KBC SEARCH SOLUTION POWERS ALL CUSTOMER LIFECYCLE STAGES

Business
KBC Group is an integrated bancassurance group, catering mainly for retail, SME and midcap companies. It concentrates on its home markets of Belgium and certain countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Elsewhere around the globe, the group has established a presence in selected countries and regions. 
Some number on their position in the Belgian market in 2014:

• 818 bank branches
• 459 insurance agencies
• Approximately 3.5 million customers
• Est. market share of 20% for traditional bank products, 37% for investment funds, 17% for life insurance and 9% for non-life insurance.

Challenge
KBC’s online channels are crucial to attract, convert and retain customers, and the importance of digital marketing and sales keeps increasing. In order to reach their business goals and the best possible customer experience, KBC Group identified some strategic key objectives with regards to their digital marketing strategy and online presence:

• Optimize the customer journey and experience
• Increase the online conversion rate
• Decrease the online bounce rate
• Personalization is key
• Access to relevant information is search-centric

This customer case mainly focuses on the aspect of search-centricity as part of the customer experience.
The way that people search for information has changed. They’re used to ‘Google’ to find the most relevant information on the internet, and they expect the same experience when they search for information on a company’s corporate website, extranet or platform with any other public or secured content. A company’s website can visually be mindblowing and can contain excellent content, but if people can’t find the desired and relevant content in a fast, easy and intuitive way, the bounce rate increases and conversion rate decreases.         

“The bottom line: we are very happy with the GSA. It simplified the process of implementing targeted, audience-specific search, it’s low-maintenance, and it continues to be a benefit in our effort to enable users to find everything on our site with ease.It also delivered the business goals and growth we stated when creating the business case, so from an ROI and TCO perspective the implementation of the GSA is also a big success.”

– Hans Demedts, Functional Analyst Web Content Management

Solution
Since KBC acknowledged and embraced this evolution already back in 2012, search has become one of the main channels to deliver content to their (potential) customers.
The financial company shortlisted four vendors to further investigate their search solution. Google, the leader in search technology, was selected to deliver four of its Google Search Appliances (GSA) to improve search on the company’s corporate websites like kbc.be, kbc.com, jong.kbc.be, privatebanking.kbc.be, touch.kbc.be,.. etc.  After the successful integration on these websites, a branch locator (GSA + Google Maps) was added to kbc.be to facilitate their customers with their search for a branch in the preferred region.

 

Mid 2014, KBC launched a new website to assist and support (potential) entrepreneurs: ondernemen.kbc.be. This site puts search in the pole position, offering (potential) customers a search-centric way of finding the desired information. The SERP (Search Engine Result Page) also provides the possibility to comment on the search results and to share them with others. This goes far beyond pure search and retrieval, and that’s why search is part of the customer journey and essential to the user experience.

Search has become an essential part of their digital marketing strategy, and will have an even more prominent role in the future as the results of the implementation of the GSA on their current website(s) meet the initial expectations, the desired business growth and it has led to more and satisfied customers.

Why Google?
The most important reasons why KBC Group has chosen for Google instead of the other shortlisted solutions are:

• Price/TCO
• Short configuration & deployment track
• Low maintenance
• Great OOTB relevance
• Continuous innovation and improvement
• True Universal Search solution

Benefits
The implementation of the Google Search Appliance has led to several benefits, some of the most important include:

• 1 in 3 search queries leads to goal
   E.g ‘started a purchase’
   E.g ‘started a simulation’
• 1 in 30 search queries leads to conversion
• Reduced bounce rate
• Decreased number of multiple searches
• Increased conversion
• Optimised relevancy & click behavior
• Increased customer satisfaction

“The bottom line: we are very happy with the GSA,” says Demedts. “It simplified the process of implementing targeted, audience-specific search, it’s low-maintenance, and it continues to be a benefit in our effort to enable users to find everything on our site with ease. It also delivered the business goals and growth we stated when creating the business case, so from an ROI and TCO perspective the implementation of the GSA is also a big success.”