The Bank Customer Experience (BCX) Summit provides bank executives with powerful insights into financial trends, as well as highlight innovative technology that will assist today’s financial institutions in transforming themselves to serve consumers now and in the future.
First of all, thank you very much for joining us today. It’s been an amazing two days, and I have learned a lot from all of the great sessions. I’m JP Lacroix, President of SLD, a brand transformation organization specializing in financial institutions. Stephens, from Regions Bank, is one of our clients, and we’ve also completed programs for U.S. Bank, TD and numerous institutions in China.
We’re going to talk about a subject very dear to me. And I think you will also agree because there’s an old saying, “what gets measured, gets done, what gets rewarded, gets repeated,” which is very relevant today. And this couldn’t be more true when you look at the transformation happening in the banking industry. There are many mentions in this morning’s sessions regarding elevating the consumer experience and how we leverage our employees and customers as part of the journey.
We have provided a QR code on the screen for our Measuring what Matters ROX banking study for your reference. In the study, we want to find out what the banks measure and why. And we did the same research with consumers to find out how they evaluate a financial institution. The study explored both correlations and divergent facts. And what we found in the study is that less than half the banks measure some type of return on experience. The majority measure only the financial performance of an organization (ROI). But we know that if a customer has a bad experience, there’s a high likelihood that they’re going to switch banks. This is a growing issue as most financial institutions in this room are closing branches and opening themselves up for customer defection. So today’s session is going to focus on talking about measuring what matters.
And I am very fortunate to have some top bankers on our panel and would like to start with the person to my immediate left. Sergio, do you want to introduce yourself?
My name is Sergio Magalhaes, and responsible for the digital channel and branches for Millennial Bank in Portugal, Europe. And at this time, we have invested a lot to monitor the experience in our branches, but also rate the experiences that matter for our customers.
Well, we’re very fortunate to have Sergio fly from Portugal. But more importantly, he will share data on how they measure performance in their branches. It’ll give you insights into the metrics you may want to look at next.
My name is EJ Kritz. I’m at APC, which you may know was formerly known as Eighth Power Consulting; we’re a roughly 25-year-old Customer Experience Research and Training Company. Our unique proposition is putting things like CX research and measurement, surveys and in-store audits under the same roof with the training of your bank employees. I’ll give two quick plugs as part of my introduction. I have the absolute pleasure of being on the advisory board for the Interactive Customer Experience Association, which is associated with this meeting here. A fantastic nonprofit group that I invite you all to join. And for those who are banks, it’s a free membership. JP and I lead a monthly conversation that’s working as an extension of this meeting, getting banks and credit unions together once a month for just an hour of robust sharing and discussion.
JP and I also co-founded the H2D Collective, which you can find at H2DCollective.com, a group of like-minded vendors to help bridge the human and digital experience. So excited to be part of this great panel, and thanks for attending today’s session.
I am Steven Griffin from Regions Bank, and I spoke yesterday. I run the retail distribution of the bank. And I also participate with JP and EJ in the ICX monthly sessions, and it’s a great group of knowledgeable individuals with open conversations and debates. It is also very informative, and we walk away with many insights we can share with our institutions. Glad to be here today.
Well, thank you very much for attending this session. I guess I will ask you, Stephen; the first question is, how do you measure performance in your given institution? What are the metrics that you monitor?
Well, we measure a lot of different things. I think, as you said earlier, one of the problems probably going to be discussed today is the fact that we don’t measure the return on experience. Many core elements that we measure, especially on the consumer side, focus on monitoring the associates’ performance. How are they doing, and how are we selling different products? Are our associates doing the right things, and how are they driving growth for the bank? We leverage a quantitative approach given to them every month so that they can see the value of what they sold and how they did for that time in the branches.
We also monitor how they deliver that customer experience. We work with Gallop quite a bit and have very extensive surveys that not only talk about, okay, here’s how we provided the customer service, in addition to in the branch, we also measure the customer experience. What about this branch made you feel special? What about the people who walked in? You know, were they greeted? Or is the layout easy to navigate, and do you think you’ve got the right advice in addition to feeling like you have the correct type of service there? That’s very crucial information, especially for me, because I’m looking at I talked about that a little bit yesterday. I’m looking at many data points to make sure. We just started to manage all the information that comes in the last nine months to see the difference we were making in the way we’re doing our banking. And that’s been very eye-opening to see how well it’s been received.
