Follow the Happy Path for Execution Excellence in Customer Service Processes

Oct_2021_COA happy path nick-fewings-zF_pTLx_Dkg-unsplashA common source of friction – and lost customers – in financial service companies happens during the change of account process. The major steps in the process are the same for every company:

  1. Client submits change request
  2. Collect supporting documentation
  3. Compliance review
  4. Internal approval
  5. Make changes in the record keeping system
  6. Confirm change with client

When these steps occur smoothly, we like to call it the “happy path.”

Unfortunately, there are many points of friction that cause this process to spin off in a 100 or more different variations that can make it anything but happy for customers. And unhappy customers look for a company who will make them happy with a smoother, frictionless process.

For instance, two-thirds of inheritors move management of their finances to another company after disbursement of funds from a loved one’s death due to a poor customer service experience during the beneficiary transfer.

Improve Execution Excellence in Change of Accounts

To improve steps in the change of accounts process, companies can focus on operational excellence improvements or customer experience improvements (which also rely on improving business processes).

There are four major categories of business objectives these improvements fall under; two operational, two focused on customers:

  1. Reduce cycle time (operational)
  2. Improve automation (operational)
  3. Increase customer satisfaction (customer experience)
  4. Reduce NIGO’s and Re-work (customer experience)

Let’s look at each of these objectives and the key metrics and common improvement opportunities.

Reduce Cycle Time

There’s a direct correlation between quick – and accurate – movement of the change through the process to completion and customer satisfaction.

The key metric to track here is the number of days it takes to complete the account change.

Opportunities for improvement include identifying account types with longer cycle times (such as trusts and estates) and ensuring customer communication steps are included. Auto-recognizing documents, like divorce documents, and automated alerts for advisors to clients initiating a change process also offer quick wins.

Improve Automation

The goal for any process is to have as many change of accounts requests be “touchless” as possible, also frequently called straight-through processing.

The key metrics here are the percentage of requests processed automatically and the cost per account change.

Improvement opportunities here include:

  • Automated upload and customer self-service
  • System-generated notifications
  • Eliminate re-keying in multiple systems

Increase Customer Satisfaction

It’s a simple fact that satisfied customers remain customers. For change of account processes, companies can track these three KPIs as key success metrics:

  • Improvements in Net Promoter Score
  • A decrease in the number of interactions with the customer
  • The ability to retain assets under management, in the event of death and wealth management

How can companies improve these metrics? There are three:

  • Prompt follow-up when additional materials are needed
  • Checklists for financial advisors and investors to follow
  • Points of engagement with beneficiaries and dependents

Reduce NIGOs and Re-work

NIGOs (not in good order) is a huge friction point in this process. NIGO is a key metric to track, what percentage of requests include all necessary paperwork? Re-work is caused when requests are routed to the wrong team.

There are, again, three relatively simple improvement opportunities to decrease NIGOs and re-work:

Identify incomplete requests as quickly as possible

  • Automate routing rules, such as by type of account or jurisdiction for example, to ensure changes are sent to the correct team
  • Increase the number of automated compliance reviews

Process Mining Is the Key First Step to Improve All Four Objective

One key technology to making all of these improvements possible is process mining (click here to read about process mining). Process mining enables a company to load historical activity data and generate process visualizations to see how the process exists today as well as over time.

What this analysis then allows a company to do is uncover gaps in business processes, such as change of account, for both real-time interventions to improve customer satisfaction as well as understanding how to change processes to better address customer needs.

We make using process mining to address your change of account issues even easier. Read about our Customer Service Solution built on the Celonis Execution Management System platform.

You can also watch a short demonstration video of how the app works below.

Rich Medina
Doculabs Vision Team
Our blogs are a group effort, from writing to editing to brainstorming topics. We collaborate to provide you with our best thinking that will help you use technology to improve how your organization operates. The Doculabs blogging team is Richard Medina, James Watson, Marty Pavlik, and Tom Roberts.