Mercedes Benz Financial Services USA, which is the provider of financial services and products to Mercedes Benz dealers and retail customers, didn’t want customers for a day or a year. It wanted customers for life. So the institution knew it needed to upgrade its customer feedback program from one that followed a marketing-based approach primarily focused on attracting customers to one more focused on retention and satisfaction.
The company enlisted the expertise of CFI Group, a global leader in generating customer feedback insights through analytics whose access to the methodology behind the American Customer Satisfaction Index would drive a program that captured actionable insights about current MBFS customers’ experiences with the organization and how to put customers first at all key touch points in their experience with the brand.
CFI Group’s solution for MBFS reflected the firm’s belief that it’s critical to understand the customer’s total experience with a brand. As such, the new MBFS customer feedback program would draw from insights across all channels through which customers interacted with the business.
Designing and executing a total experience survey for MBFS customers was CFI Group’s first step. This survey holistically examined the owner experience, as well as generated customer feedback on MBFS competitors. Through this survey, it was possible to measure customer satisfaction across all of a customer’s experiences with organizational touch points including the website, retail locations and call centers.
CFI Group expanded the program to include surveys at the transactional level. This additional research evaluated customer feedback about specific functional touch points to obtain data that could drive process improvements in those areas like MBFS Client Care Center.
This research complemented the MBFS Customer One initiative, which is designed to put the customer first at all touch points in his or her experience with the organization. Data from the program is used to help team members identify and evaluate the customer’s experience in his or her own words.
Rather than waiting once a quarter or year to survey customers for feedback or collect comments, MBFS works with CFI Group to continuously monitor customer feedback. That This also allows MBFS to respond quickly to customer questions or comments, which in turn builds positive brand recognition with customers and can increase loyalty.
The new MBFS customer feedback program drove operational insights and changes for impressive gains. MBFS’ overall Customer Satisfaction Index and loyalty metrics rose six points within a year of the program launch, supporting a connection between customer satisfaction and intention to remain a customer. A sampling of additional ways that MBFS customer insights have driven significant process improvements follows.
- Chat expansion: Surveys revealed that live chat was an important means of interaction to customers, prompting MBFS to apply this tool to other support operation areas.
- Auto pay: The team used transactional insights to better understand why customers sign up for or cancel this service, then used the data to drive website improvements.
- Interactive voice response: MBFS leveraged feedback on this feature to streamline the IVR menu and processes, making it easier for customers to reach live agents when needed.
- Website: MBFS continually makes improvements to its website functionality taking into account customer verbatim feedback.
Customer experience survey results can often be surprising, uncovering important connections that management teams wouldn’t ordinarily hone in on, and MBFS was no exception. For example, survey results revealed that the discussion of payment options with potential customers very early on in the financing application process was a key driver of customer satisfaction not only for that process, but for overall MBFS CSI (News - Alert) scores. These types of findings provide MBFS with direction on where to invest more heavily, or where to limit or cease investments. Through the data collected in the program, the operational areas have additional data points to be considered when projecting the expected payoff as they prioritize changes or enhancements.
Today, MBFS and CFI Group continue to refine and expand their customer insight analyses and recommendations. MBFS executives attend regular project briefings and staff members receive ongoing education in the analytics that underpin CFI Group’s programs. This ongoing interaction ensures team members have the information necessary to fully participate in and contribute to the program’s ongoing success.
Edited by Blaise McNamee