But you know, we have also engaged in what we call “Customer Care.” It’s part of our social engagement survey; we want to make sure that our associates are entirely involved in what we’re doing. And it helps us understand, and not just in our physical engagement, like our branches but also in our back offices, too. So for me, as the leader at the bank, I need to understand that my employees have the correct tools. You know, do they feel like they are missing something, even down to have you received breaks in the last six months? Or have you been talked to by your career advisor in the previous three months? Things like that, that we do to measure the engagement, and we get an engagement score on our associates in each location. So we can manage the score by this department, this branch, or whoever is wholly engaged. We have done an excellent job of making sure their employees stay engaged. It’s an opportunity to look at if you’ve got a struggling location. Your quality service scores are not excellent because social engagement is not great. For those two things, you can see the performance is lagging it really helps to diagnose the problem, which focuses on the frontline employees and how they’re engaging customers.
EJ, what are the metrics that you look for when you’re evaluating financial institutions?
First, I want to thank you, Stephen, for saying the word engaged. I think, you know, being blunt, but I believe employee satisfaction is the metric that is dead. And I know that because I’m trying to bury it myself. So I don’t care if your employees are satisfied. I want them to be engaged. And we just did a study for a bank that found that engagement was low. Net Promoter scores from an employee engagement standpoint were a negative number. All right. And yet, we found that in the same bank, 87% of their employees have no intention of leaving anytime soon. So they’re all super comfortable. They’re all super happy. They’re not doing a good job, but they’re also not going anywhere. So we have to raise the bar in terms of what we are measuring and being thoughtful about the questions that we’re asking employees, not to find out if they’re simply happy. But to find out if they’re genuinely engaged, a happy employee shows up to work every day; they probably even get some good customer satisfaction scores. They do a fine job, but they’re not going to do anything to enhance us.
They’re not going to do anything to create the culture that you want. So certainly strongly believe in measuring engagement at a higher level. I also appreciate measuring human behaviour. So we’re talking a little bit about this morning over breakfast. We offer a behavioural assessment tool for employees and both the pre-hire and post-hire phases. Also, organizations I’ve worked and found that their back-office employees were particularly disengaged compared to those on the front lines. And the solution they thought they would put into place was pizza parties, and fun Fridays, and you know, all these, you know, let’s get everybody together. The problem with what they didn’t take into account was that the majority of those back office employees are wildly introverted. So let’s take a bunch of introverts. Let’s make them happier by putting them in social situations, so if we can measure both, not only the feeling but the human drive that created it, awesome. And the last thing I’ll say is the other customer satisfaction side look, NPS, you know, you all love it, you all do it, I’m sure.
The big thing that I asked is don’t incentivize it unless it’s to your executive leadership team. I have a tough time punishing a teller on their variable compensation because the customer was upset that your ATM network went down. And that happens every day. So I would prefer an average customer score, a customer SAT score and the customer behaviour when they shop. By all means, NPS, I like NPS, but I struggled with the idea of incentivizing it. So I’d say for a bank that says, you know, we run into a lot of makes sense for small to do post transaction surveys ago, maybe not. So if you’re thinking about that plan between relationships surveys, maybe in the old school, mystery shopping panel studies, post transactional search, there’s just such a broad array that to say this simply, one way of serving is the way to go. I think these days would be a bit irresponsible. So customer sat surveys, employee engagement surveys, and measuring the human behaviours of the folks in your shop. Those are my big three.
EJ, you brought up an interesting point about engagement. When you think of the silent resignation, I was just reading an article this morning. You know, where many employees are actually, a significant percentage of them are resigned from their bank, just doing the bare minimum to get by. They are not making the extra effort to deliver on the brand promise. And I think having those ROX metrics can weed out those individuals by either shifting their mindset or finding replacements. This has become a lot more important today than it was before the pandemic, as we see a significant challenge in the hiring process. And also, with the retention process, you may not want to retain these individuals because they’re detrimental to your institution.
So Sergio put together 120 slide presentation with many incredible statistics about his bank. I’ve asked them to limit them for confidentiality reasons to the front end of the presentation. You will be impressed, and I always look for where I get my inspiration for a great customer experience. You know, the future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed. The fact is that there are a lot of institutions, financial institutions that are doing a great job on CX. They’re just not it’s not ubiquitous; you have to search and find them. And I would say Millennial Bank, and if you want to follow an institution for learning, this is one of the banks you should be following because they are ahead of the curve when it comes to the role of brands and the digitization of banking, but also the metrics that monitor for online and branches.
