Re-energizing Service

Situation: The customer satisfaction ratings for a national retail bank had been flat for nearly seven years – a period when satisfaction in the banking industry as a whole had been improving. As a result, the bank had lost much of its service advantage over its key competitors.

An assessment by The Cicerone Group revealed that the bank lacked an enterprise-wide service strategy, and that service improvement efforts were highly siloed across business lines and channels. Although there was a fairly robust customer satisfaction/loyalty measurement system in place, and all employees were at some level compensated on the results, the company lacked a common vocabulary and set of expectations around service delivery. Furthermore, there were no system-wide management tools, information, procedures or policies to guide service improvement efforts.

Action: The Cicerone Group orchestrated an enterprise initiative to raise customer satisfaction levels and regain the bank’s competitive advantage in customer loyalty and service quality. The Service Leadership Initiative was launched in 2006, and included the following:
• Universal service standards, which were incorporated into internal and vendor SLA’s (service-level agreements), performance management criteria, hiring criteria and an internal communication campaign
• Cross-functional service governance structure, aligning business line managers with representatives from HR, Finance, Communications, Technology and other support groups
• Enterprise-wide service training, linked to the bank’s brand messaging
• Management tools and support materials to improve team-level satisfaction ratings
• Back-office service measures linked to end-customer satisfaction

Results: The company’s customer satisfaction levels rose significantly by 2007 in two major national studies, receiving the number one ranking among major banks.