CES Use Cases

The following excerpts are use cases of CES customer and prospect benchmarks for our banking clients.

Here are some of the questions these clients asked:


How do we get objective customer feedback?

Scenario

A Community Bank wanted independent verification of its internal customer satisfaction scores, which seemed much too high given the recent stagnant growth of the bank.

Strategy

The bank compared their own phone survey results with the objective scores gathered from the Connecticut Bank Benchmarks, and found the objective scores were on average 15 points lower.

Result

The bank’s internal survey program was greatly overestimating customer satisfaction because their customers did not to get bank staff in trouble and were therefore being overly “nice” when being surveyed. The Bank is dropping their phone survey and will save 75% of the cost by using the objective Benchmarks.


Why are we not growing if our customers love us?

Scenario

A Community Bank that prides itself on friendly service wanted to understand why they were not growing relationships.

Strategy

The Customer Benchmarks showed that while their Customer Service scores were good, they were not much above average. They were surprised but in looking deeper into the drivers of the lower scores, the Benchmarks showed that the bank scored very low in Proactively Recommending Solutions and Helping Customers Improve their Financial Well Being.

Result

The bank believed it was making customers happier by stringently avoiding pushy cross sell. However, this was inadvertently creating an impression of not being helpful enough to customers. The Bank began to reassess the way it talks to customers.


How do my customers rate my Technology and Tools?

Scenario

The Customer Benchmark showed that a Regional Bank was receiving very high scores for Technology & Tools in two markets from their Commercial customers. But the Benchmark also showed that they received much lower ratings from Commercial customers in 3 other markets, and lower ratings from their Retail customers in every market.

Strategy

The Benchmarks provided a deeper dive into the drivers of those ratings and showed that in the markets where the scores were lower, their customers felt that the bank did not have the latest technology and did not have all the services they needed.

Result

The Bank easily concluded that it was not a technology issue, but a training and exposure issue. The areas with the low scores were simply unaware of the tools or untrained on them. But when they were aware and trained, customers loved them.


Where should we close or open branches?

Scenario

A Regional Bank wanted customer intelligence to inform their decisions about new branch locations and a possible branch closing.

Strategy

A special analysis of the Customer Benchmark showed the bank that its customers in 1 particular area were twice as likely to leave the bank if their local branch closed than its customers in another area. Using the Prospect Benchmark, they also determined which potential growth market had the highest number of customers looking for a new bank in the next 6 months.

Result

The Bank is able to use customer feedback to help inform location decisions. It was also able to prioritize growth markets based not just on population size, but the local likelihood of customers to switch banks.


How effective is my ad campaign?

Scenario

A Community Bank wanted to assess the impact of a television ad campaign to see if it was having an impact. This was a big expenditure for the bank and they needed to make sure the dollars were well spent.

Strategy

The Bank used the Prospect Benchmark to track awareness of the bank, especially among Commercial clients, over time. This includes basic awareness of the bank, whether the bank appears strong, and if new Commercial clients would consider using it.

Result

The Bank will be able to use the data on awareness and consideration to negotiate lower fees with the media agency, or to decide to increase or decrease the campaign.


Do we need to upgrade our technology?

Scenario

A Super Regional Bank was about to spend $11million on upgrading their online managed services platform. The senior executive team had received several direct complaints from clients that their current tools were not up to date.

Strategy

Our study indicated that, indeed, their customers were not fully satisfied with their online tools. However, despite the dissatisfaction, the bank still scored better than its competitors. Furthermore, our data showed that online tools were not a major driver of long term loyalty for their current customers and were more important in attracting new customers.

Result

The bank changed course and opted for a refresh costing less than $1million. This, combined with some marketing spend promoting the specific advantages of their technology, enabled them to increase their image enough vis-à-vis the competition, that they started winning significant new clients based largely on technology.


Are we overlooking customer issues?

Scenario

Our data showed a Regional Bank that their customers were experiencing a significantly higher number of problems with their online tools than the local norms. The bank was surprised since they did not receive an unusual number of complaints.

Strategy

Survey data showed that over 30% of their customers had experienced significant problems within the past 6 months, but had not told the bank. Many did not want to complain, and simply ended up leaving the bank.

Result

The Bank learned that it needed to proactively reach out to customers to uncover issues.


How do we prevent attrition?

Scenario

A Super Regional bank wanted to get unbiased feedback from clients in order to improve loyalty and reduce attrition.

Strategy

We helped the bank to implement a real-time closed loop survey program to ensure that any issues mentioned by clients during a customer experience survey were immediately escalated to the appropriate person in the bank.

Result

In the first month of the program, one of their more significant clients said in a survey they were about to leave the bank. This was a complete surprise to the bank. The senior staff got involved and saved the $100million+ account before they walked. The single year revenue save from that client alone paid for 3 years of the program.


How do we increase sales?

Scenario

A Regional bank wanted to get feedback from clients and see what more they could do to improve their long term loyalty.

