Financial Services Company Improves Call Center Customer Experience, Saving $13 Million

Business Issue

A major financial services company set an ambitious goal for its call centers to increase revenue by 30%. Reaching this goal meant focusing all levels of call center staff on managing and improving the customer experience as a key differentiator.

This was a significant challenge. The need to demonstrate technical product knowledge to combine and recombine products and services while dealing with a variety of caller types—independent agents, brokers, associates—with a variety of needs has made the customer service role increasingly stressful and complex.  The increasing call volume and the high stakes involved with each call added to the challenge.

Solution

Many calls that come in represent a significant risk of lost business. The organization estimated that at least 50% of the customers who are irate or dissatisfied decide to cancel their business, meaning several hundred thousand dollars in policies are at risk each day.

Call center associates needed to convert these unhappy callers into satisfied ones with greater consistency.

Wilson Learning worked closely with the organization to address their unique call center environment. Using their unique terms and issues made the program immediately relevant and useful.

The core of the solution was Signature Service: The Key to Customer Satisfaction™, a highly interactive program. It reframes the customer service role as critical to the business and provides tools for maintaining a positive, professional attitude despite pressure and stress. It equips participants with the skills to convert irate or insistent customers to a state of satisfaction.

The call center associates started to use what they learned immediately.  One program participant wrote:

“I was able to use the skills I learned from Signature Service to make an insistent caller a comfortable caller. He was demanding that something get done immediately that was impossible to deliver immediately, so I was very empathetic, took action, gave the policy holder options to find out what suits him best, and at the end of the call, paraphrased the conversation and asked for satisfaction. At the end of the call, he was very satisfied with the outcome even though it was not going to be done immediately.”

Outcome

Call center associates improved their skills to handle both internal and customer-facing calls without interrupting operations.

A follow-up survey showed that associates changed behavior, performance, and business results.

As a result of the program:

  • The daily number of customers expressing satisfaction increased by over 5 per associate per day.
  • Associate levels of professional confidence rose significantly—from Moderate to High, or from High to Extremely High.
  • Call center associates converted 3.99 more callers per day from irate or insistent to comfortable and willing to express satisfaction. The associates attributed this number as a direct result of Signature Service, separated from all other factors.
  • This increase in conversions resulted in substantial business results. The company estimated a reduction in the potential loss of over $13 million USD a year in cancelled policies.
Call center associates converted 3.99 more callers per day from irate or insistent to comfortable.

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