Co-creating a better experience with customer contact associates
Individuals who play the role of Customer Contact have a significant impact on your customers’ experiences. So, when they are experiencing friction in their jobs and their morale is suffering, it’s time to act. A leading financial wealth institution sought our expertise to assist them with listening and understanding the situation to identify the opportunities and engage the Customer Contact associates in creative problem solving aimed at improving their experience.
In a lab-like setting, we engaged fifteen Customer Contact associates and other stakeholders over the course of 4 weeks, spending up to 8 hours together each week. We began the project by soliciting and listening to their stories about their day-to-day work lives. We identified what was working well, what wasn’t working well, what was missing and what needed small adjustments to be more effective.
We identified the challenges and invited the Customer Contact associates to help us prioritize what to solve initially using criteria of importance and difficulty. We focused on the need for more structured career guidance and dedicated time for career development that was unretractable (the pain point being that most career development time was appropriated due to business volume). We reframed the problem to invite broad exploration. We facilitated concept ideation using structured brainstorming and thumbnail sketching. The team developed a prototype named The MyPro Tracker, an application that enables the space for career development time by providing an unretractable time allowance within work hours and a flexible scheduling method that supports associate’s individual needs while balancing business needs and demands. The application also made career development accessible anytime anywhere and used gamification to provide guidance on the potential paths, the skills and competencies required, connections to the best resources and opportunities for mentorship (digital or human) and networking to support associate’s development journey. The application development roadmap was developed after a few cycles of testing and refinement – and the client team has taken over ownership for implementation.
Through our guidance and design expertise, associates embrace a new approach to creative problem-solving – and we collectively came up with a solution to a problem that met their needs in an innovative way. It was/is a solution that combined the benefits of many disparate efforts of different departments trying to solve for parts of the problem. Naturally, they were excited about this new approach and began endorsing it across the organization, but they were equally excited to hear their colleagues’ expressions of gratitude. The involvement of the Customer Contact associates in this effort influenced a rise in Customer Contact associate engagement by 10%.