CSP Happenings





Tagged: customer service

What is Customer Intelligence?

January 21, 2015

what is customer intelligence

 

Customer Intelligence (CI) is a discipline within Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that relies on the collection of customer information to gain insights into behavior.

Using Customer Intelligence methodologies, companies can assemble and examine data to uncover customers’ preferences, motivations, patterns, wants and needs, and ground their strategy in that information to deliver a better customer experience.

Measurement & Analytics

Customers reveal things about themselves in their daily actions and inactions. Customer experience research, Voice of the Customer programs, and market research create a detailed and specific picture of the customer journey.

Integration & Context

The value of Customer Intelligence is in the scalability of the knowledge it confers. Within the cloud of data, you can find valuable insights about macro trends across your customer base and micro variations from customer to customer.

Prediction & Personalization

Let your customers know you value the quality of their experience by using customer intelligence to optimize their journey, target your messaging and efforts, and adapt proactively.

Conversion & Retention

By continuously striving to improve the customer experience, expect to have an impact on customer satisfaction, referrals, and opportunities to cross-sell.

 

Move from thinking you know your customers to really knowing them. Find out what kind of customer intelligence you could be missing when you talk to an expert at CSP today.

Welcoming the Era of the Universal Banker

January 14, 2015

Innovations in mobile and digital platforms have influenced significant paradigm changes in how bank and credit union customers interact with their institutions in the virtual space. Now that wave of change is bleeding over into the physical world, with the invention and adoption of the universal banker.

The future and function of the brick-and-mortar branch continues to be a subject of debate, especially as digital solutions have taken their toll on teller transactions and branch foot traffic. Universal bankers are one response to this, with the potential to not only affect the customer experience, but address some of the challenges of staffing and workforce management across bank networks.

The title “Universal Banker” first started catching the industry’s attention in 2015. That year, BAI named increased implementation of universal bankers as one of the most anticipated trends in retail banking. Job listings seeking universal bankers spread rapidly across online platforms among banks big and small.

What is a universal banker?
universal banker

In a nutshell, the universal banker role is a hybrid of the traditional teller and the personal banker. Their specialty is being unspecialized – or, maybe more accurately, specializing in everything – and they can be found everywhere on the sales floor, rather than chained to a desk or booth.

Universal bankers take staff roles out of their silos to function across multiple tasks: basic transactions, new accounts, loan applications, and general customer service, to name a few. The degree of universal function will likely vary from bank to bank, but cross-training is the common theme.

How does a universal banker make a difference to customers?

No one likes being given the run-around, whether it’s for a simple transaction or a more complex situation. Handing off a customer from one specialized-but-limited employee to another is not only frustrating for the customer, but has implications for productivity and resource utilization behind the desk.

Universal bankers can handle a customer request from start to finish. Certain sensitive or complex tasks, like mortgages and business loans, may eventually require involving someone higher up the chain, but the average customer can expect a universal banker to take them all the way through the interaction.

In a way, you might consider the universal banker as an accessible middle ground between the convenience and flexibility of automation and the nuance and additional context of personal customer service.

What are some of the challenges of introducing the universal banker?

The universal banker may be agile and adaptable, but that doesn’t mean this model will be appropriate to every institution and every branch.

Implementing universal bankers is not a silver bullet to increase branch traffic, but rather serves to better meet the needs of those customers already coming through those doors. Banks considering this model will need to closely examine just how appropriate it is for each branch.

The other major hurdle is getting employee buy-in. The daily routine at the branch may not be so routine anymore. Training programs and resources will need to be updated, most likely on an ongoing basis, to accommodate this role and its demands. Some long-standing employees may feel threatened by this new breed of coworker.

This isn’t just another position at the bank; it’s a paradigm shift within both customer experience and employee qualifications. The implications for the internal culture cannot be downplayed or dismissed.

What will be the impact of universal bankers?

As banks begin experimenting with universal bankers, ongoing measurement of their internal and external impact will be critical.

That’s why this new trend in retail banking interests us at CSP – we’re passionate about improving the customer experience, and the first step to that improvement is measurement. Voice of the Customer programs like ours can be customized and optimized to capture insights into the effectiveness of universal bankers.

For more information on our VoC and Customer Intelligence solutions, explore our website or contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter@csprofiles – for regular updates and insights on customer experience management.

How Voice of the Customer Insights Can Improve Employee Training

December 22, 2014

The frontlines of customer service and sales are where the most direct and personal customer experiences happen. It’s also an area where customers tend to be more vocal about their satisfaction, or lack thereof. A good experience can make someone’s day, and a bad one can ruin it – and humans are just predisposed to complain more than compliment.

Positive and negative customer experiences also influence retention and attrition; a good experience can keep a customer coming back for years, but one bad interaction and they might write you off forever.

And in the days of social media, one customer’s bad experience can easily spread to others and affect public perception of your brand.

