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Customer Support and Service
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Customer Support and Service
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Example Cases

Learn valuable lessons from these organisations:

Bank of America Corporation

Customer Support and Service (CSS) Receives Positive Feedback
In a nationwide evaluation the bank learned that some 50% of its customers at over 500 of its sites were seniors. A team was established to investigate how to meet the particular needs of this market. It was desired to create new branch environments that were safe and welcoming and addressed special needs of aging customers. Three types of trials were carried out at selected sites i.e.:
  • Staff training in selling to seniors, and understanding the physical challenges faced by elderly customers;
  • Basic branch office changes e.g. painting, carpeting, rearranging furniture, and seated queuing arrangements;
  • Major environmental changes reflecting the fact that bank visits often served as a ’social outlet’ for seniors.
As a result of the trials positive feedback was received both from customers and staff, and training was proposed throughout the Bank of America network. (Stewart, 2004)

Fleet Enterprise Services USA

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in a Call Centre

Enterprise Fleet Services, USA, a division of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, provides vehicles on lease to companies that lease from 15 to 125 cars and trucks at a time. To better service its 11,000 customers and its network of 65,000 affiliated service centres, Enterprise set up a call centre designed to meet the demands of providing managed vehicle care for their clients and handle 22,000 calls per month mainly from repair shops and service centres related to vehicle maintenance. To improve service and provide the level of expertise needed to talk intelligently to customers in selling a comprehensive maintenance plan, and to repair shops who serviced the vehicles, the enterprise:
  • Employed 33 certified auto mechanics as CSRs who knew how to gauge whether a repair shop offered the best price and most appropriate service for a particular vehicle;
  • Trained the technicians in providing phone-based customer service;
  • Gave the technicians the authority to negotiate price and authorise payment;
  • Passed non-technical calls to a group of five non-mechanic CSRs, so technicians could spend more of their time on the intensive negotiating calls;
  • When a repair bill was reduced due to a CSR’s effective cost of repair management it was factored into the CSRs performance;
  • Used customer interactions as opportunities to freshen and/or improve the relationship with the customer;
  • Used typical call centre industry metrics to measure performance such as hold times and the percentage of calls answered;
  • Recorded an improvement in satisfaction scores and a reduction in the average wait time from 4.5 minutes to less than one minute for calls on hold.
    (Dawson & O'Herron, 2003)

Ben Netherlands BV

Call Centres - Superior Customer Service Contributes to Rapid Growth

Ben Netherlands BV, GSM retailer, signed on 1.2 million cellular customers to become Holland’s third largest operator in terms of revenues. Contributing to these results was the provision of superior customer service and work processes i.e.:
  • The key metric for the Billing process was 100% accuracy (after service activation a high percentage of calls related to billing enquiries, hence by minimising these impact on accelerating customer acquisition was greatly reduced);
  • Calls for routine information were outsourced and more complex calls sent to qualified internal representatives;
  • Rather that minimising call times CSR’s were encouraged to resolve customer needs on the first call;
  • CSRs/managers were empowered to find alternative solutions for customers leading to increased job satisfaction;
  • CSRs had seven qualification levels and corresponding pay scales. Absenteeism was 30% below the national average and staff attrition rate was 2% per month, compared to a 7% national average.
    (Hoffman, 2002)

Principal Financial Group

Customer support and service – talking points developed

In a desire to improve customer services, whilst adding to the organisation’s bottom line, Principal Financial Group (PFG) developed enhanced training programmes for its call centre agents. When PFG’s retirement business began to lose customers, experienced call centre agents were seconded to help the marketing group develop talking points designed to assuage participant’s concerns about their retirement funds. PGF agents, many of whom had college degrees and financial experience, were well placed to assist. The agents also helped to research competitor behaviour. While traditional call centre metrics, e.g. schedules and call monitoring scores continued to be measured, PGF also placed an emphasis upon an agent’s ability to improve the profitability of the company. Gift certificates were awarded to agents that helped retain business with PGF enjoying a 65% improvement in retirement plan rollover compared to the previous year. (Fleischer, 2003)

Gulf Bank, Kuwait

Servqual measured using a customer scorecard.

Gulf Bank developed a customer scorecard for reporting service quality and productivity. The scorecard involved a suite of performance reports designed to drive growth in customer acquisition/retention and profits through improved service delivery and efficiency. The following scorecard measures were derived from face to face customer interviews:

  • Excellent Staff (efficiency, knowledge, politeness, and confidentiality)
  • Excellent Operations (accuracy, availability, and complaint handling)
  • Convenience (location, parking, waiting times, tidiness, remote banking availability)
  • Competitive Costs (lowest charges for loans, overdrafts, service fees, commissions and highest interest on deposits
  • Excellent reputation and corporate Image.

Scorecard results were reported weekly and resulted in various improvement initiatives. Mystery shoppers were also used to measure the service quality of the bank and of its competitors. Through understanding service quality the bank was able resolve the sometimes conflicting demands of service excellence and economy of operation. (Jones, 2004)

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