Thank you for talking about what to measure what matters. We are a bank in Portugal with operations in Poland and Mozambique, but my presentation will focus on our operations in Portugal. We know that the customers are driving satisfaction. However, we have a massive amount of data to empower the bank on legacy systems, but we are not doing massively better. And because of this, we are processing jobs with this system, and I’m not looking at the customer. We have endless information about the customer, what they are doing and how they are doing in our banks. And we are just financial, making reports about what they are doing and sending them to the customer. But the expectation now, as we know, it’s more than ever, and that’s why they are searching for banks, solutions, and different platforms. And because we understand that each customer is a unique customer, and we want to be treated as that. But ultimately, it’s wrong because they want to be treated like that is the right time to talk before or after they want to know everything. And they want privacy because they are expected at the bank to protect the privacy they need. And, of course, I don’t know in the United States. But in Portugal and Europe, we have highly regulated banks.
And we don’t have the same level playing field that the Neo banks have. So wherever you are, they can go everywhere and do whatever they want. Still, conventional banks have strong regulations, and it is very, very expensive to be watched by EPA for everything we have. So we have many regulations to run our bank. And we know that all these things we say are both fun journeys in front of us. And we have to deal with different speeds because we have a legacy, and we have microservice and clouds and everything that is new technologies living on the bank. Also, the changing speed because the technology today is the latest technology and the best platform for the next five years, there will probably be another one. And we have to be constantly doing this with speed. So what we say is that transformation is measuring what matters. Because first of all, the shift away from physical facilities continues. I don’t know. Probably in the United States is like that. In Portugal, in Europe, it’s all the way around; I have to sense this, they don’t want to go to the branch for sure.
Second, when we ask about the brand experience, we want to say what the branch is known for; everybody wants to be treated as a special one in the omnichannel, a special one on mobile, and a special one in the branch. Then, most banks are focused on this omnichannel for differentiation. And we know that we have to deal with also with cash. I was saying that I arrived, I arrived at O’Hare. And I had to get a ticket for CTA, and none of my credit cards were working on the CTA machine. So I was lucky because I had some cash on me. So I have to buy the ticket with cash. So currency still exists because of many different reasons. And in Portugal, we are moving a lot of these for ATMs and trying to create a great experience in ATMs. But for all of these, we know that we have to change, and this efficiency and customer experience will drive this branch reinvention; it will drive reinvention in all those channels. But we decided this isn’t a journey, not now. But years ago, we’ll make the steps for, first of all, to transform your banks. So we created it in 2014, the bank branch of the future, but now, a branch of the past.
We know that we try to adapt what we sell the branches for everyday life, that we know that the customers balance the care given by the staff the same way they go to a hotel. The majority of banks do that; the people sit down with sales staff and know they must be treated as special guests in the first step when they enter the branch. We have to teach people, that’s why the branch staff have gone into an extensive training program. That’s why we created this digital experience allowance, the self-services area; we launched the first ITM in 2014 and then available 24 hours, seven days per week. And this was important to be part of the cashless branches. But if they are cashless only because you don’t have more tellers, you also have the people helping with every transaction on ATMs. And the same is true in the assisted service area; of course, we need to service them how they want to be served. It also has music on some branches. Then they were offered an experience like they were in a shop or in a mall or something very different than a bank. So we had all those experiences in 2014. We knew we didn’t need so many branches at the time. But we know that what branches we need will be unique places where people can go and feel that they are not just a number.
So all the time, one of the most important things is because you can measure it. You first have to train employees; you cannot just measure because they don’t know how to do it. We first teach them how to receive a guest. So we decided this route number one is customer experience. And what is route number one? Why do we say this is route number one based on the story of Route 66? And that is going on a very novel in the United States. And you know that many people in Europe have the dream of making Route 66. So we create this environment about Route 66 and say, okay, why not Route 66 because it’s a number that is very easy to know. And at the time, we’re saying that 66 percent of customers left the bank just because of bad service. And we put this in the minds of everybody at the bank. Route 66 was changing everything if the customer had a bad experience. They could not have a bad experience in our services and in our environment, in everyone giving them training. Now, we started with training on customer empowerment, to looking at the end-to-end process knowledge, knowledge level and decision-making process. The second one is about the first interaction loser. So we have to solve any problems for the customers the first time so we create the design to explore employee ownership and follow-up process.
