Customer Experience and Employ

Customer Experience and Employee Engagement at the Bank of Montreal

One of the latest trends in those companies that serve large customer bases (which are not just retail operations, but in this example include banks as well) is to focus on what the customer experiences when they interact with the business. Are the fully satisfied? Are all of their needs met? All these go to building a relationship with the customers.
As Kelly Harper, Director of Customer Experience Learning at BMO Bank of Montreal explains, “We believe engaged employees will deliver great customer experiences, great customer experiences draw loyalty, loyalty is important to us because we know that loyal customers buy more, stay longer, refer family and friends—and that drives growth.”
This is no easy task for BMO, which employs about 50 000 people. The company began with a two-stage process: asking employees what experience they believed they delivered to the customer, then asking customers what was their experience, and how was it important to them. BMO focused on several aspects:
• All of the company’s employees were part of the “customer experience journey,” not just those who interacted with customers on a daily basis. For those working far away from the ultimate customer, the company had employees write down how many steps were between them and the customer, in order to show that they were closer to the consumer than they might have believed. According to Harper, “When you think

• Measurement of the process is key, as is making sure that the right things are measured. For example, call centres are frequently measured by how many calls can be handled in a certain time-frame. This may not be the right way to measure the experience that the customer is receiving. of the customer experience, it’s everything within the organization, not just the service side.”

• These changes are more than just simple slogans. They involve reengineering the company and thus require broad support, including buy-in from senior management.

• HR plays a key role in this process. Building a customer-experience-driven company begins with hiring the right people, orienting them and educating them to the process, and rewarding them throughout.

None of this can happen overnight. It will be interesting to track how the program rolls out, as well as its impact on the bank and its revenues and earnings.


1. Can focusing on the customer’s experience become a competitive difference for BMO?

2. What types of companies would benefit the most from becoming customer-experience driven?

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