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Commonwealth Bank of Australia: Exceeding customer expectations with personalized conversations

We just did our 50 millionth next best conversation in person. That is 50 million times our frontline – either our branch or our contact center staff – had an opportunity to take the next best conversation and deliver that to our customers.

Angus Sullivan Group Executive, Retail Banking Services, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The business issue

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is the largest organization in Australia by market cap, and one out of three Australians call CBA their main financial institution. To continue driving its market dominance, CBA looked to build deeper, more personalized relationships with each of its 10 million customers.

The solution

Using Pega Customer Decision Hub™, CBA created the Customer Engagement Engine that intelligently suggests and personalizes the next best conversation to have with each customer, whether they are in the branch, on the phone, online, or on a mobile device.

The results

  • +12 lead in NPS over the competition
  • 50 million next best conversations delivered
  • 200 machine learning models with 157 billion data points
  • 200 millisecond response occurring 20 million times daily


[Angus] We just did our 50000000th next best conversation in person. So that's 50 million times our frontline, either our branches or our contact center staff have had an opportunity to take a next best conversation and deliver that to our customers. In digital the number's multiples of that because every little point of interaction. It could be an email we send, an alert we pop up in the app or something that we put on the website as a banner. They're all a interaction, so there the number is in the billions.

[Pete] CBA is Australia's biggest bank. We've got 10 million customers, and we serve everyone from individual small businesses through to corporates and institutions.

[Monique] One of the things that's really important to us is that we recognize we're in an ongoing conversation with customers. It's a relationship, and so we really have to make sure that our omnichannel activity is allowing that conversation to flow across all of our channels and critically, Pega is an amazing enabler of that for us.

[Speaker] The customer engagement engine's been a huge step forward for us in the way that we serve our customers. So it orchestrates across all of our channels, what's the next best thing for us to do to serve a customer.

All of those conversations are returned from call to channel in about 200 milliseconds. That happens around about 20 million times every single day.

[Speaker 2] So we've got about 10,000 of our colleagues, in one way or another, used the customer engagement engine and the Pega Technologies to inform their best conversations with customers. So it's happening at scale across the group.

Artificial intelligence has been a big focus for us, especially as it comes to the customer engagement engine, because there's a lot of judgment that needs to be applied to try and work out what's the most relevant likely thing to talk to a customer about.

[Andrew] We've seen incredible improvement in our ability to get to market really quickly. We can launch conversations same day now, which is super impressive. We have, you know, well over 200 machine learning models that run over the top of 157 billion data points in real time, continually monitoring and optimizing the conversations and interactions we're having with our customers.

[Pete] So it gets smarter and smarter, more effective, and helps figure out what's going to be the best thing to put in front of customers to help them with their financial wellbeing.

Central to our strategy is to be the best in digital bar none, and a core part of that is making sure that we've got the best mobile app.

[Pete] Interaction with the app's quite extraordinary. We have 20 million Australian adults. Of those 5.6 million are using our app actively, and we have over 5 million log-ons every day.

In the last 12 months alone, we sent over 20 million alerts to our customers to help them avoid fees and charges.

[Pete] And customers are loving it. For net promoter score, we're very proud we've got a plus 12 lead ahead of the nearest industry competitor. Customers are loving the experience and the individual personalization that we're giving them.

One of the big reflections I've had from the journey that we've been on with Pega and the customer engagement engine, what we see now that's possible is orders of magnitude bigger than what we even conceived was possible at the beginning, and I'm very excited in as much that if that's where we're at now, where are we gonna be in three or four years time, some of which we can see and some of which we can't. That means that the investment will be even more powerful than we imagine.


Product Area: Customer Decision Hub Topic: AI and Decisioning Topic: Personalized Customer Experiences

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