The challenge:

A major credit card provider with a very large complaint handling team wanted to change the customer experience they delivered through their complaints process. They had a strong reliance on standard wording and written responses, which was very time-consuming and resulted in letters and emails that felt very corporate and impersonal.

They wanted to increase use of the phone – to talk to customers proactively, so they could engage on a personal level and speak as real people, rather than hide behind their process. But many lacked the confidence to pick up the phone, especially with customers they perceived as more challenging.

What we did:

We carried out a Customer Interaction Analysis, using a set of recent complaint responses. We also spent time doing ‘Discovery’, talking with front-line case handlers, managers and support functions, to understand the current culture, mind-set, skills and performance measures.

We used these insights to design and deliver a hugely practical, three-day training programme for complaint handlers and their managers. Our focus was to help people to change attitude, increase self-awareness, build confidence and develop their skills and behaviours, so they could deliver great customer experiences over the phone and in writing.  We also supported the management team in reviewing their performance measures, to ensure that they didn’t encourage or reward the wrong behaviours.

The results:

Many in the team quickly embraced the change of ethos. Despite challenging experiences in the past, they recognised the value of dealing with customers more proactively and individually. The training was very well received and the teams were immediately keen to put skills into practice.

They rapidly experienced very positive reactions from customers – which boosted confidence and helped the change spread further through the teams. Use of the phone to resolve complaints increased significantly – precisely the cultural change the client wanted to drive. As a result, complaint handlers are now building more positive relationships with customers and are able to ensure things are put right much more quickly.

Key benefits have been:

  • Increased first-time resolution
  • Faster responses and resolution for customers
  • Reduction in total complaint handling time per customer
  • Increase in positive customer feedback
  • Reduction in repeat complaints

Feedback from Complaint Centre Manager:

Great feedback from this week’s training session. People have been extremely positive. Here’s some feedback directly from the guys:

  • “The skills I learned will not only help me provide a better customer service but will also help me in my personal life”
  • “The session was great fun and really brought situations to life, I can’t wait for the next module”
  • We had a customer this week who asked to be transferred to a manager so they could give positive feedback on the case handler – customer said that it was the best customer service she had ever received.