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John Hancock Financial Services - Contact Center of the Year

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Company: John Hancock Financial Services, Boston, MA
Company Description: John Hancock's core retail products in the U.S. focus on providing financial solutions at every stage of our clients' lives. Our product suite includes life insurance, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, and annuities. We distribute our products primarily through licensed financial advisors, and through John Hancock Financial Network, a national network of independent
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Team Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Contact Center of the Year (Up to 100 Seats) - Financial Services Industries

Nomination Title: Measuring Superior Customer Service

Tell the story about what this nominated contact center achieved 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: REDACTED FOR PUBLICATION

Background

In 2016, John Hancock selected its Rollover Education Center to represent the company’s U.S. division in testing a customer experience (CX) initiative developed to measure the quality of customer interactions. The initiative, piloted in early 2016, was the result of a John Hancock senior leadership push to measure customer interactions in order to help us stand out competitively and keep our services consistent with our Participants First philosophy.

Details

John Hancock’s Rollover Education Center (REC) consistently received outstanding customer feedback – albeit on an ad-hoc basis – so it welcomed the opportunity to be part of a formalized measurement campaign that could both validate and quantify their experiences. The REC is a participant-facing, transaction-based call center established to help participants with their most critical retirement plan decisions as they leave their employer.

The program represented a coordinated way for the company to listen to, collect and act on customer response to our service. By capturing feedback after key interactions, we would be able to measure two key indicators of success in real time:

•How satisfied customers are with the services we provide (measured by Customer Satisfaction or CSAT score)
•How likely customers are to recommend our products and services to friends and family (measured by Net Promoter or NPS score)

CSAT, on a scale of 0% to 100%, measures customers’ satisfaction with the service we provide. NPS, an index ranging from -100 to 100, measures customers’ willingness to recommend our products or services and can help measure customer loyalty to our brand. The scores are complimentary as CSAT measures short-term happiness while NPS focuses on longer term customer loyalty. By adopting a scale used by industries and organizations globally, as well as capturing open-ended feedback, our goal was to see where we stood vs. others, build on strengths and quickly identify areas that required attention.

Among the three P’s we can control – our products, process and people – it is our people who are our “X-factor” and make the biggest difference within the customer experience. We start with hiring the right candidates – individuals who genuinely want to help someone. We then overlay ongoing training to ensure we have knowledgeable, enthusiastic representatives. Having a program to measure customer satisfaction also provides a concrete way to help reward star people and uncover potential areas for training.

With this in mind, a series of four surveys was developed and sent out via email at key points during the customer process:

1-Initial survey to participants who call to express interest in rolling over to a John Hancock IRA (attached)
2-Follow-up survey after the account is funded to customers who decide to roll over (attached)
3-Check-in survey to customers who keep their rollover with John Hancock after 6 months
4-Alternate survey to customers who redeem their rollover at John Hancock within 6 months

Results

Overall, our survey response rate of 20% put us above benchmarks for external surveys, which generally average in the 10-15% range.

When measured against benchmarks, our scores far exceeded even our own expectations. In fact, our scores have consistently topped some of the most recognized retail names known for customer service (attached). The REC has recorded exceptional Customer Satisfaction and Net Promoter Scores of 97%+ and 80+, respectively for the entire year.

In a sampling of comments (attached), one participant compared us to a customer-service leader, Zappos. To date, we have received minimal negative feedback but did recognize a cluster of comments pointing to a desire for more contact during the process, especially if a rollover was held up in processing by the plan administrator. We quickly put an email program in place to reach out to anyone whose rollover had not been completed within 10 days.

Because the CX measurement program was a success on many fronts, it became a permanent part of the REC process and was rolled out to other call centers within John Hancock.