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As EVP for retail banking for Portland, Ore.-based Umpqua Bank ($8.3 billion in assets), Ric Carey has helped build the community bank's reputation for service excellence and innovation in Washington and Oregon. Following a restructuring to gain efficiencies, Carey now adds retail operations in California to his responsibilities. In his expanded role, he says, his focus will be to "protect and expand the Umpqua service culture."

A large part of his efforts will include ensuring that technology investments are integrated into this culture so the customer experience is consistent across channels, Carey relates. A seamless, multichannel approach is vital to the bank's retail operations, he says. "The customer should have a great experience and be 'wowed' whether their contact point is Internet banking, bill pay, mobile banking, online applications for deposit accounts, or interaction with the contact center and store," Carey explains. "Seamlessly integrating these experiences and tracking customer access preferences ... will become more important."

As part of the customer focus, Carey reports that the bank will install a new CRM solution to enable the elusive 360-degree view of its customers. "The software will allow the bank to improve service in its customer contact center where the solution will be initially deployed," he says. "Integrating the solution into our core system has the potential of improving service and product sales out in our store environment -- through programmed next-purchase predictive modeling -- and bringing all relationships ... visible under one view."

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