customers to use the Internet, ATMs, and mobile phones.

"Since the start of the company, our founder has always said that customers are the main reason for our existence," says Marcos Bader, director for Bradesco Day and Night, the company's online and electronic efforts. Using electronic channels, the company can more easily identify customers who might remain anonymous at a branch. This identification is key to the company's customer insight efforts, called "pre-identified customer flow." Banco Bradesco compiles customer data including demographic information, account information, and past behavior to create an interaction plan for each customer that can be pushed through the self-service channels. Bader says the bank receives 10 million visitors to its 49 websites and 28,000 ATMs each day, and that its individual customer flow information is its most important asset.

"We know exactly who we're talking to," Bader says. "Every customer is a different customer, and we're working to get closer to a one-to-one marketing relationship. Before he even tells us what he wants, we know what kind of product or service to offer, and what kind of action we can take to provide the best experience." The company works with Infor on its customer management efforts.

When a customer logs into the website or ATM, the bank can provide treatment or offers relevant to that individual customer. For example, Bader says, if a customer goes online to pay a utility bill but does not have the correct funds, the bank can offer a preapproved loan to bridge the gap. Or if a customer frequently travels, the bank will know that by seeing ATM usage in other countries. It may then offer travelers cheques or insurance from one of its partners. Bader says acceptance rates range from 15 percent to 40 percent, depending on the offer. He also says the company is planning a celebration when it reaches 70 million accepted offers, anticipated in January.

Bader says more consumers are moving to self-service channels in part due to this individual level of service. In 2005, 82 percent of all transactions occurred in a non-branch location, and that has improved to 86 percent. "It's a huge opportunity to address customer needs by stimulating migration to electronic channels," Bader says. "Our strategy is to create channels and partnerships [with retailers] to fulfill customer needs."

To that end, Bader's big challenge is incorporating mobile into the multichannel mix. Brazil has more than 135 million active cell phones, which is a 35 percent growth in use from last year. "In the near future banking will face a different logistic distribution model. Mobile banking will be the most representative way to get in touch with customers." His goal is to develop a standard mobile customer interaction model based on strong CRM tools and one-to-one concepts. The company is looking into secure voice recognition software and partnerships with mobile carriers to deliver a robust mobile banking platform.

Banco Bradesco realizes the value of a personal interaction, even in self-service channels. "We're investing in real-time personalization, regardless of the channel," Bader says.