One of the highest-rated credit unions in the United States joined us on a process improvement journey that would protect its high customer satisfaction scores by improving the internal operations of the company. We quickly engaged the employees of this institution in a series of rapid, cross-functional process improvement workshops designed to improve everything from individual branch operations, to the organization’s contact center, to the internal IT help desk. Employees in each functional area participated in the specific week-long session that addressed their group’s methods. Teams established goals and measurements for success. Each existing process was analyzed step by step, so that areas of opportunity could be identified and prioritized.
Each activity was probed for weaknesses and explored for ways that it could benefit other workflows. This holistic way of looking at the relationship between a process and the larger business operation quickly produced benefits. For example:
- One of the events resulted in the restructuring of the contact center’s routing menu, with a simultaneous overhaul of the Member Service Representative Training program. The goal was to provide a live response to 90 percent of incoming calls within 30 seconds, and to resolve customer calls within 150 seconds. By combining training with new technology, employee down-time was reduced, calls were routed more effectively, the customer experience improved and the center’s performance quickly exceeded every goal.
- In a different workshop, the goal was to improve an IT Help Desk that suffered from an overwhelming daily volume and no budgetary resources to meet demand. An improved online self-service program removed 30 percent of all inquiries, allowing users to perform routine tasks (such as password resets) without calling. The IT staff could then concentrate on issues that were more complex, and more impactful to customers.
- Another team worked to streamline a job posting / hiring process that was lengthy, cumbersome, and causing many positions to remain unfilled for too long. The team’s new process reduced the time from job posting to hiring by 60 percent.
- Other improvements resulted in reduced wait times for the credit union’s new video conference lending service, and a new document imaging process that now boasts a one-day turnaround, a standard enterprise wide procedure, and much happier employees.
Not just happier, employees are also more engaged. The senior team reports that team members have taken the principles learned in the process events and applied them to make their workspaces more efficient. Employees report higher levels of satisfaction as a result of their participation in the dramatic changes to the way that the organization does business.