Experiences

Charles Schwab & Company: Customer Experience Driven Transformation

Overview

Charles Schwab & Company started as the world’s first discount broker and has grown its business into a full service banking, brokerage and financial services firm that is consistently ranked number one in the industry. Staying ahead of this hyper-competitive industry requires constantly improving experiences for all its customers, across channels, products, and partners quickly and easily on an integrated basis.

Challenge

Our task was to work with Schwab’s new executive team to develop and translate a transformational business vision driven by customer experience into reality. The challenge was to execute a business and IT integration delivery effort across key customer experience points. This included the associated technology architecture execution plan to provide customers with easier and more valuable interactions within the full range of Schwab’s products, across all delivery channels – to be implemented on an integrated basis in 18 months.

Solution

Working with Schwab’s most senior management team, we translated their new customer-centric business strategy into reality. This involved working with individuals across all customer segment teams, business divisions, and product channels to make radical improvements to customer-delivery focused processes, applications and technology platforms. Based on that work, we developed an implementation roadmap to achieve results in less than 18 months while reducing Schwab’s over-lapping and redundant processes and IT technologies. Finally, we delivered a new improved cross-product, cross-channel set of customer experience solutions. As a result, Schwab was able to boost Net Promoter Scores, leading to increased revenue and earnings. back to top

Major Entertainment Company: Benchmarking Customer Experience Best and “Next” Practices

Overview

Our client was undertaking a major transformation of their global sales and service contact center operation. The goal was to enable the transition to a new future-state customer experience while significantly raising efficiency and business impact of contact center operations. Looking to the future, the head of the unit sought to extend in service areas in which they already were among the best, and to make changes that could result in “leapfrogging” ahead of the leaders in other key areas of customer experience delivery.

Challenge

Our client, wanted to benchmark other leading companies on a broad set of key topics. This was no typical contact center benchmarking, comparing average handle times and other metrics. This was about uncovering best- and next-practices, key comparisons and critical success factors in order to inform and shape strategy. as the topics included managing customer experience, expanding contact channels, routing and segmentation, workforce management, technology and infrastructure, performance management, and international contact center management.

Solution

10 leading companies participated – award winners and well known for superior customer service and/or delivering a consistently exceptional customer experience. From that rich knowledge base, we developed a set of best practices across topic areas, as well as “next practices” that represent opportunities for innovating the customer experience. The findings became the basis of multiple working sessions with our client teams to develop strategic implications for the global transformation plan. Each of the participating companies also received the final presentations and a results report. Based on the benchmarking, our client has enhanced its overall strategy and transformation plans, reinforcing the strategic importance of leading in customer experience. back to top

Farm Credit Canada: Enterprise Transformation Around the Customer Experience

Overview

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) is the leading lender to the agricultural sector in Canada. FCC was initially wrestling with what they thought would be huge necessary investments in Information Technology for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Loan Accounting, and increasing their Online Channel presence. We worked with the senior management team to reframe the investment decision around a much larger issue: completely transforming the Bank around customer experience. Before spending any new capital on these costly undertakings, we showed the senior leadership team how to integrate and improve client experience from the “outside-in” starting with the Bank’s strategy. This meant focusing on making the “right” priority investments to improve client experience. Ultimately this was to be a multi-year enterprise transformation program which involved a complete transformation of FCC’s business strategy, product offerings, operations, organization, employee experience, processes, technology, partner and supplier aspects of its business.

Challenge

Given the challenges faced by organizations that have attempted but failed at transformation, we designed and implemented a risk-managed approach to transforming FCC around customer experience. We established an Enterprise Transformation & Integration Program to assess and redesign the customer and partner-led value chain processes (presale, sale, post-sale) of the required business, roles and aligned and integrated technology to optimize customer experiences across client interactions, channels, business units, and systems. At the same time, we structured bottom-up innovation efforts across the company to align entrepreneurial initiatives within the overall strategy architecture and focused program investment and execution on high ROI projects. We created client experience principles which were then mapped to the existing and future state business architecture. This included a five year transformation roadmap, and implementation strategy. One effect of this was stopping the technology investments in CRM, Loan Accounting, and Online that were planned but would not deliver the business strategy and desired client experience.

