Credit union upgrades customer feedback cycle

Canada’s third largest credit union next month will begin a company-wide rollout of software to more accurately gauge the satisfaction of its 110,000 members.

Envision Financial said it would begin its implementation

of ResponseTek’s Experience Based Management (EBM) solution at its corporate headquarters in Vancouver. The firm will eventually deploy the application, which gathers customer feedback and allows companies to isolate pattern, throughout its branch offices and its insurance, financial planning and retail banking units.

Barry Delaney, Envision’s senior vice-president quality and planning, said the company first started working with ResponseTek a year ago, when it conducted a pilot program to assess the effectiveness of its tools. This involved placing a ResponseTek-powered button on the Envision public Web site which members could click to record comments and observations and ask questions. The volume of interaction was such that Envision decided it could be an important resource, Delaney said.

At the branch level, Envision agents will use ResponseTek to ask a series of scripted questions to credit union members as they come in to purchase an investment product, for example. Across the company, the software will also be used to help Envision better coordinate its response time to member complaints, Delaney said.

“”A branch manager in a remote area will get a kudo or a thank-you card and some feedback and a couple of complaints, and we at head office might never see that,”” he said. “”We’re hoping that we’re going to easily increase the volume (of feedback) by half.””

Unlike customer relationship management, which focuses on the acquisition of customer information so that they can be sold other products and services, ResponseTek president Syed Hasan said EBM is focused on what happens when clients interact with a company. The application on the back end is focused on high-level and low-level analysis frameworks. As an issue comes in, it gets routed to the branch that it applies to in real time. A business analyst can then perform high-level analysis for strategic change, but operational people get actionable information immediately.

“”It’s a quality path — they don’t care about the relationship, but the experience of that customer. What did they want? What did they get, and what should they have gotten?”” he said. “”It’s a back to basics approach where you get the products and services right first.””

EBM is becoming a requirement for enterprises that need greater transparency, Hasan said. At some firms, for instance, a business cycle might be one month but customer feedback is only gauged in an annual survey. The impact is a customer churn rate that can be anywhere from 10 to 15 per cent in some vertical markets.

“”People don’t tend to close their accounts, they just go dormant,”” he said.

Delaney said Envision employees will be using ResponseTek to help them earn an annual bonus, 15 per cent of which is calculated based on how they manage the customer experience. “”They feel they control that element the most,”” he said.

Other ResponseTek clients include Telus and WestJet, Hasan said.

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