Pavel Heczko: At ČSOB, we are developing the tool of the future

How would you describe Kate in two sentences?

Kate is a partner of our employees in the branch network. It accompanies them in their work, helps them to have better results, and above all they feel good about helping their clients as best they can.

How is it different from other internal information systems that companies commonly use for their employees?

Certainly by being personalized. It is able to connect the right information that a specific person in the branch needs when working with a specific customer at the right time. Kate can be compared to a smart watch – only instead of personal goals, she helps to achieve work ones. It is also very easy to use. Complex data models are in the background, but we present them to our employees in a simple, yet very useful way.

Can you explain it in a bit more detail?

Currently, Kate is launching a pilot operation for our branch employees. Whether they are with us for the first day or for several years, Kate knows each of them and makes it easy for them to work with clients. Already today, it helps bankers plan their activities and communicate with specific people. We have worked hard to make it really useful on the subjects that are dealt with on a daily basis, and above all we want it to save bankers as much time as possible – for example, in preparing for meetings. For example, he can tell you how you are doing compared to other colleagues, and he will soon start advising you on the steps you can improve. Or give you advice on what to focus on this week and what you have reservations about. If a customer calls you, they can recognize it and assess in seconds what service it makes sense to proactively offer them now.

What are the results so far?

Very well. We now know that we are developing a tool that can really make working in our sales network more efficient and enjoyable. Of course, this brings better results in terms of numbers, but I am even more satisfied with the personal contribution of Kate – it gives our employees more opportunities to provide customers with what they really need. And therefore to feel meaning and satisfaction in your work.

Kate for employees can be compared to a smartwatch – only instead of personal goals, it helps to achieve work ones.

You develop Kate in collaboration with the people in the branches. Is it possible to realistically know in a complex complex such as a bank what employees need?

Certainly, we work on the principle of agile methods. At the beginning, we asked our employees if they would like to use Kate-like software. In the next steps, we found out what burns them the most and checked it out on prototypes. For example, it turned out to be selling and servicing investment products, so we decided to start with them. One of Kate’s primary functions for employees is the ability to recommend a specific investment product for a specific client and also provide the trader with arguments as to why this option will help that person the most. We continue in the same way, and it gives us the assurance that we are developing exactly what our people want to use.

How does Kate affect employee customer experience? What can the bank bring me as a customer thanks to it?

Today’s customer doesn’t want to spend too much time in the bank. No one likes to stand in line or watch the long processes a banker goes through behind the counter when time is of the essence. Kate simplifies the work of bankers, gives them all the necessary information in one place in a clear and understandable way. For example, bankers eliminate the need for lengthy preparation and pre-studying information from various systems before the next scheduled meeting with the client. As a result, this will of course also affect the client, whose time spent in the branch will be shortened. In addition, he will be sure that even if he comes to the banker without notice, his banker will offer him a solution adapted to his current financial needs.

In any case, these are savings – whether financial or time-consuming.

It’s definitely about money, we are financial institutions and our customers expect it from us. But I see the benefit in something even more important. Although Kate is software, paradoxically, as a salesperson, she gives me the opportunity to remain more human – not to deal with data, tables, history, but to have a dialogue. Listen to the customer and tell him what he really needs. Take care of him in the best sense of the word. This is one of the few skills that our new colleagues can hardly acquire.

What do you mean?

Working with Kate is relatively easy. We are developing it as an intuitive next-generation tool, with which you can easily communicate. We also have a sophisticated training system on our products and services. But what cannot be transmitted is empathy. Enjoy working with people, the desire to help them and always go further than necessary. It will not replace any technology, current or future.

What’s the most exciting thing about working on Kate’s development team?

We are creating something big and interesting. Our teams are made up of talents and experts interested in big data, digitalization and related innovations. Participating in a large banking project is an opportunity that does not offer much. We have several million customers, dozens of projects and unusual challenges are presented to us on several levels at the same time. In my team, we have to be able to work with many specialists across the bank, with product and segment managers, marketing people or with data scientists and engineers. I would say that the most powerful magnet for our country is the ability to work with a huge amount of information, to seek new relationships for them and at the same time to develop a specific product that will really make life easier for people at home. interior of the bank and customers.

Is it possible to say how much development still awaits you?

We started in January 2021 and delivered the first scenarios this summer. We will gradually add new functionalities to Kate for employees, in order to be able to prepare a complete tool corresponding to the 21st century for our collaborators. After scenarios that help serve individuals, we will focus on services for individual traders or entrepreneurs. Our team will evolve with that. We started small and continue to grow. In order to maintain its vibrancy and intimate atmosphere, we operate on an agile principle and are in fact such a small company within the company.

Kate is software, but paradoxically it gives the trader the ability to stay more human. Listen to the customer and talk to him.

What does it look like exactly?

At ČSOB, we use this model more and more often. The team has its own budget, its own responsibility and creates a specific product that its employees perceive as their own. As a result, they quickly see the results of their work, which gives them satisfaction and motivation to move on. There are, of course, many other people behind all of this who make up the infrastructure of the bank.

What do you personally like about developing Kate for employees?

For me, the key idea is behind everything we do. Namely that technology is not an end, but only a means. Although I have the opportunity to be at the forefront of the development of great technological solutions, which are at the forefront of the Czech Republic, the aim of my work is not to impose the technology to people. The goal is to put technology at the heart of what we do for people. A satisfied customer brings me the greatest joy at work.

Pavel Heczko, Executive Director for Data-Driven Personalization
At ČSOB, he is in charge of developing the personalization of data-driven customer interactions. She leads several flagship projects, including Kate for employees, an innovative digital tool to support bank employees in customer service and in their daily work. Pavel leads teams that connect segment and product management, data scientists and engineers with IT and technology specialists to ensure that each of ČSOB Group’s 4.2 million customers receives the right offer, at the right time. time, through the right channel. For some it might be an affiliate, for someone else it might be a push notification or Kate. “At ČSOB, we invest a lot in technology, big data and digitalization. But technology is not an end for me, but rather a means. I lead their development so that in the first place, we always have the feel like doing it for people,” he explained in an interview.

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