Strategy and basic functionality

After reading the following case, recommend a brand new “specialized” contact centre to handle special scenarios / customers like Carla. Present your recommendations in a report including the following sections / content:

1. Executive summary
One page summary of the business case, recommended solution, your reasoning and expected benefits.
2. Background
Description of your target company, any relevant information such as company’s vision and customer strategy with regard to the case in hand.
3. Needs Analysis
Identification of gaps (between desired performance and observed experience) and root causes of less than optimal performance by the company at the current state of operations.
4. Recommendations
Using information from the case and your desired performance, recommend a new specialized contact centre dealing with special scenarios like this.

Your recommendations must include the following (explain your reasoning for each item):

a. Goal and strategy (for the new center);
b. Functionality (what does this centre do? For whom?) Explain the benefit of the new centre over the existing setup;
c. Required technology (functionality);
d. Three (3) Core Processes (Best practice) critical to success of your recommended center.
5. Conclusions
One page summary of the case and your reasoning for what you have recommended.
• Please use clear and concise language.
• Always include page number.
• Use MS Word and save your file as ‘Firstname_Lastname(1).doc’.

Contact Centre Business Case: Bank of Ontario

Carla is an exchange student from Mexico living in Toronto. She had worked part time for many years and saved enough money to cover her expenses for the entire 3 years in Canada while attending school. The problem, however, was that she could not transfer all the money to Canada in one lump sum and therefore needed someone in Mexico to send her the money in instalments.

The bank manager at the local branch of “Mexico Bank of Ontario” suggested a different approach! As the bank was a division of Bank of Ontario – International (a Canadian bank with head office in Toronto), Carla could open a new saving account in Canadian Dollars, get an appropriate bank card and then she could simply access her money from any bank machine in Canada (free of charge as long as she used Bank of Ontario banking machines). To make her life even easier – and the fact that she was a good customer – the bank manager issued her a MasterCard ($3,000 limit) and connected her Canadian Dollar saving account to her new credit card. This way she could either obtain cash or use her credit card to pay for various items. To pay her credit card bills, she simply had to transfer money from her saving account to the credit account.

She had arrived with $500 in cash so she could pay for various small items and for larger items, she just used her credit card. All was good until the first time she needed to withdraw some money out of her account. The bank machine simply indicated that the account was not recognized. After trying a few times, she visited a branch to explain her situation and to find out what was the problem. The branch Assistant Manager, Leila, carefully listened to Carla’s story and sympathized with her situation. Unfortunately this was not an issue that could be handled at the branch and perhaps she should contact the Bank of Ontario’s Customer Service at 1-855-ONTARIO (1-855-668-2746).

Later in the day Carla, contacted Bank of Ontario customer service centre and was greeted by an IVR application asking her to select from the following options:

1. Personal Accounts
2. Business Accounts
3. New Customers
4. Lost or Stolen Cards
5. Locations and Hours of Operations

Carla pressed “1” for Personal Accounts. Next, system prompted her to enter her account and/or credit card number. But when Carla entered the number, the system did not recognize the number and simply asked Carla to check the number (for accuracy) and enter it again.

After the third try and becoming a bit annoyed, Carla decided to press “0” hoping to get to a live agent. After 2 minutes, an agent introduced herself and asked for account and/or credit card number. Carla explained her situation and provided the account number. “Oh, Yes! We run into this situation quite often. There are 95 of us working here and we each get a call like yours once a day and I am sure there are 10 times more cases like yours in the US! The problem is that you have an international account and we don’t have access to those accounts. You need to contact the International Customer Care located in Miami. I am going to put you into their contact centre so you don’t have to wait for too long”. And so the agent put Carla on hold and transferred her to the International Customer Care.

The IVR menu for the International Customer Care was similar to the one for the Canadian centre except this time the system recognized Carla’s account number. The next step in the IVR offered the following:

1. Report Lost or Stolen Card
2. Report Errors or Omissions
3. Increase Credit Limits
4. On-line Banking Assistance
5. International Transfer

Carla listened carefully but since none of the options was related to her issue she decided to again try “0” to get to live agent. 9 minutes passes by before an agent answers the call (in between music and typical “hold” message, there were messages about benefits of using international saving/chequing account for travellers being away from home for a long periods of time).

The “Banking Specialist”, as Franco introduced himself, apologized to Carla for the long wait, emphasizing that this was a very busy and unusual day and the fact that their average wait time was about 45 Seconds. Franco was very knowledgeable about this type of the problem and explained to Carla that the problem was that her card was issued by a Mexican bank (obviously Carla knew this) and can only be used as a credit card! She can continue using her credit card but in order for her to be able to access her bank account, she needed to have a North American account (either US or Canadian). With that he could link her Mexican account to her new North American card. This way, she would have full access to her account in Mexico.
Franco suggested Carla to go back to the branch in Toronto, open an account (in order to get a card) and call him back so he can initiate the required procedure. He even gave her a direct number (although long distance) for her to call back (Franco was confident that the next conversation would be less than 3 minutes). After that he would complete and send an internal memo to the branch in Mexico to verify the information and as soon as the reply was back he would finalize the set up. He assured her that the entire procedure would not take more than 7 business days!!

Next morning Carla went back to the branch and requested to see Leila again. After a short wait, Leila invited Carla to her office where Carla played back her conversation with Franco and asked for a Canadian Saving Account and the associated bank card. Leila was more than happy to help and started the process and fortunately Carla had all the required information / documents with her. After opening the account, Leila offered to call Franco, while Carla was in the office and push for faster action. Both Leila and Franco promised to contact Carla, as soon as the issue was resolved and the funds were available.

Leila also suggested that Carla withdraw $250 from her credit card (to keep her going for the next 10 days) and promised her that the branch will cover any interest being charged to her credit card.

After about 10 days and not hearing back from either Leila or Franco, Carla called Leila to inquire about the progress (not to mention that she was running out of cash!). Leila had not heard back from Franco so she offered to call him while she put Carla on hold. After about 10 minutes, Leila was back on line and happily announced that, on her persistence, Franco made a personal call to the branch in Mexico, verified the information and performed the necessary procedure to connect the accounts. All Carla had to do was to go on-line, and transfer money from her Mexican account to the Canadian account. Leila also provided the general phone number for the International Customer Care and reminded Carla that she can always contact them if she needed any help with on-line banking.

Finally after 11 days of wait, stress and wondering if she can get access to her funds, she managed to transfer money to her Canadian account. Perhaps it was time to celebrate!!