Solution

Working with the CEO, we restructured the leadership governance and company organization for “enterprise integration and client experience” decision making, by redefining structure, mandates, roles, decision rights, leadership teams, and strategic governance, led by strategy execution priorities for the enterprise. With the SVP of Strategy, we developed a five year strategy map and related Balanced Scorecard to measure and gauge progress on implementation of the Enterprise Integration Initiative Roadmap of hundreds of enterprise-wide projects. Working with the newly created Enterprise Integration and Innovation Group and the new IT leadership, we continued to work the detailed enterprise value chain optimization and selected sub-process, Proof of Concept design – including Loan Originations and Renewals. We delivered mockups and prototypes of the roles-based process portals and related changes. We also worked with the new CIO to redesign the IT architecture and manage the transition to an SOA component architecture and related capabilities. A major part of this effort included redesigning the IT organization, roles and job design, performance, and compensation systems and establishment of an effective IT Project Management Office to work in concert with the Corporate Project Management Office. Today, as a result of this project and the efforts of the leadership team, FCC enjoys the first leadership position in its industry, significantly ahead of its competitors. Most importantly, FCC’s financial results and operating ratios are “best practice” in the industry and it routinely makes the “Best Companies to Work for in Canada” every year as a result of its transformed and on-going customer experience-centered employee experience. back to top

Cisco: Cross Channel Order Fulfillment Experience

Overview

Cisco’s legendary CEO John Chambers sponsored an initiative to rethink and redesign customer experience end-to-end solutions to address order errors that became log-jammed in the Customer Advocacy Service Team. The order errors resulted in delivery delays, frustration for customers, sales, and service employees. The errors also resulted in supply chain demand forecasting issues that were costly and difficult to resolve on an individual basis without resolving the underlying systemic issues.

Challenge

Customers needed a better experience to remain loyal and committed, so the Executive Team representing Sales, Customer Service-Contact Centers, Fulfillment, Assembly, Procurement, Suppliers, and IT were all engaged with us to design a solution in a compact 8 week period.

Solution

Applying our “outside-in” principles and methods, we led a cross-functional executive management team to assess and redesign the core “outside-in” customer requirements, order fulfillment, and delivery value chain technology, roles, and enablers of customer experience improvement and organizational performance. Our assessment found that 75% of Customer Contact Center issues were directly related to order errors. The new customer experience solution defined the shift to an environment where customers could configure their product order online and accurately, working with thousands of products/order configurations. The solution also required a shift to a demand-oriented supply-chain model for end-to-end business process improvements, an aligned IT architecture to enable its execution, an organizational re-design to create “close-to-customer” support teams, as well as the development of a detailed cost-benefit analysis, and a migration/change management strategy. The process work time/cost was improved by 54%, cycle times were reduced from 5-6 weeks to 2 days, and high quality customer service processes were introduced to significantly improve customer experience and satisfaction. back to top

Sprint/Nextel: Improving IT Effectiveness Through Shared Services

Overview

Sprint/Nextel merged to become the number three mobile phone company in the United States. Sprint, the parent company, had a long history in the industry. But Nextel was a relatively new company and brought with it new, innovative ways of doing things: a leaner structure, a maverick culture of doing things more quickly, and a completely separate network technology.

Challenge

The key challenge was rationalizing the two organization’s people, processes and technologies to gain efficiencies across the board while also preserving the “best of breed” functions and technologies in critical areas central to the new combined business. Achieving success meant preserving the best of both but also radically reducing redundancies and increasing operational productivity to create and achieve accretive value for the merger as a whole.

