In my kick-off blog post in June, I wrote about how we recently executed a Customer Effort Score assessment, evaluating a selection of banks on their cross-channel customer experience. In the coming weeks, I will be sharing with you key insights, themes and “aha!” moments that we learned from our research that are critical factors for companies looking to optimize their customer experience.
Theme #1 – Customer Experience Leadership Matters to your Customers: The Importance of a CX Governance Program
Customers cannot get to the “Wow!” experiences banks aspire to provide them with great service and friendly employees alone. Without an effortless experience, a focus on great service falls flat.
Our Customer Effort Assessment kicked off with a two-hour workshop discussing Customer Experience (CX) definition and ownership for the bank with the key channel stakeholders at each participating financial institution. We started with their CX leadership, in order to better understand what we were evaluating online, in the branch, and over the phone. We discussed a broad range of topics with the banks:
- What are their strategic goals & expectations?
- How do they structure CX leadership & management?
- How do they monitor & measure CX?
- What are the investments they are making in CX?
- What programs and efforts are underway?
What we found through our research is that the internal Customer Experience organization is a key success factor in delivering on any promise of an exceptional customer experience.
We learned that cross-channel collaboration, planning, and strategy was clearly linked to delivering effortless experiences. To underscore that point, our findings indicated that multiple high-effort customer pain-points were linked directly to gaps in cross-channel collaboration between digital banking (web/online banking) and the human-side (branch/phone).
The institutions that executed well on this, delivered measurably better experiences for their customers. Organizations with the most defined and integrated cross-channel customer experience organization were significantly more capable in delivering on their stated CX goals.
A successful CX governance program starts with the creation of a cross-departmental team that can define, articulate, and prioritize CX initiatives in the bank’s program. This team needs to include the key stakeholders for all customer facing operations and IT – retail, digital, contact center, product groups, and the IT team supporting the bank’s operations. A bank that has this as the foundation of their CX strategy are much more capable in delivering a truly effortless multi-channel customer experience to their clients.
We saw examples of this in each channel we evaluated. Contact Center staff was empowered and capable of walking customers quickly and expertly though the OLB platform and public facing sites while on the phone. Branch teams were able to onboard new online banking (OLB) customers in a way that lowered the learning curve and made customers feel comfortable using the tools – lowering customer frustration and the bank’s support costs. Websites and OLB platforms were designed with product functionality, ease of use, and a clear eye toward solving for actual client needs/wants.
Bank’s need to remember that if it is hard for customers to get their banking business done online; on the phone; or find the answers they need – when they want them – then great relationships will not make up for “hard.”