Customer journey mapping of a major retail bank.
Low customer survey ratings
Consumer surveys for a UK retail bank rated the Bank as below average for handling queries and complaints, despite the fact that they had reduced complaint volumes significantly by focusing considerable effort on tackling the root causes of complaints. An in-depth study was commissioned to understand how the Bank could deliver customers a great experience if forced to complain.
Customer journeys for complaining by branch, phone, letter, email and social media, were mapped. Each journey was described in “customer language” to encourage staff to put themselves in the customer’s shoes.
A cross-functional team ran a series of workshops to study the complaints customer journey through three lenses: customer experience, business process and colleague experience.
Mystery shopping was combined with operational analysis of the complaints handling operations, linking customer issues to their root causes. Customers were interviewed in branches, recent complaint cases were analysed and thought leadership about managing complaints received through social media was developed.
Working with a specialist customer feedback company, customers were surveyed in real time to understand their complaints experience. Key metrics such as Customer Effort Score were enhanced by recordings of actual customer comments which were mined to understand key themes, such as an issue with the end-to-end time taken to log a complaint by phone (see Fig 1).
The complaints leadership team was engaged through a series of workshops where video files, audio recordings, data analysis and case histories were used to bring the customer journey to life.
Root causes found ranged from staff training and incentives, to broken processes. A major opportunity was uncovered to prevent complaints arising by improving query handling and requests for help, particularly through the telephone channel. The customer journey was found to differ between channels and fragmented when crossing them.
Solutions varied from web site design changes and the use of ‘nudging’ to guide customers to the right service, to improving processes and deploying systems and authority to front line staff. A “blue sky” ideal state was developed for debate.
356 improvements ideas identified
The team developed 356 separate ideas to improve the customer’s experience, condensed down into 44 specific improvement plans for testing and implementation. Changes to the Bank’s web site were particularly effective in helping customers to get the service they required faster and more reliably. The portfolio of designed improvements was taken forward into the Bank’s complaints handling strategy for the following year.