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Investment Bank Prager Takes New Approach to CRM

Prager & Co. is one of a growing number of financial service firms turning to customer relationship management (CRM) technology to improve customer success.

MindTouch, a cloud-based web platform for knowledge collaboration and CRM, is working with the full-service investment bank Prager & Co. to improve customer interactions and give service reps insight into all parts of a customer's experience.

Like most other investment banks, Prager has a lot of complex financial information it uses as reference materials, and delivering the right answers to customer inquiries can be complicated. Prager has looked to MindTouch to help it meet customer inquiries across its service channels.

When Prager's customers click a help button, search for information about a portfolio, or look up an acronym they don't know, targeted responses and related information is presented in real-time. If the system determines that relevant information isn't available, an alert is sent to an account manager or Prager to create a solution from that case. When a customer calls the service center, representatives can see where the client has been on the site and the documents the client viewed to get a better sense of what is being sought. This ultimately empowers the rep to have a more intelligent conversation with the customer.

Perhaps most importantly, MindTouch is helping Prager deliver specific product information that's historically difficult to access and update. Most companies can sympathize; their data exists in silos, embedded in PDFs or internal emails. That information is now being dynamically organized, tagged, and disseminated across the Prager ecosystem.

"Some of our software customers have reported it would take 12-18 months to update product documentation, because it was all file based," Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of MindTouch, told us. "MindTouch is different. Our customers edit in web-based fields, and it updates in real-time across the system, so you don't have to worry about old files lying around."

Easy access to targeted information helps customers become product experts faster, Fulkerson says. If they are experts, they are more likely to stick with and even promote the products. "Experts who aren't confused are less likely to stay away. And if they are only using 20% of services, they aren't going to stick around, and [they're] more liable to be poached by competitors."

For Prager, which provides a wealth of products and services to customers, documentation is being constantly produced as people are building and updating files. "Before MindTouch, that would have been word docs and PDFs. Think of the nightmare of changing and editing all those," Fulkerson said. "Then it was kicked over from engineering to product marketing to put gloss on it, and that's being published in its own silo. In sales cycles, questions come up, and these would have been answered with one-off emails that only people in tech roles would have answers to, and those answers weren't captured."

The same can be said of the customer onboarding process, where training materials are published in a standalone site, disconnected from the product information. "Whenever a customer had a question, they'd just get a general answer. With MindTouch, they are producing conditionalized content and focusing holistically on the success of the customer."

MindTouch has been popular with software companies since its inception in 2008, but Fulkerson said financials are one of its fastest-growing verticals. Prager has joined Accenture and Charles Schwab on the financial client list.

"MindTouch provides users with the up-to-the minute information they need to use our services," said Aaron Hathaway, director of IT at Prager. "With the features in MindTouch, Prager employees can quickly ramp up, as well as have the unique opportunity to update all information across the board in real-time as needed."

Becca Lipman is Senior Editor for Wall Street & Technology. She writes in-depth news articles with a focus on big data and compliance in the capital markets. She regularly meets with information technology leaders and innovators and writes about cloud computing, datacenters, ... View Full Bio

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