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Case study: Bank of Ireland (Managed Services)

Better efficiency and time savings for Bank of Ireland with SoftCo Managed Services

Meeting the highest standards of customer satisfaction is crucial in the competitive financial services industry, especially with new entrants continually vying for customers' business. And with increasingly stringent compliance regulations to cater for, there's no room for inefficiency or delay in the processing of customer applications. Recognising that its existing document management system would not be adequate to deal with its future needs, Bank of Ireland Customer Services turned to SoftCo for the answer.

SoftCo Managed Services has reduced our workload by three to four hours a day. And it's not just good value for the business; it's a better service for our customers.

Bank of Ireland

The Customer Services Department of Bank of Ireland manages an extremely heavy volume of applications, from hire purchase agreements to commercial and personal loans. To offer the best service to its customers, and to comply with regulations, the bank needs to process and be able to view documentation for each agreement as soon as possible.

One key requirement is for the bank to provide the customer with a hard copy of all documentation relating to the loan agreement in a timely manner. And, of course, to serve customers ringing up to inquire about the status of their loan, customer service representatives need to have the customer's file quickly to hand.

Meeting both these requirements was becoming increasingly onerous for the bank, for a number of reasons. First, its existing processes meant there was a delay of up to six weeks before customer documentation was posted onto its internal document viewing and management application. To meet its standards and quickly provide customers with a hard copy of their agreement, staff had to pull paper documentation and photocopy it in order to send clients their copy. Second, answering telephones queries from customers also meant consulting paper files, unless the customer's agreement was already on the system. To make matters worse, the bank's legacy document viewing application was showing its age, as its database grew larger and the system became increasingly prone to crashing.

The Customer Services team consulted with SoftCo, who had been working with the bank over a number of years on other projects in the UK and Ireland, and explored what the best solution might be. "We needed a system that would not fall over, that would allow us to meet our standards with getting documentation to the client quickly, and would eliminate photocopying for us," explains Salud Gonzalez, Team Leader for Bank of Ireland Customer Services. "We chose SoftCo Managed Services."

SoftCo Managed Services is a fully integrated service which now provides seamless document scanning, management and viewing to the bank. As part of the service, SoftCo personnel securely transport all paper documentation from the bank to an off-site location for scanning and electronic archiving. Documentation - including one convenient hard copy of each customer agreement - is provided back to the bank the following day, along with a CD containing electronic copies of all documentation for upload to the SoftCo system, the integrated SoftCo application that archives all documentation, and allows convenient searching and retrieval by bank staff.

Salud notes that this fast, reliable service from SoftCo has provided tremendous benefits to the bank, both in terms of time savings and higher customer satisfaction levels.

"The system has improved customer satisfaction and staff satisfaction as well - before, if our staff couldn't answer a query on the spot, they might have an irate customer on the line. With SoftCo there's been a huge improvement," Salud says. "Once we started with SoftCo, it was a blessing, because that eliminated photocopying. It is good value for money because it eliminates a lot of manual work - it has reduced our workload by three to four hours a day. And it's not just good value for the business; it's a better service for our customers."

Bank of Ireland and SoftCo: a strong partnership

Salud says that SoftCo has proved to be a reliable and flexible partner over the course of their relationship. "They're very good - they respond very well to any issues we may have, and they're always there to help," she says.

She notes that the bank also appreciates the fact that the SoftCo system allows such flexibility. For example, previously the bank had to separately scan and file copies of any late incoming documentation to be attached to the customer's file, for example an invoice for a car purchase. With SoftCo Managed Services, documentation can easily be scanned and attached to the customer's file at any stage, and viewable electronically as a PDF along with any other paperwork connected to the customer.

SoftCo are very good - they respond very well to any issues we may have, and they're always there to help.

Bank of Ireland

Importantly, she says that staff satisfaction with the SoftCo system is also extremely high. For instance, the process of clicking to view a customer agreement is now much faster - the previous system forced staff to click a separate document each time they wanted to view an individual page of the customer agreement.

"With the SoftCo solution, we can just do a search and it shows you the documentation as a PDF - it's so easy," she says, "And the search is flexible, too. You can search just for an invoice or any other document type. Previously an agreement and its documentation could have from 10 to 20 pages and potentially up to 100 pages; it would be hit or miss whether you were going to view the right page. People are much happier using this than the old system."

An end-to-end, reliable service for Bank of Ireland from SoftCo

  • Documentation for customer finance is sent to SoftCo for scanning on the day of set up with SoftCo Managed Services. Skilled SoftCo personnel capture and index all documentation and provide a CD for upload to the bank's SoftCo archive.
  • SoftCo also provides one hard copy of the documentation, which means bank staff no longer need to photocopy paperwork in order to send a copy to the client.
  • The rapid turnaround and the provision of paper copies to the bank allow it to meet stringent standards in regard to the timely provision of documentation to customers.
  • Bank staff use SoftCo Web, a simple browser-based system that allows authorised staff to view an electronic copy of all approved documentation within 36 hours of set up, a huge improvement on the previous six-week lead time.
  • Staff can use SoftCo Web to fax documentation to customers when needed, or to e-mail documentation internally to other staff.
  • Bank representatives in the field previously had to ring the bank's call centre to request a copy of documentation, and had to wait up to 48 hours for their copy. Now any documentation that is live on the system can be e-mailed directly to representatives the same day.

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