Solution

We supported this integration activity through a six month transition period addressing people, processes, technology and change management. To start, we redesigned the newly integrated organization from top to bottom, focusing on the business while adhering to top-down HR policy mandates. Concurrently we evaluated outsourcing arrangements, realigning the combined workforce for enhanced service delivery in key functional areas and increased cost savings in other areas. As part of addressing the workforce a tactical effort was executed addressing excess contractor usage, resulting in additional net savings. Continuing, we evaluated and refined the combined application development methodologies. Throughout the project we developed and ran the communications plan and project execution for the executive team. back to top

Improving Customer Experience at a Top 20 US Hospital

Overview

Hospitals are facing unprecedented change in response to the steadily growing trend away from a provider-centric emphasis on doctors and payers to a customer-centric model that focuses on patients and families. To compete, hospitals are re-thinking all aspects of customer experience, from the clinical and non-clinical experience on-site to the pre-and post-hospital experience online, on the phone and at home. Individualized patient navigation programs, VIP and executive health services with Four Seasons-like in-patient treatment, and a proliferation of patient and family services are seeing dramatic growth as a result. But it is still early days for customer experience management at hospitals. So in this environment where more customers are demanding a better overall care experience, there is a competitive mandate to improve, and an opportunity to differentiate by consistently delivering an exceptional customer experience.

Challenge

Our client, who headed up non-clinical services and programs for a world-renowned teaching hospital, wanted to create an overall strategy and execution road-map for supporting the end-to-end hospital experience. This was centered on an innovative approach to patient and customer service that is designed to enhance and improve coordination of the end-to-end care experience through personalized interaction. The primary objectives were to build out this concept of enhancing the care experience aimed at raising the performance and capability of a key contact center, aligning the organization around delivering customer experience across channels, and strengthening the capability to develop and manage customer relationships within specialized programs.

Solution

Working closely with the core client team, a thorough current state analysis was done to develop a working fact base and to surface issues and opportunities across departments. This included mapping the end-to-end hospital customer experience, both onsite and via the contact centers, and how that experience is delivered and supported by key roles across the hospital. This was followed by opportunity analysis, strategy definition (covering business, organization and technology strategy) and execution planning. The client team is now moving into the execution phase of a broad program designed to significantly impact and add value to customer experiences at this hospital. back to top

Relationship-based Business and IT Strategy for a Large California Bank

Overview

The third largest bank in California was increasingly feeling the competitive squeeze from smaller community banks on one side, and from larger players on the other. They needed an overall strategic vision, eBusiness plan, and opportunity assessment to deliver on its value proposition as a relationship bank for both consumer and commercial customers.

Challenge

A key finding was that the bank was losing key customers to banks that had built out relationship management capability, and at the high-end, customers were switching to take advantage of multi-channel service and delivery capabilities. How could the bank retain its high-touch, personalized approach while taking advantage of technology without de-personalizing the experience? Emperia consultants worked with CXO level and eBusiness team to leverage the bank’s advantages to “leap-frog” their competitors in cross-channel experience delivery and build a single view of the customer across business lines that could help them provide a more personalized experience while providing parity in service capability with large banks.

Solution

Working closely with the team we developed integrated channel strategy, defined new capability needs, and the supporting IT strategy. A roadmap for strategy execution across business and technology was defined along with website strategy and design, and processes and methods for on-going performance management. After a significant transformation effort the bank was acquired by a larger regional competitor. back to top

Renewal and Transformation Strategy for Women’s Teaching and Research Hospital

Overview

Our client is dedicated to achieving leadership in women’s health in an ambulatory care setting.
Ambulatory care refers to surgeries, diagnostic procedures and treatments that do not require overnight hospitalization. It’s about helping women and their families live healthier and more independent lives by preventing and managing the diseases and conditions that affect them throughout their lives. As a teaching hospital affiliated with a world-renowned University, it supports research in women’s health and leadership in training health-care providers within an ambulatory setting.

Challenge

The hospital had recently separated from an earlier merger to create an innovative care model and world-class facility. Management had a vision of inter-disciplinary teams of care providers that help women prevent and manage diseases and conditions so that they can live healthier and more independent lives. They saw the hospital as an easily accessible hub of programs and services designed for the way women live their lives. As a result of the separation, the opportunity was to shape a new mission, strategy, and new organizational delivery capabilities (IT, HR, Business Management), including the design and construction of a new hospital. Many of the core management and support functions needed to be designed, created, and staffed.

