Customer Service sees big improvements
Published June 24, 2013
GM Financial's Customer Service department has always been focused on providing the best customer experience for all of its consumers. As the company continues to grow, it is focused on providing a first class customer service experience for all customers of GM Financial and AmeriCredit products.
In March 2012, GM Financial's Customer Service department had a 35 percent abandonment rate and only 7 percent of customer calls were answered within 20 seconds, which was a far reach from the group's 80 percent goal. However, those numbers saw quite an improvement after only one year, and in April 2013, the abandonment rate dropped a whopping 33 percent, to 2 percent. That's right – only 2 percent of customers that called in to GM Financial hung up before a customer service representative answered their call. Plus, 85 percent of calls were answered within 20 seconds. Customer Service is now exceeding expectations, but how did such a huge improvement happen in such a short time?
"We made quite a few changes in Customer Service, and all of those little changes added up to a big improvement," said Alicia Gadley, senior vice president of Customer Service. "With some staffing changes, improved processes and better training, we made huge strides."
Gadley's team initially focused on addressing their staffing needs. The department needed to increase staff in order to keep up with GM Financial's growing customer base. "Not only did we need to hire more team members, but we noticed that there are certain times of the day when we needed more people to be here – answering phones and addressing the needs of our customers. We got creative with staffing and maximized our efficiency," continued Gadley.
The team also evaluated Customer Service's processes. They found that by implementing an internal instant messaging (IM) feature, representatives were able to manage customer inquiries faster with online assistance from team leaders via the IM function. The company also began investing more time in training new hires. Previously, a Customer Service team member went through two weeks of training; now, a new hire gets four weeks. Although that's quite an investment of time, the reward is worth it. Team members now get more one-on-one training with experienced representatives, which has led to new hires having more experience once they are on their own.
"The extra focus on longer training has made a world of difference, and the new team members are much more confident in their ability to help our customers," continued Gadley. "I'm thrilled that these changes have led to improved metrics, because ultimately, it means our customers are getting better service and that's what we want to see."
Customer Service has also launched a Credit Center servicing initiative, which gives some centers the opportunity to aid in resolving customer concerns in regards to title issues and loan payoff discrepancies. The broad focus for our Credit Center employees is to eliminate servicing gaps and provide excellent service for not only dealers, but consumers specific to that dealer ensuring customer resolution as a priority. This pilot program was launched in early June, and is expected to be rolled out nationally later this year.
Dealerships working with AmeriCredit and GM Financial can be confident knowing that their customers will receive top-quality customer service from the company's world-class Customer Service department.