Bank Of America
They started with 20 banks in Atlanta, Georgia. It would be like a reality TV show. They will try different innovative task inside each bank while maintaining a real life banking atmosphere. Some of the ideas they put into action at the banks were placing TV monitors above the tellers to relieve stress while waiting. The monitors would be showing the stock market ticker tape and it also would be running the local news media. They also developed working stations, which included internet service where a customer could view their account and make changes or just surf the internet. They developed a financial planning department to compete with Merrill Lynch and other major finance companies. However important it is to increase the role of technology in a service industry, it is also important to develop a personal relationship with your customers (Durkin & OТDonnell, 2005). Realizing that some of the new programs could be overwhelming for some customers, they implemented a program where a host would interview and lead the customer to the proper work station.
I anticipated a big success story from the target banks and I was correct. The customer satisfaction level increased dramatically. The wait time for customer service dropped from 32% to 15%. In terms of revenue the experimental banks did about 10% better than the traditional branch bank. A loan solution program brought in an extra $700,000 in the first quarter. Annual teller turnover dropped from 50% to 28%. I was impressed it looked like the ID department was doing a good job. They were creating the ground work for future innovation experimentsТ.
I have read the positive side of the article and now I am curious about the expense the company incurred. I was wondering if the benefit outweighed the cost. I could feel the tension between senior management in the ID staff. The senior management team at first thought they were just doing a onetime experiment. After finding out the disillusion, they wanted the budget cost to be tied to the ID banking centers. The budget was not the only concern. The ID department was afraid that too many experiments would make it difficult to see the individual impact of an experiment. I knew they would have issues about how to figure out the amount of success on the experiments. I wondered about the accuracy of the customer satisfaction survey. I speculated if it was in accurate because of something new or because of the overall moral of the associates. The hype of the atmosphere during the experiment could cause the Hawthorne effect. Adair (1984) defined the Hawthorne effect as the problem with experiments in work environment. The associateТs knowledge of the experiment can influence their behavior (as cited in Diaper, 1990).Another critical issue, I recognized, was the process of accepting or rejecting experiments. I marveled over the decision of the assumption of customer impact.
After reading the article, I felt I had an insight into the positive and negative effects on implementing an ID department. I realize the potential of the cost out weighing immediate benefits. The article gave me some helpful ideas on how to create a better customer service department. We can make a small investment on purchasing televisions and hiring a host to help increase customer satisfaction. With better planning, in the knowledge of problems BOA had, I believe we will be able to defer from potential problems.