Strategy

Our surveys found that 29% of their customers had immediate product or service needs that they had not told the bank. The number 1 reason for not discussing with the bank? They were not asked.

Result

The bank immediately contacted all respondents who mentioned a need, and the resulting cross sell had a significant impact on the bank’s bottom line within 11 months.


Where is the sales bottleneck?

Scenario

A large Super Regional saw its Wealth division underperforming. The senior executives had faith in the products and services and many clients gave rave reviews, but growth still lagged expectations. So the bank wanted to understand where the breakdown was in translating this to growth.

Strategy

We conducted a 6-tier study to see how perceptions of the Bank’s quality differed from (a) the bank’s C-Suite, (b) the bank’s managers, (c) the front line wealth advisor, (d) the front line commercial RMs, (e) the current clients, and (f) the potential clients.

Result

We found that the breakdown was in the front line Wealth advisors: they did not have the faith in the products and service that many of the clients had. So the bank focused on educating them and increasing their understanding and enthusiasm. After 8 months, the business began to grow in the double digits.


What is the most cost effective way to acquire new customers?

Scenario

A Regional Bank wanted to increase new customer acquisition in the Commercial space but had had limited success with expensive advertising campaigns.

Strategy

The Prospect Benchmark showed the bank that current prospects (non-clients) had a relatively low perception of the bank so an ad campaign would likely only bring them on par with others. However, the Customer Benchmark showed that their clients rated them among the very top in several areas.

Result

The Bank is changing tactics from expensive ads to heavily incentivizing current clients to evangelize on behalf of the bank. This saves a lot of money and utilizes a more direct sales channel.


Does my Community Contribution help my business?

Scenario

A County bank that prided itself on community involvement saw in the Benchmarks that there were very wide differences in how they were perceived to contribute to the community in different markets.

Strategy

The Bank discovered high awareness and consideration due to community involvement in 3 markets. It also found there was very little awareness and appreciation of their community involvement in two other markets despite commensurate levels of involvement in each market.

Result

The Bank learned that it needed to do a better job promoting their good works in all markets by using the best practices from the most successful markets.


Is my performance consistent across markets?

Scenario

A Community Bank knew that it was known for great service, but found out from the Benchmarks that 1 of their 3 markets, their Customer Service scores were significantly lower than the others.

Strategy

Digging deeper into the Benchmarks, the bank saw that subpar performance in Understanding Customer Needs, and Breadth of Services were driving the lower scores. This was happening in their newest market.

Result

The bank plans to implement more rigorous training for the newer market, and do job swapping across markets so the staff in the newer market could see how the older staff did their jobs so well.


 

 

 

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Testimonials

 

“Originally, we did not have room in our budget for this.  But we figured out that the consortium model will cost us a fraction of what it would cost to do it ourselves, and the results are objective, and you have norms.” — Customer Experience Leader, Community Bank

“This is reassuring as well as eye-opening. The benchmark confirms that we are as strong at servicing as we thought, but also shows how much work we have to do in improving our digital tools.” — CEO, Large Community Bank

“At first we were going to pass on the research because it was not in our budget and we were going to have to wait until next year.  But since we are going through a complex Core Conversion next year we really needed to start a baseline of our customers before the changes start impacting them.  The cost was really not much.” — EVP of Retail and Digital, Mid-size Community Bank

“This will give our loan officers more confidence about our loan process. We were concerned that loan applicants were putting the blame on us for all of the delays, instead of the regulations.” — President, Small Community Bank

“Of course we need this information. Our entire organization is starving for data about how our customers perceive our products and services. Without it we would be at a competitive disadvantage.” — CMO, Regional Bank

“We did not want to divert any money from our marketing spend to track awareness and consideration.  Now that we do, we are much smarter with our ad spend since we know exactly how the billboards affect awareness compared to the TV spots we ran.  We ended up saving much more on marketing than we spent on the benchmarks.  That is not really what we were expecting but it is what we call a happy outcome.” — EVP Strategy, Large Regional Bank

“We are doing a town-by-town expansion so it is very helpful for us to see what prospects in a new market think of us before and after we arrive.” — SVP, Retail Banking and Marketing, Mid-size Community Bank

“We used to be seen as quite behind in technology—good at service but with a bad reputation in online and mobile. Now that we are investing heavily in improving, this periodic intelligence will show us how well the investment is paying off for customers and potential customers.” — EVP, CMO, Regional Bank

We knew we were good at service, but did not realize how far behind we were in technology.  I guess it is better to know the truth than not.” — Marketing Officer, Small Community Bank

“I have a lot more confidence in direct customer feedback than our secret shopper data. It just makes more sense to know what our customers think of us rather than what some underpaid mystery shopper does.” — CMO, Regional Bank

“We are developing and rolling out several new products in the next 18 months. This periodic feedback will show us if we are doing it right.” — CEO, Regional Bank

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