Solution

Emperia consultants worked with the president and management team to shape the mission, develop the overall strategy and gain alignment across internal and external stakeholders. The approach involved developing an ‘outside-in’ model of the desired patient and visitor experience. From there, we worked with the hospital team to develop an integrated business, service delivery, physical, and operational model. This included defining the hospital’s relationships with a network of other hospitals that participated in a shared services structure within the area. The resulting strategy map and transformational change plan was adopted by the management team, along with individual and collective accountabilities for the execution of the strategy. The hospital continues to execute the plan on every level while delivering excellent ambulatory care in a unique and supportive setting. back to top

Client Experience Transformation at a Top 10 North American Bank

Overview

In order to win in today’s highly competitive banking environment, more and more the quality of the customer experience is becoming the main driver of acquisition, loyalty, and retention of clients. Working with Emperia the bank embarked on a major shift in the way it conducts business for its Commercial clients. Then, building on the success of this program, applied Emperia’s approach to customer experience delivery to their Small Business client segment business.

Challenge

The bank sought to fundamentally change the way it delivers and manages its end-to-end customer experience across all channels. This included reducing the complexity for sales, adjudication, service, and support roles and identifying time savings, efficiencies, and improved outcomes for both clients and internal roles. The approach included defining the optimum future state end-to-end client experience at every stage of the relationship. A parallel internal effort was aimed at the future state experience and support environment for all key roles, collaboration across organizational functions, multi-channel strategy, and optimal processes. Taking an ‘outside-in’ perspective the analysis provided a deeper understanding client’s desired experience, which was then mapped to the current experience to identify key gaps and areas for focus.

Solution

This was a multi-year transformation program. It covered current state assessment and mapping of the client, internal roles, and channel experience across the end-to-end value chain, high performer modeling, combined with customer research and key irritants, all of which identified opportunities for improvement and competitive differentiation. Working closely with bank management we developed the future state strategy, experience value chain, key interaction design, cross channel solutions such as customer and roles-based portals, new customer and support roles, and multi-channel delivery. We also designed and led ‘learning labs’ to engage people in iterative design, and delivery of solutions for new roles, processes, tools, performance support. Working closely with senior level, cross-organizational management teams, we gained alignment and established accountability to drive the on-going delivery of major programs to transform the client and employee experience. back to top

Creating an Online Business Model and World-Class Contact Center for an Interactive Dating Business

Overview

The Web has revolutionized the online dating business and has brought affordable and convenient matchmaking to the masses. In the past decade, this market has grown to a $1 billion business in the U S. Our client, a pioneer in the dating business, began by offering a personalized phone-based service through 26 geographically distributed call centers across North America. Each call center built the business based on local community knowledge and connections. Rapid adoption of online, mobile channels along with many new entrants to the market caused the CEO team to develop a new growth strategy, consolidation plan, multi-channel, and new operating capabilities in order to continue to lead and differentiate.

Challenge

A key challenge was to continue running the business while completely transforming the entire business model, sales, product, and service delivery processes, technology platform, and organization. Other issues included consolidation of 26 geographically dispersed centers into one center without disrupting the relationship with customers while improving and integrating online with phone-mobile channels to elevate the experience to a new level. The new organization needed to be completely redesigned from executive team and management roles, to working with consultant and development resources, to creating contact center staff competencies consistent with the new operating paradigm.

Solution

Working directly with the CEO and executive team, Emperia consultants developed a multi-year, multi-path growth and operational strategy to transform their business, leading with customer experience. New business, marketing, sales, product development, service and operational processes, and organizational roles were developed and implemented. An overall integrated architecture definition (business, product, applications, knowledge, information, and technology) guided the activities of the development teams as the new environment was built. This included program management of twenty-plus projects to design, develop, and deliver the new operating infrastructure which includes new high performance network and platform, (CTI, CRM, IVR), database marketing capability, rapid product development. The new customer-aligned organization was based on a comprehensive high-performer competency model and the design and delivery of training, on-line learning support, knowledge-enabled environment for service associates. The company successfully made the transition and continues to operate a thriving, internationally recognized online dating service. back to top

