Sunday, December 03, 2006

Banking on Knowledge

I had a conversation with Pietie Mackenzie of First National Bank Contact Centres in Johannesburg, South Africa, this summer about a project that earned her (and the bank, of course) an IABC Gold Quill award in 2006.

The project began when the new CEO took over in August and had "an idea." If you've been in our business for any length of time, you know that "an idea" can sometimes be an opportunity, or just the opposite. In Pietie's case, it was an opportunity that turned into a fantastic launch event and generated long-term positive results in staff retention and customer service.

The idea was for First National Bank to work with a local university to set up an education program for contact centre staff members that would enhance their financial services knowledge and ultimately achieve two results: improve knowledge among contact centre staff about banking issues as a means of enhancing customer service; and opening up a new range of career opportunities in the financial services industry to contact centre staff.

To introduce the program, Pietie elected to use industrial theatre. A script was written and actors were hired to illustrate that there are opportunities beyond the walls nearest us, and if you shed light on a better future, there's no reason to be afraid of what you can achieve.

With the fantastic results the program achieved, it certain deserved the accolades it has received.

Listen to Show 4.