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Kiwibank overhauled its customer service management system in time for COVID-19

The timeline had to be unexpectedly brought forward to enable contact centre staff to service customers.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, little did New Zealand-based Kiwibank realise that it would accelerate the bank's plans to overhaul its customer service management (CSM).

The company started the implementation journey of its new ServiceNow CSM at the start of the year with plans to deliver an initial minimal viable product (MVP) for the middle of the year.

However, Kiwibank enterprise service management employee experience product lead Nathan Hopkins explained the timeline to get its new CSM system up and running was brought forward due to the pandemic.

"We were mid-flight in March of our implementation journey to get CSM live -- and there was a real opportunity for us to actually pause and pivot -- but within four days of knowing that the country was going to go into lockdown, we ensured that [we] stood up ServiceNow earlier in a structured manner to support not only our contact centre, but all of our customers," he said, during ServiceNow Knowledge 2020.

The way Kiwibank went about that, according to Hopkins, was by creating a self-service forum so its contact centres could have structured conversations with customers who required any sort of care or assistance.

Updates were also made to Kiwibank's website to support these customer queries.

"We've created an equivalent form for end-customers to come in and be able to load requests for customer care, given that we have very high call volumes coming into our call centre," Hopkins said. "[We] then integrated that public website down into ServiceNow, creating a single system of action of all interactions and customer care required for customers.

"This was absolutely fantastic because … our back office teams, almost overnight, were working from home, and were a dispersed digital workforce needing some sort of system to be able to help manage that workload and workflow for them." Hopkins added that over the last eight weeks, Kiwibank has been able to service over 15,000 customer interactions through its new CSM systems.

"It's been able to show us real-time data to make data-driven decisions to be able to bring more workforce around the organisation into the back office to be able to assist with the high volumes," he said.

"A great example of that was where some of our branch staff, who weren't able to obviously go into the branch and work face-to-face with customers, were all of a sudden able to utilise their skillsets and having the same base conversations, but being able to record the outcome of those conversations into ServiceNow."

In the back end, the new system also has enabled Kiwibank to process the influx of customers queries quicker while eliminating duplicates, with some tasks now automated and reporting occurring in real-time. "What we've found is that we can save over 2 million productivity minutes with some of our first processes," he said.

The CSM has been also been designed to integrate with the bank's existing digital channels, such as internet banking and mobile, which Hopkins said eliminates the need to create any new interfaces in the front end.

"Ultimately, we're trying to pull the maturity of organisation up," Kiwibank enterprise service management platform owner Kaye MacLean said.

"We're trying to move out of emails, Excel spreadsheets and SharePoint sites, and ultimately improve that working experience, that employee experience, that traceability, and that audit-ability.

"We're a highly regulated industry, and so regardless of whether it's fixing incident or it's actually tracing some work … we really need to have that traceability."




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