Case Study #1: Lim Yong Han
Situation: It was a week when my team was servicing walk-ins and there were only two of us. I was rushing around, feeling frustrated and stressed. One customer walked in and was really demanding – he wanted us to print out his account statement for him. I am not able to print that statement out for him and so asked him to go back downstairs to have it printed by the correct department. He refused and kept demanding that we print out his statement for him, which I couldn’t do. I was so stressed and frustrated, bad words nearly came out of my mouth!
Behaviour when applying PATH skills: Instead, I asked him to wait. I walked away so that I could cool down. And I did some Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) tapping so that I could try to understand his situation. And I realised, the customer was like a victim because he had been told to come upstairs for his statement, and he didn’t know which is the correct party to go to, to get what he wanted. I stepped into his shoes, and realised the customer must also have been frustrated because he had been told he could get his statement from upstairs.
I went back out and rang downstairs to Customer Service. I asked Customer Service to come upstairs to escort the customer downstairs to the right counter so that he could get his statement printed out.
So what? Originally, I just wanted thing settled immediately by asking the customer to go back downstairs. I was so busy! But after stepping into the customer’s shoes, I realised I need to do a further step to avoid a bad experience for the customer.
Benefit: I was able to think more clearly about the customer’s needs, and to be positive about it. And the customer got what he wanted without any more frustration.
Case Study #2: Terrence Singh, Contact Centre
Situation: A customer called in to complain that she hadn’t been receiving any interest payments on one of her accounts. Based on the account type, she didn’t meet the criteria to be eligible for interest. When I explained that to her, she accepted that yes, she wasn’t eligible for interest because she did not meet the criteria.
Behaviour when applying PATH skills: Even though the customer had already accepted my explanation, I stepped into the customer’s shoes. And I felt that it was unfair because she wasn’t properly informed of the account’s terms and conditions when she opened it. When I was listening to her complaint, I used the 6A response model and listened to her fully. I couldn’t promise her anything so I just said to her, “I’m going to check – let me see what I can do.”
Then I made a request to the relevant departments. And I was rejected twice. But I didn’t blame them. It’s my job to help them understand. So, I argued till the end and finally, they agreed to credit interest into the customer’s account on a one-time, exceptional basis. When I called to let the customer know, she was so happy! And I was happy, too!
So what? Before the PATH programme, I wouldn’t have gone the extra mile since the customer had already accepted my explanation about the interest. In fact, it took me quite some time and a lot of communication in between the different departments but my outcome was clear – we need to provide exceptional customer experience. It is always about the experience of the customer, and I wanted to gain the customer’s trust.
Benefit: This customer was so happy, I imagine she will be giving the bank free advertisement by telling her friends about the service at OCBC. This will help the bank’s progression.
Case Study #3: Ahmad Zaini, Contact Centre
Situation: A customer had deposited RM500 into an ATM at the branch to pay for her credit card bill urgently. But the machine was faulty and didn’t register her cash deposit. She called the Contact Centre to check and complain and when the CSE couldn’t give her a satisfactory solution, the call escalated to my manager who transferred the call to me.
Behaviour when applying PATH skills: The first thing I did was to step into the customer’s shoes, so that I could feel what the customer was feeling. Then I used the 3A response model. I apologised for the trouble she was facing. Then I explained that I had to first check with the branch before I could credit the amount into her credit card. Then I assured her I would call her back within the hour. I used the Yes No Yes burger to let her know why the bank couldn’t immediately credit the amount into her account without first checking.
Then, I checked with the branch about what we could do. The branch confirmed there had been a RM500 deposit. And at my request and after checking, they were able to pay the customer’s credit card bill within the hour.
After that, I called the customer to let her know, and she was so relieved. I said I would be sending her a letter to apologise for the faulty ATM. When I drafted the letter, I used the 6A response model.
So what? Before the PATH programme, I would just have told the customer that we need to investigate first. I would not have assured the customer that I would get back to her within the hour.
Previously, I would also have rejected the customer upfront. After this course, I’m aware of providing exceptional customer experience. So, I will check first before rejecting the customer’s complaint. My learning is, I need to first understand the total issue and what direction the customer wants. Then, I’ll know what steps to take. In this case, the most urgent was to credit back the cash. Then only prepare the investigation into the issue. Then, send the apology letter.
- I managed to calm the customer down so that she could listen to my explanation.
- The customer got back her money within an hour. If our ATM is faulty, the customer won’t be able to trust OCBC. When we credit her money back within an hour and send her a letter of apology, we won’t lose the customer. In fact, the customer continues to maintain her account with OCBC.
- I was relieved I was able to help a customer who needed cash urgently. And I was relieved I was also able to help my staff and they, too were relieved when the case was settled. Everyone was happy because case closed!