Convincing 3,500 frontline staff to own customer complaints.
AIB, an Irish bank based in Dublin serving customers across Ireland, the UK and the US, wanted to align customer service with their vision of always providing an exceptional customer experience. We stepped in to reinvent their culture of how complaints are managed.
Change the mindset of staff towards customer complaints, and help them to turn the customer frown upside down.
What we did
Kicking off with a Story Shaping session with the Customer Care team, we established the foundation for the planned communication, and clarified the perceptions and actions that needed to change.
Storylining revealed more about the target audience, and the options we had to influence and inform. We interviewed a cross section of branch and call centre staff to get their thoughts – many were afraid of complaints, seeing them as uncomfortable, time-consuming, and non-value adding. They acted defensively with customers who complained, taking the complaint personally.
We decided on an animated film, approximately six minutes long, to branch staff to get on board with a new way of looking at complaints. There’s a link between staff wellbeing and the customer experience, so we centred the film around a staff member, to encourage a sense of a collective journey rather than a forced march. We demonstrated to staff that the emotion they feel about complaints shows in their facial expressions and mannerisms. These emotions can transfer to the customer who reacts to them – the customer’s behaviour is affected by how the staff member feels about complaints. And making the lead character an employee sends out the message that this is not only beneficial for customers but for staff too.
After a hugely successful launch, the film became part of the strategy to embed the change in culture within AIB and now forms part of the New Entrant Induction Programme.
Surveyed staff found the animation good, engaging, positive and educational:
“The link between staff wellbeing and customer experience is something we want to emphasis so that everyone is aware of the impact their tone and action/ inaction has on the customer and themselves”
– Customer Services
“Positive, educational and full of references to emotion, which help get the message across so well”
– Group Marketing
“Such an engaging way to communicate the important message”
– Chief Risk Office
There was a change of mindset, staff are now owning the customer complaint experience and the Net Promoter Score improved – up nine points on the quarter before. Happier staff = happier customers.