Steps Mention Bank Asia has Taken to Develop a Customer Orientation
- Remodeling and renovation of branches (“friendly yet professional”)
- Teller stations redesigned to provide full/express service
- Touch-screen information terminals installed near entrance
- Introduction of advanced model ATMs with color screens
- Increased number of ATMs in branches
- Access to regional ATM system with numerous convenient locations
- Some banking services available by telephone (with 24-hour service in planning)
- Research taking place into home banking by Internet
- New training programs for staff to generate improved product knowledge, selling skills,
- greater professionalism
- New job descriptions
- signify much increased emphasis on high quality service recognizing customer needs,
- cross selling, maintaining good customer relations
Evaluate Marketing Role Played by Tellers/CSRs pre/post Introduction of the New Program.
Product Tellers/CSRs are part of the service experience for the customer, but an operational imperative may have made some tellers insensitive to customer needs and concerns. New training programs try to achieve more professional appearance/behavior; meantime, the new job title may raise service expectations.
Distribution: Customers who use CSRs are more likely to
(a) prefer human interactions to machines or
(b) require a more complex service that they perceive the ATM as unable to deliver reliably
Communication: CSRs are more knowledgeable about bank services and so better able to offer information and advice; they have also been trained to take the initiative in recognizing sales opportunities and to undertake consultative (referral) selling.
What are the Requirements of the Head CSR Job?
Specifications for this job are outlined in Exhibit. Note that in addition to extra responsibilities the Head CSR also operates a regular teller window, as needed.
Nature of the Job: A coordinating position rather than a managerial one. Key elements of what the job entails are:
— Allocation of work assignments
— Scheduling of part-time CSRs
Management of CSRs (and CARs) is in the hands of the Customer Service Director, Chan Chee Weng.
No Extra Marketing Responsibilities attached to the head CSR position (beyond those that the CSR would perform when operating a regular teller window). CSR still needs to be able to show convincingly how to sell.
How Well Do Cecilia Cheung and the Other Two Candidates Meet the Job Requirements for Head CSR?
— Has been with bank 5 1/2 years since graduating with a diploma
He does not follow new marketing strategies of the Bank and resist bank policies occasionally.
— Ranked ahead of Cecilia (2nd on overall scores) Three years experience at branch
— Well organized in her work
— Older (more mature?), motivated by desire to save for sons’ college education
— Past evaluations (operationally based) not as good as Cecilia’s; not as fast — too chatty,
— Somewhat untidy (less professional appearance)
— Room for improvement on accuracy
— Seeking more responsibility
— Move to complete degree suggests ambition
— Appears personable and intelligent
— Experienced in CAR work
— Tuen Mun is an example of the type of branch the bank probably wants to close
— Doesn’t know current CSRs at Queen’s Road Central
— Will appointment of “outsider” cause resentment among CS?
What Action Should Management Take at the Queen’s Road Central Branch?
(a) Appoint Cecilia Chunga’s Head CSR.
Perhaps should consider Shirley for CAR position if available.
(b) Appoint Shirley Chow as Head CSR.
If Cecilia is really upset about the decision, offer to help her get head CSR job at ‘traditional” branch.
(c) Appoint Danny Law as Head CSR (at Queen’s Road Central branch), but first put him through a training program similar to those experienced by CSRs in the test branches. Transfer Cecilia to the head CSR position at the small Tuen Mun branch. Take no action on Shirley or consider offer of CAR position if one opens.
(d) Recommend to head office that the bank should abolish the Head CSR position
Appoint both Cecilia and Shirley to this position, plus perhaps one other existing CSR at Queen’s Road Central Branch (Tsui San Wong would be good if she would accept the promotion).
This is a straightforward case to teach. One approach is simply to go through the study questions one by one. An alternative is to begin by asking participants to vote on which candidate should get the Head CSR job and then to discuss the rationale behind these choices. Before addressing the broader issues posed by the case.
I suggest the first approach for an instructor new to the case.
When discussing this case with participants who come from a banking background, I have found that branch managers and head office operations staff have a strong preference for Cecilia—reflecting the fact that the head CSR position is strongly oriented towards operations and CSR supervision. However, marketing and human resource managers may tend to fault Cecilia for “defying” new management policies.
The suggestion to find Cecilia a CSR position at another branch is sometimes raised as a solution for what to do with a basically loyal and efficient employee. But this approach can only be a short-term solution; what happens when Cecilia’s new branch either introduces a sales approach for CSRs or is shut down?
A few banks are now moving to discontinue the head CSR position, assigning some of its responsibilities to experienced CSRs on a rotating basis and some to the Customer Service Director. so, this approach could be raised by a student with banking experience.
It may be useful to get insights in class from students who have worked as tellers (or in other banking positions). Getting them to describe the nature of the teller/CSR’s job can be helpful to other participants. It’s also interesting to ask what types of people take jobs as customer contact personnel in banking or other service industries.
Will different types of people be attracted to a CSR job versus a CAR job? If any students have worked in both customer contact and sales jobs, they may be able to provide the class with useful insights concerning the differences in orientation and execution.
One-point worth exploring, if time permits, is the impact of both carrot and stick motivators on employee performance. A review of the study shows that all the CSRs except Cecilia and Sharon have improved their selling effectiveness performance at the expense of their operational scores (with Tse Leung being the most notable example). Is this what management really wants?
Slower, less accurate service could drive up costs and lower perceptions of service quality among customers. Some employees, notably Tse Leung, appear to have been motivated to cheat to achieve better scores (and sometimes a cash bonus).
Finally, the instructor may wish to take a few minutes at the end of the class period to lecture about the impact of new electronic delivery systems and telephone banking on traditional retail branches.
Over time, the combination of bank mergers and new electronic channels of distribution will lead to widespread closures of traditional retail branches and the number of traditional teller jobs which are forecasted to decrease in coming decades.
- Generate a discussion of opportunities for customer service personnel whose job has previously
- focused on operational tasks, to engage in marketing activities.
- Distinguish between proactive and reactive selling.
- Focus discussion on the challenges of implementing strategic plans, illustrating the difficulties
- inherent in redefining job responsibilities
- Illustrate the ways in which electronic technology is changing the world of retail banking
As top management strategists attempt to develop a stronger marketing posture for the organization, they find that implementation of such a strategy often requires making significant changes among service providers and customers.
- A further problem is that there may be an element of luck to referrals, since such opportunities constitute only a small proportion of all transactions handled by a CSR.
- Employees who are good at operations tasks may lack the personal skills needed for dealing with customers and they may resist the addition of selling activities to their job definitions.