A large regional bank seeks to develop a stronger customer orientation and deliver more services through electronic technology instead of human tellers. Three branches have been selected as test sites for a new customer service program. Tellers, whose job was previously defined in operational terms, are now known as customer service representatives (CSRs) and are expected to engage in limited selling of the bank’s growing array of services. This move to a selling role has been resisted by one CSR, Karen Mitchell, who is outstanding at the operational aspects of her job. When she applies for the position of head CSR, management must decide how much emphasis to place on selling versus operational skills, since another candidate is outstanding at selling. STUDY QUESTIONS
1. Identify the steps taken by Menton Bank (MB) to develop a stronger customer orientation in its retail branches. 2. How would you compare and contrast the jobs of CAR and CSR? How important is each to (a) bank operations and (b) customer satisfaction? 3. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of Karen Mitchell and other candidates for head CSR. 4. What action do you recommend for filling the head CSR position? ANALYSIS
1. What steps has Menton Bank taken to develop a customer orientation in its branches?
Students must distinguish between new financial products (not describe specifically in the case) and new or improved delivery systems designed to reach out to customers. Delivery Improvements, Innovations
• Remodeling and renovation of “new look” branches
• Counters redesigned to provide full/express service
• Staffing levels varied to match variations in demand for service by customers • Customer service information desks located near entrance • Touch-screen information terminals installed near entrance, remodeling, and renovation of “new look” branches (“friendly yet professional”) • Introduction of advanced model ATMs with color touch screens, capable of broader array of transactions in multiple languages • Number of ATMs in branches has been tripled
• Access to several ATM networks with numerous convenient locations • Automated 24/7 telephone banking
• Automated telephone banking available 24/7 for some services. • Central customer service office can be reached by phone weekdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., possibility of expansion to 24/7 • Home banking by Internet provides online access to accounts via bank’s Web site, newly redesigned to be the region’s most “user friendly,” testing use of web-enabled services for customers with digital cell phones • Issuing new credit cards with RFID which allows customers to wave cards near special readers rather than insert them in slot, thus saving time and effort Staff Innovations
• New training programs for staff to generate improved product knowledge, selling skills, greater professionalism • New staff job titles signal changes in approach
• New job descriptions signify much increased emphasis on high quality service recognizing customer needs, cross selling, maintaining good customer relations • Use of both “carrot and stick“ approaches to motivate CSRs to engage in consultative selling (i.e. referrals to CARs) • Plans to close smaller branches, however will not be seen as user friendly by all customers Compare and Contrast the Jobs of CAR and CSR.
[A supplementary question: How Have the Jobs Changed?] can be assigned or raised in class. You may wish to ask students to compare and contrast the old and new job descriptions in the Appendix to the case, pp. 574–576. Tellers have always had a marketing role, but it was never explicitly recognized as such. We can examine this in marketing mix terms: Product. Tellers/CSRs are part of the service experience for the customer, but an operational imperative may have made some clerks insensitive to customer needs and concerns. New training programs try to achieve more...