At CenterState, we, like many banks are undergoing a customer experience improvement initiative. This is our attempt to make customer service more than just talk and to move it into the realm of strategy. While we are not there yet, we are making progress and have started to work on key areas. One thing that helped us get moving is understanding the six steps to improve performance. For other banks going through the process, we wanted to present our roadmap.
Know Your Customers – Here is the funny part at most banks. While most banks want the 55-year-old business owner/CEO, that is not who uses most of their services. Maybe it is the CFO, maybe it is administrative support or maybe it is their accountant from another company. Understanding who your customers really are is the first step to designing a superior service culture.
What Service and Touchpoints: Creating a list of all interactions to include simple “touchpoints” of where the customer comes in contact with the bank helps identify where the bank and customer intersect. For example, every bank should know how many of these interactions normally take place before a business checking account is opened or what is required to send a wire over $5k. Don’t forget the non-transaction interactions such as changing addresses or closing an account.
What Delivery Channel: Now that the service interactions are mapped, know where in the bank they take place. Banks are often surprised about how many mobile or call center touchpoints there are in a transaction. Here, don't forget the out of channel touchpoints such as recruiting events, in-person sales calls, community fairs and other non-branch, non-mobile interactions.
Measure it: The old maxim holds true – if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. This is the hard part where bankers need to figure out what interactions are worth measuring and what metrics will be used. Post-transaction satisfaction or Net Promoter Scores are easy, but also, the average length of the transaction, number of touch points per transaction or average transaction balance are also worth capturing.
Communicate: Once the data is collected, how will it be shared and how often? Is there a dashboard? Is it shared with everyone or just the executive team? Hopefully, compensation is tied to service improvement and objectives are clear. If so, then the data should be distributed as widely as possible in order to positively impact change.
Act On It: More importantly, once the data is shared, how will it be actionable? If satisfaction falls or increases, what happens? Does compensation or recognition increase? Is the budget increased or decreased? Make sure there is a solid plan in place, ready for action depending on if the data is positive or negative. Without action, this whole process is near-worthless.
Bankers know that continuous improvement will deliver a service culture that stands above other banking competitors. It is easy to talk about superior service, but few banks attack the problem with rigor and discipline. Use this six-step process that other bankers have used to deliver exceptional service to their organization. With this process, you will make service, truly part of your strategy.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on August 19, 2014