Training ClassroomWith all of this at stake, no business can afford to deprioritize employee training and coaching. Training builds bridges between customers and customer-facing employees.

Creating, maintaining, and delivering an effective training program is no simple feat, but your customers will thank you for the effort.

One size never fits all.

As convenient as it would be, a one-size-fits-all approach to training is likely to miss the mark in more ways than one.

Every customer base is different, as is every workforce. Employee training initiatives must take into account not only the unique customers’ expectations, but the internal culture of the company. The better aligned these two conditions are, the better experience customers are likely to get, and the more productive employees can be.

Education is always evolving.

Customer expectations change with time, influenced not only by their relationship with your business, but trends and innovations in the marketplace as a whole. What was satisfactory last year may be insufficient today.

Static, standardized training is not sustainable. Regular evaluations of your materials, curriculum, and methods will keep your program responsive and current.

Mind the gaps.

So how do you optimize your employee training? Listen to the voice of the customer. VOC research and insights highlight gaps in employee performance and customer sentiment. This creates the opportunity to customize your training initiatives to focus on the attributes picked up within the research.

Knowledge is power – as long as you act on it. Measurements alone don’t do anything for anyone. At the end of the day, a customized, optimized, VOC-informed training program creates the opportunities for conversations that lead to loyalty and sales.

 

Customized training solutions based on VOC insights are part of the package of services CSP provides our clients. To find out more, visit our Coaching & Training page, or contact us directly with your questions.

What Influential Trends will Drive Financial Service Customer Experience in 2015?

December 15, 2014

dollar-exchange-rate-544949_640

Banks are catching up to their customers, and specifically, how those customers access their products and services. The unprecedented diversity of channels customers see today is influencing how banks allocate resources to each channel to align with evolving customer expectations.

In December, BAI released its latest Banking Strategies Executive Report, brimming with interviews and opinions from thought leaders and retail banking executives from around the country. You can request your own copy of the report from the BAI website, but for those short on time, here are some of the highlights:

Omnichannel Strategies that Revolve Around Mobile

As mobile devices become more central to consumers’ everyday lives, so too has the mobile channel taken a central role on the omnichannel stage, which makes sense: mobile is perhaps the most omni of all channels.

Devices can be used practically anywhere, and for a number of different purposes – checking balances, depositing and transferring funds, searching for information, calling a branch or customer support line, leaving reviews on consumer-facing sites like Yelp, and following a bank’s social media feeds.

Mobile will continue to be a key area of focus in 2015, but more importantly, banks will need to grasp how this channel intersects with and influences others, and how customers move between all of them.

“People are not migrating solely from one channel and leaving another one behind. […] The branch continues to be a significant channel for even the most technologically-savvy customers.”
David L. Stein, Executive VP and head of consumer and commercial banking for Associated Banc-Corp

The adoption of mobile among consumers could have banks looking at mobile solutions for their business customers, too, such as payments and remote deposits. B.C. Krishna, President and CEO of MineralTree, Inc, notes that “the vast majority of B2B payments still tend to be manual, paper-based, ad-hoc, check-oriented transactions” that cost money to process. Could 2015 be the year we see that start to shift?

Personalized Experiences Based on Data

It goes without saying that no two customers are exactly alike, and now, financial institutions have access to the data to help paint a fuller picture of each individual.

But it’s not the data itself that matters, it’s what you do with it. In 2015, banks can use this customer intelligence to deliver a customer experience that not only seamlessly flows between channels, but recognizes each customer’s unique needs.

In fact, through the rise of predictive analytics, banks have more capacity to anticipate these needs and be proactive in offering solutions to each customer – perhaps before the customer themselves has identified a need. Consider this the Small Data within Big Data.

Not only does personalization contribute to the customer experience and to loyalty, it could be a competitive differentiator as consumers gravitate to the providers who best suit their unique needs.

“Many banks have made strong steps towards customizing customer experiences, particularly on mobile and in social media, but not all banks are as far along as they could be.”
Simon Mulcahy, Senior VP Financial Services at Salesforce.com

Refinements on the Frontline(s)

A lot of the data, mobile development, and analytics we’ve discussed so far are things happening in the background, but lest we forget, the frontline of customer service is one of the key direct experiences a customer has with your bank.

“Employees in the frontline environment of the retail bank are important because the frontline largely impacts the customers, and as a result, can influence results – positively or negatively,” warns Malysa O’Connor, director of financial services at Kronos, a workforce management solutions provider.

These days, the frontline isn’t always the teller behind the counter or the rep on the phone. As customers connect to their banks through other channels, like social media, every bank’s training efforts, methods, and materials will need to continue to evolve in order to maintain alignment, not only with customer expectations, but company culture.

 

CSP is thrilled to see our clients forward into the New Year and guide them as they navigate these up-and-coming challenges and opportunities to create the best customer experience.

To keep up with current developments in retail banking and customer experience management, don’t forget to follow @CSProfiles on Twitter.