CXFS 2021


Here's How Citizens Bank is Mapping a Journey to Great Customer Experiences

brought to you by WBR Insights

Journey mapping can be a great way for companies to view things from a different perspective, and Citizens Bank is using it to drive contact center customer experiences.

Citizens Bank began life, in 1828, as the High Street Bank in Rhode Island. The company went on to establish the Citizens Savings Bank in 1871 and expanded throughout Rhode Island, establishing a further 29 branches in the region over the next century. Citizens became a federal stocks savings bank in 1985 and began branching out into other states the following year.

Today, Citizens Bank operates under the umbrella of the Citizens Financial Group. CFG has revenues of $5,763 million, placing it at #451 on the Fortune 500. As a company with such a long and storied history, Citizens Bank has had to innovate constantly to remain relevant, including adopting modern customer service practices.

Journey Mapping

Journey mapping refers to the practice of a company attempting to predict their customers' entire experience with their brand - from first contact through to problem resolution, and then hopefully into a long-term relationship. The object of the exercise is to try and put yourself in the mindset of the customer, and then use that perspective to drive policy and create the best customer experience possible.

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The resultant timeline of interactions will attempt to describe the customers' feelings and motivations at each touchpoint, as well as their overarching goal and expectations of the organization. Journey mapping helps organizations identify any gaps or failings in their public-facing departments, and, more importantly, address them before they directly impact a real-life customer.

Author of the popular blog Customer Experience Matters , Bruce Temkin, said, "With internal and external research in hand, journey-mapping leaders need to distil their findings about how customers interact with the company, what they want from each interaction, and how they feel about each interaction today - the three key elements of a journey map."

Contact Centre Journey Mapping

Citizens Bank employed journey mapping to improve the way its contact centers deliver customer experiences.

Contact centers traditionally use call average handling time (AHT) as a metric for measuring the efficiency of their policies and will usually attach customer service representatives' bonuses to this statistic. However, this can be problematic, as the varying issues which lead to a customer phoning a contact center can result in a wide range of AHT and several separate phone calls.

Citizens Bank has shifted the focus away from call handling time, and onto the number of calls which result in the customer's query being resolved with a single interaction. In this way, journey mapping is looking to improve first call resolution (FCR). Peg Marty, Executive Vice President, Head of Contact Centers at Citizens Bank. "We think about the flow of the customer interaction, from purchase of product all the way through servicing and how the customer uses the product and also about the documents and interactions we have with the customer throughout their relationship with us."

With digital communications being a huge element of customer service today, customers are often looking to avoid calling a contact center altogether. Citizens Bank is addressing this shift in customer behavior. It's using reviews and customer feedback to facilitate journey mapping in order to bring its strategy and design teams together with its marketing department, and thusly regularly evaluate which mobile application features are most relevant and useful to users.

"We think very differently about how we interact with our customers and have spent a lot of time enhancing our training and skill building," said Marty. "Rather than thinking about processes or interactions in silos, we now focus on trying to empower people to do everything they can for the customer at the first point of contact."

Citizens Bank has found that, by employing these strategies to improve every aspect of the customer contact experience, if customers do have to call one of their contact centers, the chances of achieving FCR is greatly increased.

Final Thoughts

It's clear that Citizens Bank takes FCR seriously and is using journey mapping to drive organizational change to improve the chances of achieving it for every customer.

The final word goes to Executive Vice President, Head of Contact Centers at Citizens Bank, Peg Marty.

"This is a fun and engaging way to do business. The folks on my team are always volunteering to be part of the formal sessions because it's a great way to meet other people to learn more about the organization. And, I think the more you know about the organization, the better equipped you are to actually provide services to the customer."

You can hear Citizens Bank's Senior Director of Customer Experience, SVP, Natalie J. Higgins speak at CXFS 2018 , in July, at the Westin Copley Place, Boston MA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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