Ally Bank - Best Use of Technology in Customer Service



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Company: Ally Bank
Company Description: Ally Bank is a direct bank in the U.S. that offers a straightforward approach to banking with no minimum deposit required to open an account, no monthly maintenance fees and 24/7 live customer service. A subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc., the Bank offers online savings, interest checking, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, home mortgages and IRA Plans and products. Member FDIC.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Use of Technology in Customer Service

Nomination Title: Ally Bank Virtual Docs

Tell the story about how technology has improved your customer service initiatives since the beginning of July 2015 (up to 650 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:

As a digital financial services organization, customers expect their experience with Ally to be digitally oriented and easy to use. The bank, however, also needs to balance that with requirements to Know Your Customer and ensure the legitimacy of the information we are provided by customers. From an operational perspective, the ability to accomplish these goals through the use of virtual documents not only provides an opportunity to improve the customer experience, it also offers operational efficiencies for Ally.

Ally’s Virtual Documents program suite was created to “kill the fax” and migrate customers from legacy paper and phone channels or processes to digital. Prior to Virtual Docs, several of Ally Bank’s complex customer servicing and sales events relied on paper and phone. Today, with the virtual docs program fully in production, customers can do the following:

1. Provide supporting identity information for general account opening (such as driver’s license). As an online bank, we rely on information available from data sources to verify prospective customers identify. In some cases, data alone is not sufficient to positively identify a consumer; in those cases, we used to require customers to fax things like utility bills and driver’s license. Now, within the online account opening process, customers can upload their documentation in line. This leads to higher satisfaction, higher account opening rates and more profitability for the bank.

2. Complete electronic funds transfer disputes and other transactional disputes (such as debit card disputes) online¹ including uploading required documents such as receipts. Without the virtual docs program, customers who needed to dispute a transaction were required to call us, and then complete a series of back and forth calls and faxes to Ally. This resulted in a frustrating and complex process for customers and our internal associates. By enabling disputes online, customers can contextually and in line of viewing their account transactions, initiate a dispute, saving the customer time and simplifying the process.

3. There are still forms that customers wish to use, or need to use. Virtual docs redesigned the layout of the forms “library”² – and in doing so achieved two goals: a. Made it easy and intuitive to upload those documents back to Ally Bank – again avoiding the fax. b. Clearly highlighted to customers which functions they could do “online” instead of in a PDF.

Virtual Docs is a great example of how improving the simplicity of your customers’ experiences through technology can add tangible value to the company. In addition to drastically improving the customer experience, operational efficiencies were achieved. The results have been impactful to our business: We’ve generated an incremental $200 MM in deposits through this ability to validate our customers’ identity information electronically. We have migrated 30% of customers from the paper channel with disputes, which has avoided over $200,000 in cost.

With the launch of Virtual Docs this year, Customer Satisfaction for the website improved from 6 months prior by 350 basis points. Within five months of launch, 30% of all disputes filed migrated to the online channels with virtual docs, which is 20% over forecast for adoption. By driving customers online, we’ve reduced the expense of handling these calls by over $200K.

Redesigning the forms library and adding “Complete online” has encouraged use of existing functionalities instead of a form. In five months, we’ve been able to encourage three times the users who intended to use a paper form to instead complete a fully automated transaction for Wires and Opening Accounts, and two times as many for all other forms.

*Footnotes: 1, 2 align to attached graphics