The Absa Group is one of South Africa’s largest financial services groups. With nearly 5,000 seats, 3.5 million interactions monthly and 30 locations, Absa’s Connectzone contact center is the largest contact center in South Africa.
When I spoke at Microsoft’s Dynamic Business Week in June, I presented a case study on Absa’s award-winning contact center to help contact center leaders improve the operational efficiency and customer experience in their own contact centers. I want to share with you what I shared with my clients, as they found the insights fascinating.
Take a look at the Absa story in this short video.
Absa’s Connectzone is world-renowned for their outstanding customer experience and for operational efficiency. I don’t have to tell you this is an amazing accomplishment for one of the largest contact centers in the world. (It would be impressive if we were talking about a 75-seat contact center!) Absa has become top-rated by focusing on 3 key areas:
1. Removing silos
Running a seamless customer experience within a large organization with multiple locations is a challenge that keeps many Fortune 500 executives up at night. But with over 30 locations and nearly 5,000 seats, Absa makes it look easy by fiercely focusing on becoming ONE organization. All Absa agents see customer portfolios through “one lens,” not multiple applications. Every agent has the tools and access to help every customer, regardless of why the customer contacts the bank.
2. Making Customer Experience Management a Strategic Initiative
A strategic corporate goal for Absa is managing the customer experience. One example is the company’s relentless focus on first-call resolution, which they know is a critical component of the customer experience. Absa realizes and acts upon the fact that the customer experience is the only true differentiator banks have. Technology can duplicated, interest rates can be matched and services carbon copied. The customer experience is what sets Absa apart.
3. The Customer is at the Center of Everything at Absa
Absa seems more like a “Service Company” that happens to offer retail banking services rather than “just a bank.” The company’s foundation and core is customer service. From the top down, the main objective is to deliver a service that feels effortless, consistent, seamless and error-free.
Absa’s Connectzone is proof that large organizations with multiple locations and huge contact volume can achieve an excellent customer experience and run efficiently. Their accomplishments didn’t happen overnight and they don’t run on auto-pilot. Managing an enterprise of this magnitude takes executive buy-in, fierce and consistent focus, financial investments, a commitment to continuous quality improvement and most importantly, putting the customer at the center of everything you do.
Dare to put the customer at the center of everything you do and wonderful things will begin to happen: Customer satisfaction will improve. Profits will increase. Growth will astound you. Go for it!
For help shaping your customer service culture so you can deliver a better customer experience, take a look out our customer service training programs.