The value of becoming a customer-centric company is no longer in question. In 2019, companies leading in CX were 3X as likely as their peers to have significantly exceeded their business goals. Perfect, let’s do it tomorrow, right?! The truth is that creating a customer-first model at your company is not as simple as introducing a piece of technology and calling it a day — you need to produce a cultural shift.
Before you run screaming to the woods, we promise you that creating CX-focused culture is doable! We help companies achieve this all the time. With the right approach, every employee can become customer-centric and every employee can align around improving customer experience.
Recently, we talked with Jorge Hurtado, Wootric customer and Head of Digital Innovation and Transformation at Banco Guayaquil, about how he and his CX team used the Voice of the Customer to transform their customer experience. His real-world, tactical advice is a great reference for any CX champion looking to reorient their company behind the customer.
CX as a pillar of corporate strategy
Banco Guayaquil is Ecuador’s second-largest private bank with approximately 2,500 employees, serving 2M customers across 140 branches and more than 7,000 banking locations. In 2018, Banco Guayaquil launched Proyecto Centrico. a 5-year strategic plan aimed at improving customer experience at all levels.
Jorge and the CX team had the goal of building a robust CX program to support this strategic plan. For a business strategy of this magnitude to be successful, the entire company would need to participate and align itself behind listening to the Voice of the Customer and optimizing the customer experience.
Build on firm ground
So where to begin?
When you build your CX program, you need to take stock of what already exists at your company. Luckily, there were already cultural elements in place at Banco Guayaquil that set the CX project on a successful path:
- With improving CX a key pillar of the strategic plan, there was already executive buy-in and the mandate to build CX into company programs. Understand that this was not Banco Guayaquil’s first foray into CX improvements. Over the past decade, they had made several small efforts that had not gained traction. The key difference this time was CX goals were an integral part of the strategic plan.
- A culture of continuous small improvements was already in play at the bank thanks to the global trend of becoming more customer-focused and the fact that banking is built on relationship building.
- A dedicated CX team existed, even though it was only 3 people and not big enough to put a robust CX program in place and run it by themselves.
Given this cultural foundation at Banco Guayaquil, the new CX program was envisioned as a company-wide program from the very start. It would be neither owned by nor resourced by the CX team. Nor would the CX team bear the brunt of responsibilities for its success. The CX team would, however, be responsible for creating a program that the company could adopt and align all its players behind.
Structure for success
Jorge and his team realized that they couldn’t just dive in headfirst. They would need to be thoughtful in key areas. During the webinar, he laid out planning elements you need to consider when building your CX program.
1. Define the program
Before determining a strategy, you need to define what the CX program is (and isn’t). With so many programs and roles touching the customer, Jorge’s CX team needed to explain the focus of this program. For example, it is NOT a customer service program. For Banco Guayaquil, the CX program would be a Voice of the Customer program. It would gather NPS, CSAT, and Customer Effort Score (CES) feedback from all relevant customer touchpoints, analyze that feedback and turn it into an actionable experience strategy.
2. Develop a simple but encompassing strategy
While the bank had been practicing customer-centric thinking for some time, it had neither the customer data nor the technology to understand and make that data actionable. So choosing technology was an important early step. Once the CX team chose Wootric as their CX platform, the two teams worked together to craft a simple but highly effective strategy.
They used the Listen, Learn, and Act framework, to:
- Gather customer feedback by delivering micro surveys at key touchpoints.
- Deliver insights to stakeholders.
- Use CX insights to influence business decisions.
3. Opt for small wins upfront vs going for the biggest, hairiest, most important things first.
This allowed the team to move quickly, conduct tests, prove out what they were doing, and tackle more time-consuming implementations over time. By focusing on more immediate wins out of the gate, the program was able to gain momentum and traction within the company.
4. Integrate with existing workflows and technologies
When you’re trying to weave CX seamlessly throughout an organization, you need to play nice with existing workflows and technologies, meeting the teams where they’re already gathered to do their jobs. You probably have more than one team collecting customer feedback as part of their workflow. For example, your customer service team may be working primarily in your CRM. Asking them to blow up their processes and systems to use your new technology is a surefire way to create opposition to your CX program. Instead, integrate your CX feedback and insights into the existing system of record so when they sign into the CRM, the new NPS data and customer-specific text feedback are there ready to be acted on. Other groups may just need a big-picture look at how their target customer group is doing. So branch managers, who just want to see if the feedback scores from their customers are above or below the average feedback across all branches, can sign into the CX platform to check how they’re doing.
