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CX Leadership: A Conversation with Jason Huffman of Atlantic Union Bank

Atlantic Union Bank is a $17B full-service bank based in Richmond, Va. We welcomed Jason Huffman, Senior Vice President and Director of Customer Experience to our virtual stage at Engage21 to talk about what it takes to create a holistic customer experience (CX) program with support across the organization.

Jason has been involved in the CX industry for more than two decades and has had a front-row seat as the discipline really matured.  He also said navigating the last 15 months of the pandemic as “economic first responders” has been the most challenging and rewarding of his professional life.

Any company will say CX is in the mission statement, and a bank of any size will say CX is their most important competitive differentiator. However, Atlantic Union Bank really “walks the walk” and leverages structured and unstructured data across every area of their business.

If you missed the full session, catch up here on how Atlantic Union Bank is transforming its business to integrate the experience of customers and associates into a new concept they call “enterprise experience.”

Measuring the Omnichannel Customer Experience

Atlantic Union Bank is a super user of Verint Experience Management data, measuring CX and collecting feedback across the enterprise. They started years ago in the contact center, and have expanded to most channels including consumer branches, web, and mobile (including both consumer and business authenticated sites). Atlantic Union Bank even conducts a high-level, holistic customer relationship survey on the customer’s birthday where they take the opportunity to ask about the omnichannel customer relationship.

But Jason reports that even with all that data, both the CX and Executive Teams find open ended customer verbatims especially valuable. They just bring customer feedback to life like nothing else can, and with the AI and automation-driven improvements, text analytics has become an invaluable part of the Atlantic Union Bank CX program.

KPIs

Jason reports that Atlantic Union Bank considers CX to be part art, part science – and a true balance of qualitative and quantitative data. However, key performance indicators (KPIs) are important to the bank, and they evaluate customer experience across a five-part journey:

  • Prospecting
  • Onboarding
  • Customer relationship building
  • Service recovery
  • Attrition (when it happens)

They track customer satisfaction (CSAT), Net Promoter Score (NPS*), peer benchmarking, and of course those treasured verbatim comments across every phase of the journey.

What’s Next: Enterprise Experience

The next big project for the Atlantic Union Bank CX Team is a huge shift towards a concept they call “enterprise experience.”

After all, you can’t expect your customers to have an amazing experience if your employees aren’t having an amazing experience. The connection is inseparable.

Jason shared an example. If a bank wanted to improve the fraud dispute process, it might spend weeks or months creating a fancy, slick system that is easier for customers to use but that creates twice the manual work on the back-end for employees.

Jason hopes the shift toward “enterprise experience” will bring a more holistic focus. The team is also exploring the addition of three new groups:

  • CX Governance, a new concept that will work with compliance, legal, information security, and other groups to help map new and existing journeys, and sign off on a project or improvement before it launches. The goal is to make sure the focus of any new project stays on customers and employees.
  • Insights and Actions team members would be embedded directly into the line of business as a liaison between the data and action. So often a line of business might have 1000 other priorities and no bandwidth to address enterprise experience improvements. These roles would provide the data and the story so that insights, which can often be ignored with advocates, actually translate to actions.
  • Lastly, the team is building a yet-to-be-named function in the office of the CEO and President that will handle complaint management, customer insights and social presence, complex escalations, and other executive level experience matters.

The full session and all the other Engage21 sessions are available here.

*Net Promoter, Net Promoter System, Net Promoter Score, NPS and NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks of Bain & Company, Inc., Fred Reicheld and Satmetrics Systems, Inc.

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