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Social listening gives us an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations: Prasanna Lohar, DCB Bank

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A new generation private sector bank with 400 branches, DCB Bank has innovated in a big way to raise the bar for customer experience. Prasanna Lohar, VP-Technology, DCB Bank, shares with us, some of the key technology related initiatives taken by his bank, and also elaborates on how his bank uses a social media monitoring tool to accurately gauge and understand customer sentiments

Some edited excerpts:

What is your view on the future of banking? 

In my opinion, the future of banking will look very different from today. Certainly COVID-19 has raised customer expectations. With such changing consumer expectations, rise of many emerging technologies, and new business models based on open banking or embedded finance, banks will need to start putting strategies in place now to help them prepare for banking in 2030. In my view below trends are changing the banking landscape

• Technology
• Orchestration across the ecosystem
• Digitally Dexterous Enterprise
• Collaboration Banking
• Invisible Interface Banking:
• Cyber Security Finance
• Business Continuity:
• Employee Engagement Satisfaction
• Open Innovation
• And most importantly Customer Satisfaction

For us, taking care of customers has always been a priority. While we were onboarding new customers when the pandemic hit, we rigorously went about increasing our metrics such as customer satisfaction or NPS, acquisition, retention and servicing.

Could you provide a brief on your Digital Transformation and the challenges that the bank faced. Did the Pandemic play a role in these challenges?

The first and foremost challenge that the industry faces is the health and safety of its employees and customers. Second, the risks of virtual networking, cybersecurity, and remote data sharing pose additional IT security threats. Third, compliance, due diligence, and adherence to regulations laid down by the regulator and other government authorities.

In all of these, the most fundamental challenge is communication. Assuaging employee fears and customer concerns about the physical environment, economic environment and business are of paramount importance. Additionally, business unit heads require daily updates about business and employee contributions. Regular conference calls are held and updates on business continuity, employees’ health and safety are discussed and deliberated by unit heads. In addition, online trackers and enablers such as electronic daily sales report (EDSR) and for products like DCB Zippi, a continuous input online or through email is needed. These challenges have also brought forth a need to increase virtual solutions, support and technology by the IT teams. There is an added responsibility for handling employee queries, managing applications, and smooth running of business and data centres virtually.

The administration teams have detailed physical premises usage plans to maintain safety of employees and customers. They also have to ensure that transportation, sanitization of premises, personal safety kits and equipment for social distancing (queue managers, hand sanitizers, squares for customer distancing) are maintained at branches, ATMs and offices.

The adoption of innovative solutions e.g. WhatsApp banking, video KYC mechanism and conversational banking will be available in the foreseeable future. DCB Bank’s digital strategy to managing customer expectations is bound to undergo a sea change in the next couple of years. WhatsApp banking and Chatbots will become normal in the next two-three years. This will help in the optimization of contact center operations. Some of these challenges, including transportation and vendor management, may ease with a reduction in lockdown.

However, the challenges of working from home and maintaining virtual security are here for the foreseeable future. The IT teams will have to ramp up offerings and security features. Banks will also need to manage employees and monitor their work-from-home situation. They will have to issue strict guidelines for the same. This will require more self-discipline rather than monitoring. There will also be challenges in offsetting the additional cost borne by employees using the internet and other facilities from home. An important aspect of these challenges is that they have resulted in faster adoption of change and opportunity in light of remote working and multi-skilling of employees. In addition, we addressed employee engagement and development in these trying times as our top priority. Emotional well being through engagement was managed through wellness sessions on mental health, virtual town halls to buoy employee spirit, a fun radio show for employees to dedicate messages to their colleagues, DCB Heroes — video calls to connect with employees who have shown exemplary work ethics and applaud them along with their seniors, virtual backyard birdwatching, kitchen waste composting, and virtual yoga sessions.

The lockdown served as an opportunity for business and technology to collaborate and recheck customer demand and align new business models or customize existing plans. We launched/enhanced three critical customer-facing digital solutions for our customers. DCB Zippi Online Fixed Deposit allows any non-DCB Bank customer to open an FD only account with DCB Bank within minutes from the comfort of their homes. DCB Remit is a paperless, online remittance facility with zero fees. It is exclusively for outward fund remittance from India to 22 countries. The new DCB Mobile Banking App launched during the lockdown period has quickly reached a life-to-date rating of 4.8 from 2.8 (Android) a month ago and set a new benchmark to emulate.

How does DCB Bank mine insights from social media?

Consumers today are not shy about expressing their discontent on social media. If left un-monitored, negative feedback can cause irrevocable damage to our brand reputation. Constant monitoring of social media platforms for negative reviews, toxic content, and false information is the only way to identify and respond to them in a timely manner.

The better you know who you are talking to, the more effectively your message will land. That is a principle behind social media strategy, fine-tuning our target audience to strike exactly the right chord. Social media offers a way to provide great customer service around the clock. By handling customer complaints and concerns on social media, we can show other customers how dedicated you are to keeping them satisfied.

We use a tool called Konnect Insights, which is a solution for monitoring social media channels for mentions of our brand, competitors, product, and more. Social listening will give an opportunity to track, analyze, and respond to conversations about DCB Bank on social media. It is a crucial component of audience research.

What are some of the overall benefits of implementing Konnect Insights solutions? Please mention quantifiable numbers

We can handle 25+ calls with just a 5 member team. We are now able to understand customer’s social media level feedback and we are able to support some of the unattended complaints in the past. DCB Bank is now at all Channels apart from ATM, Mobile , WhatsApp.

We also gain the following advantages: 24×7 sentiment analysis; online reputation handling; social media crisis management; social analytics of brand and competition; campaign management; automated reports; deep insights analytics; real time alerts for the bank’s customer service excellence team.

Some of the top level benefits include:

• Reputation management – Understand and optimize the drivers of DCB Bank’s reputation. We will also get a better understanding of how our brand performs compared to competitors
• Crisis management- Social listening can provide an early warning system to a developing crisis, which will help us determine the scale of the problem, and give us an idea and time to address the issue in its early stages
• Protect framework– The brand protection and reputation management framework monitors conversation segments to track known issues while uncovering unknown issues before they become a crisis
• Product Development – One of the greatest benefits of social listening is that we will be able to receive customer feedback about products, brand, or industry. We can analyse what our customers are saying to discover valuable insights. This criticism is also valuable because it will have the ability to improve our product, customer care, or more general business strategies
• Knowing our Audience Better– This also aims to gain more transparent understanding with our clients, it helps to know what they’re saying, even when they’re not trying to get our attention. Their posts and comments on different channels fill in the gaps that we would miss when you’re relying on their interactions with us via other channels
• Implementation of the Promote framework – The brand insights and campaign recommendations framework help in ideation and optimization of a brand or effort, taking the pulse of the audience and identifying how best to reach them


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