Your focus as a CX champion is to gain buy-in across the company, as well as shared ownership and responsibility for the program. So find existing points of connection and tie your CX program firmly into those.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Remember you’re changing culture. Communication is KEY! Having executives and VPs ready to implement the program was critical to kicking off this fundamental change to Banco Guayaquil’s way of doing business. But like every company implementing a robust CX program, they had to energize all the teams to run with the new program and make it a part of their team’s vision and process.
This is where it’s important to have a structured program that is easy to understand, easy to digest, and easy to share.
Per Jorge, you need to invest time up-front with your stakeholders across the company. And then follow up at regular intervals.
- Meet with each team and take the time to present the program. This is where a clear, simply stated strategy will help.
- Demonstrate the value of the new CX program. Show the feedback this particular team will be receiving and how it will help them meet their goals, as well as demonstrate the value to the company as a whole.
- With this full-value proposition in mind, make it clear that CX will be a shared responsibility across the company.
- Introduce each team to the technology involved, show them how easy it is to use it, what they’ll be able to see, and how to access the information they need.
- Remember that communication is 2-way! Get feedback so you understand what each team needs from this program. Specifically, understand the reports they’ll need to access (and make sure your tech solution is adaptable enough to create them). Understand what it will take for each team to manage their own process and be accountable.
6. Share accountability
When you are creating a large-scale CX program, especially when you have a small CX team, there has to be ownership and accountability across all teams. The CX team created a plan that determined who would be responsible for each survey sent to banking customers. When comments show up on a business account, it’s the business team that is responsible for addressing them. When comments are left in digital channels, the digital channels team owns that feedback.
A clear process has been designated for reviewing the comments that team’s responsible for addressing, seeing which company has commented, contacting that customer, solving the problem, and then leaving a comment in the CX platform noting the issue was resolved.
7. Make insights visible and accessible
Every team needs to have easy access to the platform and views and reports that are configured for their specific needs. Rather than digging through unrelated data, make sure teams have access to information they need to do their jobs better.
In addition to individual and team views, Jorge’s team creates monthly reports with scores, feedback, top labels, and top comments. They developed a plan for who should get which report so everyone has what they need at the level it’s needed.
8. Offer ongoing updates
To keep the customer experience top of mind across the company, Jorge’s team regularly updates the company. Rather than create a new communication, they plug their updates into the weekly company-wide briefing (a 5-10 minute video everyone watches on Mondays). Whenever something new is added to the CX program, the CX team shares this information at the company briefing.
Make every team a CX team
As Jorge states “a successful CX program is not about a successful CX team. It’s the company that has to be involved.” At Banco Guayaquil, there is a 3 person team that drives the CX program, but every employee at every level in every department has a hand in the success of customer experience. Let’s look at a few examples:
The CX team has established a monthly committee meeting with the C-suite and top executives. This committee discusses CX metrics, top comments, feedback, and trends. They also look at key initiatives related to CX, which may be led by the CX team or other departments. Jorge considers this committee extremely helpful in giving the CX program the extended visibility and importance it deserves.
At the beginning of the project, the CX team met with brand managers across the country, sharing the CX program. They shared the demo of the CX platform (Wootric) and gave the team members user logins and passwords. Once team members were up and running on Wootric, they became responsible for their branch’s score. Now they’re fully bought into the program and the ability to quickly review their standing and adjust to optimize their branch results.
To do this, they implemented filters to let each branch manager see their specific branch. They can now go into the platform, select their branch, see:
- the comments related to their branch
- their branch score
- Improvements and/or what problems need to be solved
- Other branch information
- Average scores across the branches so they can measure if they’re above or below average
Making the program, the data, and the insights visible and accessible to everyone went a long way in making this program successful.
Product Roadmaps and UX Design
As banks vie for the millennial and Gen Z digital-native customers, providing a stellar digital experience is more important than ever. Globally, according to The Financial Brand, digital account opening and digital loan application capabilities increased significantly during Covid-10, but many processes took between 5-10 minutes – or longer – resulting in lost business opportunities. The digital product team at Banco Guayaquil uses Wootric as a great source of feedback and a source of product suggestions, bug identification, and a host of other necessary feedback. Data is used to make it as easy as possible for new customers to open an account online, the first step to becoming long-term customers and increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
Commit to primero tú
Banco Guayaquil is so devoted to optimizing their customer experience, they’ve rebranded the bank and announced it with a campaign called “Primero Tú”, or “You First” as in customer-first.
This campaign features ads (TV, digital, OOH) with actual customer feedback (provided in survey responses) stating what customers like about the bank, don’t like, and want changed. This campaign demonstrates in a very public fashion the bank’s commitment to its customers and the experience they’re having. This level of commitment to CX is only possible when the entire company aligns around customer experience.
Wootric is CX management for maximizing customer lifetime value. Book a consultative demo today.