I was the recent recipient of some amazing customer service from one of the larger US banks as I negotiated the rapids of a refinance. I had low expectations from the outset but was pleasantly surprised with an amazing service experience.
As I think back on the entire process it occurs to me that the most memorable part of it was the follow-up. It was almost mechanized. I got periodic callbacks from my primary contact as well as from the underwriter. I could not believe that they were calling me to give me status updates. It sounded like a much more relaxed transaction from both sides of the table.
All these months later this is my strongest memory. The trust built in this process has encouraged me to reach out to this very same bank first in order to address another of my financial needs.
So how do we ensure that excellent customer service goals that we set for our service centers are actually carried out in reality? This becomes especially difficult when the service process moves beyond our own walls and involves external organizations who are likely not even part of your company (title companies, etc.).
Of course my first thought was that there must be some ubiquitous CRM solution like Salesforce.com or a huge back-office system like SAP involved behind the magic curtain. Perhaps that is the case for this large bank but what about the rest of us? Is there help out there to help us automate our workflow in order to maintain continuity and prevent tasks from falling through the cracks?
I’ve done some digging and found some guidance for those of us who care about the customer experience that might help us avoid the huge expense of a complete back-office overhaul.
Craig Robinson with BBW (a London based consultancy in the telephony and contact center arena) points out is a recent white paper “Optimizing Content Centric Processes to Improve the Customer Experience” that the potential gains go far beyond just time savings but impact both customer satisfaction and agent retention. So by making is easier on the customer we also enhance the life of the service rep as well.
Diane Halliwell with Align, LLC in “The Exceptional Customer Experience: It’s All About the Process” points out that as important as technology is in this process that at the end of the day process is about people. She says “Making existing resources more effective at what they do improves processes and the customer experience. ”
So there is hope out there and it looks like it’s a mix of people and technology that will be required but that it doesn’t look like we need to turn our world’s upside down to gain the benefit.