Taking a Top 10 US Bank and Leader in Online Banking to the Next Level

Overview

The early beachhead the Bank achieved in online banking was not sustainable nor would it ensure growth and competitive advantage, With rapid customer adoption of online banking, the demand for new services and capabilities as well as enhancement and management of existing offerings was beyond the capacity of the available resources. Leaders realized they needed a new strategy to take them to the next level of customer experience capability and alignment around an enterprise-wide execution plan in order to maintain their marketplace leadership position.

Challenge

From the many opportunities, ideas, and directions that business units requested, rationalizing and gaining alignment to a clear and focused strategy amongst all stakeholders was a major challenge. Each unit had its own business case; however, there was no method or process to evaluate and establish priorities amongst the hundreds of initiatives and projects in play. In addition, the online development and delivery team was resource constrained. Gaining support from the business units required their cooperation, input, and enthusiasm. This was especially challenging in that management perception was one of being the market leader in online banking. Not only was there a need for a new common strategy, there was the need for an execution plan, a common strategic management process, and measures to focus on priorities and demonstrate progress and results from the investment in implementing the new online and cross-channel strategy.

Solution

The online, cross-channel strategy needed to be anchored to the overall business strategy, so Emperia consultants worked with executives and senior management to create and validate the new ‘customer-in’ combined three-five year business and online strategy (reflected in a strategy map). The management team worked together to gain agreement to performance objectives and metrics that would guide the prioritization of key initiatives to enable the operationalization of the strategy. We built the Balanced Scorecard which contained selected strategic objectives, lead and lag measures, three-year targets, and management accountabilities. We assessed all current and required initiatives; aligned them through multiple criteria filters to prioritize investments to achieve the objectives and performance targets. We developed their strategic management process and reporting system. Over 50 strategic programs and 300+ projects were assessed, ranked, and prioritized to focus on 22 resource-loaded revamped programs and related initiatives. The Bank remains a leader in online, cross-channel customer experience and banking. This project was featured as both Harvard and Stanford business cases. back to top

Optimizing Relationship Management for Corporate and Commercial Banking at Top 5 Global Bank

Overview

Low profitability and market expansion led the Bank to focus on improving the performance of Relationship Managers and overall business unit client management, processes, and systems. A program was launched to conduct a thorough assessment of the overall business unit, all roles, time use, support teams, tools, technology, and performance management. The hypothesis was that if RM’s spent more direct relationship time with prospects and clients, rather than on internal tasks, business results and individual performance would improve.

Challenge

The challenge was to determine why there was such variability in the performance of individual Relationship Managers (RMs); where they spent their time; what was getting in the way of building and expanding client relationships, and how the overall group functioned as a team. The current assessment revealed that RMs spent less than 10% of their time directly with the client. The rest of the time was spent in underwriting and analysis, servicing, and administrative tasks. Of the entire RM base, just 10% were delivering 80% of the revenue. High performer modeling helped to understand the key attributes that could be extended to others.

End-to-end customer value chain (process mapping) identified time and work savings of 75% work and cycle time. RM and Administrative roles were redesigned to increase direct customer time with the administrative group transitioning to Customer Relationship Teams to handle servicing, underwriting support and delegated tasks from RMs. We redesigned the performance management system and implemented a portal-like, knowledge and learning based client management and underwriting solution. This provided a single view of client information and documents, process and template guidance supported by contextual knowledge access and collaboration.

Solution

The overall organizational, process, and technology solution was piloted and had been operating for 12 months. Results were measured against the baseline, resulting in: a 760% increase in profit center earnings; a 43% increase in direct RM client time; 75% of RM’s exceeding expanded goals; the ratio of clients to RMs increased by 168%; reduced loan losses. As a result, the program was rolled out to 27 geographies, and expanded to Commercial Banking, and other business functions. The solution continues to evolve with platform and technology changes and the methods expanded beyond business banking across the bank. back to top