So after this, we create the first interaction resolution goal. And the second, of course, is the human approach because everything everybody must be treated as unique. The voice of the customer was essential to measure, as the customer lifecycle touch-points and communication skills for our customers. So we retrain our employees on the first aspects and create personas that create an environment for people to learn how to do it. What was the result? Everybody was trained, everybody was confident and must do well. We conducted over 1000s of mystery shopping, trying to understand if the training was working or not. So this book provides helpful information using the information resources that drive positive experience results. The program exceeded the expectations of each of the stages for every bank. How to receive customers, usually, people were seated and did not get up to greet them. And the first thing that we say is that you cannot sit when you see a customer entering the branch. You must greet them by standing up and welcoming them to our branch and introducing them with your name. Seven seconds if everybody smiles for seven seconds, the customer will feel special.
Okay, so this is a critical stage. And you can see why we teach because they probably had years of banking receiving customers while sitting down. This service model was crucial to the training. And in most parts, we have the results. The first results were that we felt that we were not in proximity to the customer. So we are considering how to become the closest bank for the customer. Other banks in Portugal are the ones in grey on the chart. But we got assessed across five points of measurement in the first year, and here we are at a score of 68.2%, and we say we achieved the first milestone.
As you know, every year, we get evaluated by an independent entity, and we have won against the large banks. We have won the customer’s choice for the past seven years. A did not succeed in 2017, but in 2018 we won again until today. And nowadays, we have many channels, not only the branches; we are closing branches simultaneously, and we constantly measure what matters. And that’s why we say that the formula and the challenge are the same; it is essential to be close to the customer, measuring what matters, independent of what channel they are using.
So I’m inquisitive. The insights I got when I looked at this morning’s presentation was
that they branded the transformation process as Route 66 and developed a communication package so that the employees could easily understand. I wonder how many institutions attending the session today develop similar Millennial Bank branded programs for training your employees. Only three banks raised their hand. Hence, there’s a real opportunity for low-hanging fruit. Developing a branded training program will ensure that the information is understood. And so you know, if you take the same discipline of communication and strategy and apply that to how you communicate transformation and change management and behaviour to employees, making it simple and easy to remember, it makes it easier for them to grasp what you’re trying to achieve. Because employees have other priorities, so this is a layer on top of their job. And if we make it too complicated, we lose them in the transition, or they get confused, which is even worse. So that was one of the thoughts that came to mind to ensure employees live the brand promise, supporting your corporate culture.
So the second question I had is, you know, E.J., and you know, what metrics? We currently measure many metrics of ROI and performance of the brands that were talking about that kind of drives the branch experience, including when branches are closed. What are the metrics you feel are missing? If you want to have a way to measure the return on experience with key metrics, what are we missing?
I’m glad you brought up mobile because the other thing really to consider is that I’m very passionate about new accounting surveys. Love the idea of surveying customers roughly 21 days after they’ve opened an account because by then, all the bad stuff should happen. They get their checks they couldn’t roll out on banking, the APP doesn’t work, whatever, right, and so I just want to tie this in real quick to sales metrics because obviously, you know, you’ve got some scorecard or widgets. All that whatever you can, and if the mobile adoption and enrolling in online banking and those sorts of things aren’t part of your day one measurement, I think we’d all agree, maybe not super publicly. But privately, we’d all agree we would rather a customer walk out with a working mobile app and having enrolled in online banking than having opened a savings account which is more valuable to you ultimately down the line and particularly what is going to do the better job in cutting down on future problems for that customer. Our most considerable effort around problem prevention is on the first day so that we can measure the first day of somebody’s life obsessively with your bank; it’s going to clear up a lot of the other headaches. So upper important, that’s what you spend the next year overcoming, rebuilding that relationship that they gave you, that trust you did deliver on, which is a big issue. There will be a conflict between how the institution’s leadership team measures what matters versus what is happening in driving customer loyalty.
Steven, is there anything to add regarding the disconnect between the senior leadership team on what they’re measuring versus, you know, what the consumers and yourself would evaluate was driving loyalty?
