Credit unions are renowned for customer service. But Boeing Employees' Credit Union is intent on knowing its customers more intimately and boosting its service to unprecedented levels. And better customer relationships translate into increased profitability.

As a beta test site for Relationship Manager, a customer management solution from Harland, the Seattle-based credit union is optimistic that the new system will afford it more flexibility in identifying customer trends and in achieving a one-to-one marketing paradigm, says Boeing marketing database research manager Micki Dodge.

The new system plays into the desire of financial institutions to more effectively acquire, retain and maximize the lifetime value of customer relationships. Beyond next-generation marketing customer information file (MCIF) systems, Relationship Manager enables institutions to incrementally update customer information and distribute it firmwide, says Harland svp Mark Perlberg. "You can actually distribute information out to the people who are going to use it on a more timely basis," he says.

The system also allows time-sequenced inquiries that show, say, customers who have at least $50,000 of deposits with the bank and have had their deposit levels increase at least 10 percent a month over a three- month period. "As a predictor of future behavior, how people have acted over a period of time is a key factor," Perlberg says. "If you have this system, you'll be capturing this type of data."

The system incorporates Harland's proprietary ActiveAspect technology, which simplifies the search process by empowering the marketing executive using the system to define what information they want and how they want to view it. "This software integrates data from multiple sources to support trend analysis, combined with process support for analytic activities such as planning, profiling and forecasting," says Henry Morris, director of research for data warehousing and applications, International Data Corporation IDC).

The system's communication function includes project folders for automatic dissemination of information; job management routines so that the system can alert users to significant occurrences within their databases; and events tracking which monitors events that can affect the success of a marketing initiative. Multimedia contact logging help financial institutions control and track diverse messages going to customers via direct mail, telemarketing, kiosks, ATMs and e-mail.


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