Written by Anthony Demangone
We measure so many things.
Risks. Delinquencies. Hold times. ROA. Staff turnover. Assets.
Take a look at any of those things. Your ROA may be .89. Your assets may be $573 million. Your telephone hold time may be 37 seconds.
Is that good or bad?
How would I know?
But hopefully, you know whether those are good or bad. Quite often, though, the people I talk to do not.
Customer service is difficult, expensive and unpredictable. But it's a mistake to assume that any particular example is automatically either good or bad. A company might spend almost nothing on customer service but still succeed in reaching its goals.
Customer service succeeds when it accomplishes what the organization sets out to accomplish. Google doesn't have a phone number, doesn't want to engage with most users. McDonald's doesn't give you a linen napkin. FedEx used to answer the phone on one ring, now it takes 81 seconds for them to answer a call. None of these things are necessarily bad, they're merely examples of alignment (or non-alignment)....
Every single person who makes budget decisions, staffing decisions and customer service decisions must to be clear about which strategy you picked, needs to be able to state, "we're doing this because it's congruent with what we say customer service is for."
This strikes home for credit unions on so many levels.
- Getting call wait times down usually means you need extra resources. Resources that could go to branch services or online services. Where do you want your members to use you?
- Managing risk (strategic, compliance, credit, etc.) should start with a discussion of risk appetite. Until you know how much risk is acceptable, you'll never be able to manage it effectively.
- Is your ROA or asset size good or bad? What is your plan? Does it fit?
Figure out what you want to be first. Make sure everyone is on the same page with that plan. After that, everything should align with that plan.
Again, first things first.