Case Studies

Global Bank Uses Empathy to Boost Customer Care in Collections

How Empathetic Techniques Helped a Top-10 Global Bank Improve Customer Care in Collections when Financial Hardships Surface

A top-ten global bank sought a different approach to support struggling customers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Those in the gravest of financial situations needed support at the human level. Recognizing the unprecedented circumstances brought on by the pandemic, the bank needed a better way to manage difficult emotions during customer calls and provide appropriate solutions.

Bridgeforce made it possible for the client to meet an extremely aggressive deadline of six weeks to recruit, hire, train and deploy a new customer care team. Through our empathy-focused training of the team, the bank achieved a significant increase in customer satisfaction, reaching 88% (from 72%) and 80% of those customers who were placed on programs continue to make payments.

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The Client Had to Onboard a New Team Under Aggressive Deadlines

The bank partnered with Bridgeforce for a 6-week engagement to establish an empathetic collections team and implement new customer treatments with the following activities:

  • Designed and delivered 9 new job responsibilities and success profiles along with an 18-page hiring guide
  • Recruited for the positions, including sifting through more than 70 candidates with interviews and debriefs
  • Onboarded 28 specialists and managers (on target, despite hiring challenges faced)
  • Designed an end-to-end operating model with >20 policies, process maps and Day 1 Procedures
  • Created and implemented a comprehensive performance management framework and quality controls
  • Design, built, and executed training (agenda, 52 modules, training aids, participant workbooks, assessments, surveys and facilitator guides)
“Our ability to navigate governance helped because we've been on the client side and we understand how to work with stakeholders to get them on board and make sure change can be affected in the right way and with the right backing.”— Lynne Cox, Senior Program Manager

Attrition Rates Remained Under 5% Thanks to Careful Recruiting Practices

For many organizations, recruiting during a global pandemic has been an uphill battle. Because the client needed to hire an entire team, Bridgeforce provided careful consideration to the recruiting process. The client ultimately avoided high decline and attrition rates with three key elements:

  1. Ensuring job advertisements were attractive
  2. Clearly stating what type of employee the client was looking for
  3. Having a strong onboarding process

The result? An attrition rate of less than 5%.

The Completed Team Had the Confidence to Handle Complex Situations

At the end of the engagement, the client had their new customer care team in place.  Helping customers to this extent was something the client could be proud of and present to the industry as a refreshed standard in consumer collections. The team was highly engaged and well equipped to handle complex situations. In fact, the training suite we delivered had received a score of  9.8/10 — leaving the client’s team confident in their role.

“I've worked with a lot of consultants and by far you have been the best.”— Client

Bridgeforce Training will Ensure Satisfied Customers for Years to Come

While the initial training was complete and the team was primed to start taking phone calls, Bridgeforce ensured that the client could continue to deliver at superior levels for years to come. To do so, we provided the client with:

  • A full suite of training that other groups in the organization could leverage
  • Process and procedural documents
  • Bespoke KPIs and performance/reward structures

Most importantly, customers noticed the difference immediately.  During listening sessions, multiple customers had “tears of delight” with how well they’ve been treated and the solutions put into place to help them.

Customer satisfaction improved from 72% to 88%. Amazing results continued when rolling out the training and program to the entire collections division, after taking 70k calls, and helping thousands of customers get on payment programs. Plus ~80% of customers continued to make payments who were placed on programs.

The client believes the program will pay for itself within a year.

“The work that we did has helped hundreds of customers in a material way...Overall the effort to stand this up has been the most meaningful work of my career and I feel fortunate that you were there to help move it forward.”— Top 10 Bank's reaction at the end of the customer care engagement

Watch Lynne recount the project in the 10-minute video below.


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