MEGABANK: Investing in customers
MEGABANK started a large-scale upgrade of customer relationship system based on a fundamentally new ideology.
Headquartered in Kharkiv, MEGABANK started a large-scale restructuring of its work, based on a new ideology. Many enterprises declare that "the client is our everything", "service is in the first place" and so on, but at the same time, few of them take certain steps in this direction and invest in a radical restructuring of their work.
MEGABANK fundamentally changes the principles of work with clients in several directions simultaneously. This is one of the most ambitious projects in the nearly 30-year history of the bank; as the result MEGABANK will change fundamentally.
Andrii Onopko, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of MEGABANK:
In general, all banks operate on the same technological basis and provide a standard set of services. It means that it is necessary to compete not only in essence, but also in the form of providing services: service begins to play an increasing part ever.
Our global task is to ensure that when leaving MEGABANK branch the client experienced exclusively positive emotions and, of course, gave a positive characteristic of the bank. But this "positive characteristic" includes a lot: a convenient, comprehensive product and information about this product, the speed of providing service, as well as a comfortable department, and so on.
To make customers comfortable in MEGABANK we launched a service reform.
Direct speech of Andrii Onopko follows.
What should be at the start? Each branch of MEGABANK underwent a kind of testing: we analyzed our work, and our competitors’ way of working, identified problems and services that could be improved, and thought what specifically to do in this direction.
Measurements became the main tool at the stage of identifying problems. It is difficult to change something without digitalization. We estimated each department, number of customers a day, number of services they get, time spent in a queue. The latter is the main indicators of comfort: client should not stand in a queue for an hour in order to pay for utilities.
Everything that we could measure, we estimated and digitized.
The second step of service reform following problems identification is to organize work in a new way. There are several aspects here:
- Splitting flows
When the bank opened its first branches 15 years ago, customer requests were completely different. One of the flagship services of the bank was the Integral Clearing Centre for Utility Payments, and we set up branches, focusing on this priority.
Nowadays the tasks have expanded significantly: we have to provide loans, accept deposits, issue cards, and the queue of clients to pay utilities remains as well. And what is very important - every client should feel comfortable equally.
That is why it was decided to divide the flows at the department: part of the premises is now focused on servicing clients who came to obtain a range of banking services, and part of the premises – for clients to pay utility bills.
The way it is done. Changing zones at the department is crucial. Everything is carried out, new cash registers are ordered and installed at the very end of the room. 20 seats are made. The client enters the department and he actually does not see these 20 people, gets service and leaves.
Upgrade of one branch is not cheap, but the bank is ready to spend this money, despite the fact that this investment does not provide an immediate financial result: roughly speaking, more deposits will not be attracted due to it. Offices are reequipped only to increase the comfort of our customers and preserve their loyalty to us. What are our goals? To make time spent in our offices more comfortable and conflict-free for the client, to increase the speed of providing service. In fact, this is an investment in goodwill.
- Coordination of bank employees
In theory, our service reform will primarily affect those bank employees who work directly with customers. But the operator cannot act on his own: the final result, the impression of the client from visiting the branch, depend not only on him. In fact, the operator and the cashier work together; as well as and the head of the department, who sets or does not set the corresponding tasks, and even the security guard, who meets the client first.
On the other hand, there is the head office of the bank where the support department is located. If the central office does not provide support to its employees at branches, they will not be able to reflect a high level of service to customers.
As part of the reform, we launched M-support, a single call centre for branch employees. Since the process of interaction between the branches and the head office is an invisible part of the iceberg, but it carries the main functional task.
Of course, our reform involves training for employees.
Employees of regional offices from different regions of Ukraine come to us once a quarter. During these meetings, we conduct trainings, the main purpose of which is to bring an understanding of a systematically correct approach to customers and an equal approach to quality of service.
For the staff of the departments in Kharkiv, trainings are held every month. The topics of speeches are different, but always related to the issues of quality of service: how to resolve conflicts, what should be the appearance of the branch staff, how to help clients with M-boxes, and so on.
For many managers who have been working with us for 20 years, such trainings became a kind of shake-up, because we are talking not only about some quantitative indicators - we are talking about a systematic and correct approach to service. As a result, we have new criteria for evaluating work: not only the number of deposits or loans, but also, for example, “the average time of a client in a queue”, which we regard as one of the indicators of the successful reform.
Dealing with complaints
Complaints are one of the tools for evaluating our chosen path. We do not just count and study these complaints: we consolidate them and group: sometimes not polite attitude or technical interruptions, or a complaint as for the process and so on. Then a solution is worked out: how to correct the work of the bank in order to prevent such situation in the future. Conflict situations are treated in the same way. We have divided the problems and are trying to identify system failures in order to eliminate them once and for all.
What has changed for employees? First, the motivation system. We introduce additional bonuses - the so-called service bonuses - for those who have no complaints at. The plans are to introduce bonuses for those who receive positive feedback from customers.
Secondly, we carry out systematic work with employees who have complaints at. The bank has a system of work with such staff, which implies four levels of responsibility: starting from talking with the manager, through financial sanctions to giving sack to the employee.
We have developed a new branch evaluation system for eight indicators. This is the appearance of the staff, the manner of communication, the time spent by the client in a queue, and so on. All employees of the branch receive a salary premium for high rates. This is a bonus that is charged exclusively for high-quality customer service, in fact, an investment in service.
Another point is the reputation of offices in Google. Since March 1, complaint books have been cancelled in Ukraine, and reviews and evaluations on the Internet become their real analogue. We motivate employees to convince customers to leave positive feedback on the web. This is a normal world practice - to say that a positive post will be the best thanks for us. The addition of this item itself programs the employee to a certain understanding that a good review is valuable.
Olexii Iatsenko, Chairman of the Management Board of MEGABANK:
The bank’s shareholders include the largest foreign financial institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the German State Bank (KfW), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). For our European partners, the quality of service plays an important role as well as the financial indicators shown by the bank.
Based on the medium-term strategy of the bank, approved by the shareholders for a three-year term, the main vectors of our development are microcredit and the retail business. Nowadays, the market is experiencing a fairly tough struggle for customers – individuals. The winner is increasingly not only the bank that offers the best conditions for the product, but also the one that will provide better services.
MEGABANK was one of the first to join this trend. We do not set goals to earn here and now: the strategic task of the bank is a satisfied customer.
Service reform is not a fast and endless process. We have been doing it for a year; there are already certain results. We plan to achieve the obvious effect in 2-3 years after the start. But this is only a part of the changes introduced by the bank. We are systematically moving towards innovations and in the nearest future, we will offer our customers a new unique technological product.
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