So let me explain two ways; historically, if you look back beyond the last five to six years probably measured what we thought. Somebody I was talking with today commented that, you know, sometimes we think of CEOs, what do I want, and now we need to do it very everyone, but that is not the case today; we focus on the customer and have done many programs to do that. In the past, we’ve focused on many programs to do well at customer engagement. We’ll understand how you feel in the past year, especially since it became a critical point during COVID. You know it wasn’t that it was OK if work from home. Now you’re doing that to see how you feel. We talked a little bit about yesterday how customers felt the number one priority was safety in the branches; our company made sure that our associates knew our number one priority, safety.
It also measured what we understood was important, reinforcing our social engagement surveys each year because the engagement became priority number one quickly. In addition, branches were networked in such a fractured way, making it hard to drive consistency. So I’d say we are now very connected to that, and yes, I do think if we could probably, but with many folks here, it’s doing a branding program as we have done. But I would say they know they understand what matters. And we’re putting in surveys, there is much talk about it, and I’ve emphasized doing research. EJ would be happy to hear we track CX through research. I add a meeting every month to my calendar. Not taking on myself. So I guess there are things we need to improve on that will not let us fall off the back. Keep going on with surveys to define what you’re doing next. So yes, we put great importance on focusing on engagement.
In today’s environment, all the information is now available. For example, today, we use the power of AI just to share this information. If possible, the most real-time as we get, we don’t have the CTO anymore. So the transformation is sent to the CEO, who is involved in everything that counts. Nowadays, measuring what happens with our customers is something that happens, for example, in the board meetings, special for what happens in retail and what we are also trying to do. Everything that happens with our customers is sent to the board members and CEO. You’ll see he’s trying to break all the silence that exists. For example, before this year, we have CRM, for example, depending on retail banking. In retail banking, so nowadays, it doesn’t make so much sense because CRM is digital and impacts the entire organization. Nowadays, we also have digital marketing and marketing for retail because otherwise, they will measure different factors, which is not a 360 view of the customer. I think that, at least in our bank, we have a massive effort to consolidate global sales, right? Getting all the information and overcoming the fact that retail and digital sales are separate in the past. The data is now shared at the board level while providing a unified view of the customer experience.
Thank you, informative. I heard the word survey several times a day. Every single time I get a request for a survey in my inbox, I’m curious how you get people to feel excited to fill out a survey that can be meaningful to your bank.
Thanks for the question. Yes, I think the first place I go are we asking the right question from the customer in the venue that they prefer to be communicating with. So by all means a very popular to send out e-mail surveys. I’ll tell you what I can’t stand is the one at the airport. You all know when I’m talking about coming out of the bathroom. Who touches that thing anyway? So I mean, that’s great for like instant gratification, like real quick hit, right, but, yes, I mean, I prefer to speak to the customer at the channel that they want to be communicated to. So if you booked your airline ticket on the app and now you’re getting that survey through some other means, I would say especially being a guy, no offence, guys don’t take surveys, you’re probably a little less likely to want to interact because that wasn’t the channel that you chose right? Just one piece I wanted to bring up, too, is because these guys talk masterfully about what to get. I don’t care what data you get if you do nothing with it. So stopping time now and again to pull up and digest and reflect and create action supporting the data, but you don’t do that, you’re raising money, and I say that you’re wasting money.
I think just one quick thing on your question, survey fatigues are a real thing you’ve got to be super thoughtful about. Have contact rules. Work with your marketing department to figure out when else you have contacted this customer because the reality is that the marketing department has its contact strategy. The surveys are probably being sent out through another channel; they may be talked at some point about. Also, who’s on your do not contact list and then, and that’s where the marketing-customer experience relationship probably stops there, so make sure that we have a thoughtful customer contact strategy so that we’re not bugging people too often.
Don’t be afraid, you know I don’t like being used car dealers, you know when you get the oil changed, and hey, you’re going to get a survey, we really would love all tens, right? I do love it when a banker occasionally says that we love to ask our customers for feedback. We’d be honoured if you’d share your thoughts and stop don’t say anything else. Just being open to feedback and teeing up the survey in a very authentic humanistic way because a great way to increase responsiveness. You can buy responses. You can buy anything, yeah I. I mean, I think it will do this as a desperation measure. Sometimes will do sweepstakes, but this is like our focused groups come into play, right? You know, things like commercial banking customers are virtually impossible to survey the commercial bank. I don’t even really like to try to analyze the commercial bank focus groups. I’ve taken them to a golf course and had a third party come in and facilitate a dialogue viewed through a double-sided mirror. Ensure you are compensating them for their time. Thank you
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