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Capital One Bank - Customer Advocacy Team

How to EnterCompany: Capital One Bank, McLean, VA
Company Description: Capital One at a glance - A leading diversified bank with $296.6 billion in assets, $202.7 billion in loans and $213.9 billion in deposits - Major operations in 15 U.S. cities, Canada, U.K. - More than 50 million customer accounts and 37,000 associates - A FORTUNE 500 Company - #148
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Customer Service Team of the Year - Recovery Situation

Nomination Title: Customer Advocacy Team

Tell the story about what this nominated team achieved since the beginning of July 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:

Capital One Bank’s Customer Advocacy team consists of 82 contact center professionals responsible for bank problem resolution. This team’s origin stems back to Chevy Chase Bank that was acquired by Capital One Bank in 2010, in which this model was noted as an industry best practice and was retained after integration.

Although this group had positive intent of customer issue resolution, it was initially faced with several challenges including:

•Lack of end-to-end accountability
•Incomplete measurement of customer satisfaction drivers
•Fragmented service expectations
•Policies limiting empowerment

These operational obstacles resulted in only 12% of customer issues resolved in 3 days or less.

In the journey to become a top-5 U.S. bank, Capital One executives recognized the significance of Customer Advocacy in eliminating customer issues and creating world class customer experiences in the moments that matter most.

With the vision of turning this department into one of the top issue resolution teams in the industry the bank leadership team turned to Alice Sesay, a fiery leader with a proven track record of operational excellence and passion for customer/associate experience. Shortly after taking the reigns of Customer Advocacy, Alice communicated an improvement plan that was headlined with the mantra, “Passion for Excellence, Service from the Heart”.

From this point, an attitude of unwavering commitment to excellence, a culture of continuous improvement, and accountability for the customer experience has been infectious within the team.

This paradigm shift is manifested in Customer Advocacy’s transformation and move towards next level escalation. Since July 1, 2011 key milestones include:

•Q3 2011 - Revised performance metric standards
•Q3 2011 - Launch of Advocacy Transformation Initiatives
•Q3 2011 - Department Reorganization
•Q4 2011 - Process Improvements resulting in a scalable problem resolution model
•Q1 2012 - Sustained performance results
•Q2 2012 - Expansion to support additional Bank departments
•Q3 2012 - Effort launched to eliminate customer problems

With operations located in Texas and Maryland, Customer Advocacy now supports Branch, Call Center, and Executives with customer complaints and issues. In great contrast to the initial 12% of customer issues resolved in 3 days or less, as of September 2012 Customer Advocacy boasts an incredible 96.36% of customer issues resolved in 2 days or less; many of which resolved at the first customer contact.

In addition to vast improvement of issue resolution turnaround Customer Advocacy has also delivered the following results:

•Sustained performance while taking on an expanded role resulting in an 100% increase of volume
•Case efficiency improved from 1-3 cases/day to 4 cases/hour
•Over $2M increase in dollars saved monthly through customer retention efforts
•Considered a beacon for associate engagement and change management
•Continuously receives positive customer feedback

As the dust settles, focus shifts from recovery and well managed to continuously improving. Performance metrics paint a vivid picture of how much this team has matured and why they are deserving of the Stevie Award for Customer Service Team of the Year – Recovery Situation.


Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated team:

Alice Sesay joined Capital One in February 2011 as the Director of Customer Advocacy. Her organization manages contact center escalations, branch support, executive and regulatory complaints for the bank. At Capital One, she launched a motto of “Passion for Excellence -Service from the Heart” that has resonated with her entire organization. Under her leadership, the customer advocacy organization has been transformed to solve complex customer problems in a manner that minimizes customer effort and increases overall satisfaction.

Alice holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina, and Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maryland.