Improving customer experience in retail banking

L2 Analyst, Akbar Hussain outlines how he’s improving customer experience through his role as a Business Analyst at a leading retail bank.

The role

I am currently working as a Business Analyst within the Customer Service Transformation (CST) project. This project focuses on improving the customer experience through all banking channels – whether that be in-store, online, telephone or many others. I am currently working with the Product Owner of Colleague Enablement and we are in the Change Transformation department.

Adopting agile

Improving Overall Service Quality score is one of my client’s main business priorities and so the CST project could not be any more relevant. We are working on many initiatives which we hope will directly improve the OSQ rating. However, lockdown has also meant shorter opening hours and limited walk-ins for my client – all directly hurting the company’s top line. This has meant greater focus on minimising costs and making the bank more efficient.

To achieve this, the bank is making a move to be fully Agile; all change projects will be delivered using Agile methodology and principles. Customer Service Transformation have been one of the first projects to trial this. We have held Project Increment Planning sessions with other contributing project teams to plan the next 6 sprints and ensure that each project team’s sprint goal works towards achieving the goal of improving service quality at the lowest possible cost.

Whilst this has represented a seismic shift for my client, as a Grayce analyst I am qualified as an Agile Practitioner so it has been an easy adoption. I have been able to use my experience and expertise to step up and help lead the way. Examples include advising how best to use JIRA, suggestions such as MIRO for online whiteboards (now that all Workshops are virtual!), as well as assisting during Sprint Reviews and Retrospectives. It has been a couple of months since the shift to Agile and we have already delivered some great features to customers.

Digitalising solutions

One of the journeys I am helping to digitalise is Business Account Opening. Currently this can take several hours in-store whereas the online journey can be done in 15 mins. I am looking at how we can bring this online journey into store. Where this may sound simple there are many other factors to consider such as regulation, fraud risks, how ‘assisted’ we make the journey and much more.

I have also gone helped set up a ‘Helpdesk’ at my client which is a combination of people from different technical departments who are now on call all day to respond to customers’ technical issues. Implementing this Helpdesk required me to initiate a 6-week pilot, capture and analyse data from the pilot on a daily basis, report the findings and tweak the pilot as it evolved to ensure the final Helpdesk would be fit for purpose. We then worked with Business Readiness to ensure a successful route to live.

The pilot Helpdesk we organised was critical to ensuring we would roll out a successful process. To ensure we gathered insightful data, I created a fully automated Excel data tracker. Whenever a customer raised an issue to the Helpdesk, the Excel file would automatically capture this data and generate metrics so that we could understand how well the Helpdesk was performing. We could also decide when it was the right time to accelerate the pilot by adding more stores. I shared reports with key stakeholders on a weekly basis and after 6 weeks we launched the Helpdesk successfully.

Holistic support and development

As mentioned, my client is now working to Agile methodologies. I learnt everything Agile via the APMG Agile Foundation and Practitioner qualifications that Grayce provide. These qualifications break down for you how to successfully adopt Agile, holding Agile ceremonies and any mandatory documentation.  This knowledge has helped me act as a key player in my client shifting to Agile.

My delivery manager has also been crucial on my journey. Every catch-up is a coaching session where she is interested in my recent challenges and comes up with an intricate plan on how to overcome them. I have noticed myself improve month on month and become a very confident Business Analyst.

Why Grayce?

Clients use Grayce analysts because of our values. We are highly driven to go in and make an impact immediately. And when there are many of us at a client, we can all support one other which only helps the client achieve its goals. Not only that but we as analysts become more collaborative. It’s a win-win.

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