Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NACCM 2010: Journey to Call Center Satisfaction

Valerie Foxman, GE Capital Retail Consumer Finance (RCF)

“We’re all in this together.”

Valerie manages First Call Resolution (FCR) and Voice of the Customer (VoC) for GE Capital RCF. With over 45MM accounts and $30B in assets, they handle payment processing, billing statements, and card embossing for many notable retailers. And between the 11 call centers and the customer account handling, they have over 1 billion touchpoints to manage.

They employ a straightforward cycle:

  1. Listen: use Voice of the Customer surveys, letters, blogs, Call Monitoring, and Web Tracking. They use an IVR-based survey system to ask 3 questions and remove agent bias: Overall satisfaction, information provided, and agent’s attitude. Since FCR is clearly a win for both the business and the customer, they then correlate those to problem resolution and FCR and have powerful data.
  2. Act: Deliver agent empowerment and training, process improvement, system enhancements, and customer self-service. Incorporate call quality recordings with the customer survey results to get the full view and deliver improvements in FCR, and leverage 3 main pillars:
  • Associate (“call-center agent”) Development: Associate-level metrics, coaching skills, knowledge tools, recognition and reward
  • Process Opportunities: Robust analytics that enable deep-dives into inquiry types that drive defects and create opportunities for system enhancements.
  • Cardholder behaviors: Enable customer self-service and automated alerts
  1. Measure: Trend customer satisfaction, FCR, Call quality, IVR usage, and other vital center metrics – don’t just report static numbers. GE Capital has seen enormous increases in FCR and reduction in call expenses – worth well over $1M – by delivering information at 3 levels:
  • Real-time reporting around individual calls is important as well, since the manager is expected to call the customer back when poor scores result.
  • Managers can review and segment their own data through user-friendly pivot tables
  • Scores and project updates are reported to senior leaders on a weekly basis.

Their Customer Experience Council (CEC) is a critical part of their governance process. Meeting every month, the team reviews specific issues that arise and creates an action plan for how it will be dealt with. To make it work, senior management consistently reinforces the critical theme, “We’re all in this together.”

To build loyalty it’s critical to understand what’s behind customer questions, and not just answer the specific question. If a customer asks about account balance, it’s usually not enough to just answer that question. Why did they want to know their balance? GE Capital anticipates customer needs and proactively provides solutions for the associates on the front-line to appropriately handle such situations.

This blog was written by Steve Bernstein and is co-posted with the Customer Insight = Revenue blog.

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