American Eagle Federal Credit Union Chooses i-Sight to Improve its Ability to Capture and Manage Member Feedback & Complaints

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Ottawa, Canada – January 27, 2006 – Customer Expressions announced today that American Eagle Federal Credit Union has joined the growing ranks of companies that use i-Sight Service and Complaints Software to improve their handling of customer feedback. Terri Donahoe, Vice President of Quality and Employee Development at AEFCU, said that the credit union decided to implement i-Sight Service and Complaints Software after concluding that the existing process for handling member feedback was allowing too many member complaints and suggestions to fall between the cracks.

Customer Expressions announced today that American Eagle Federal Credit Union has joined the growing ranks of companies that use i-Sight Service and Complaints Software to improve their handling of customer feedback.

American Eagle (AEFCU) is the largest federal credit union in Connecticut, with more than 110,000 members and $800 million dollars in assets. Headquartered in Hartford, CT, it services most subsidiaries of United Technologies Corporation – the largest of which is Pratt & Whitney Aircraft – as well as 375 other sponsor employer groups, including WTIC-TV, BKM Office Furniture, and more.

Based in Ottawa, Canada, Customer Expressions is the leader in customizable, web-based solutions for business processes that require case management. Its core product, the i-Sight family of case management solutions, is widely used by leading financial institutions, manufacturers, industry regulators and investigative agencies to record and manage complaints, track cases, and improve customer satisfaction.

Terri Donahoe, Vice President of Quality and Employee Development at AEFCU, said that the credit union decided to implement i-Sight Service and Complaints Software after concluding that the existing process for handling member feedback was allowing too many member complaints and suggestions to fall between the cracks.

“At American Eagle, we are committed to providing our members with the best selection of products and services that will help them meet their financial goals,” Donahoe said. “The i-Sight system provides us with a reliable and systematic way of capturing feedback and learning from our mistakes. We now have a better and much more well-rounded view of member satisfaction from all standpoints.”

The challenge:

Prior to selecting i-Sight, AEFCU relied on a paper-based system to collect customer feedback. A credit union member who wished to report a problem or a concern would typically speak by phone or in person with an employee at one of the credit union’s 17 branches. The employee would then be expected to fill out a form with the member’s name, contact information, the type of service about which the member was complaining, and a summary of the branch’s response, if any. That information would then be sent to head office.                            

In practice, however, the system contained several major flaws. Often, the completed form did not provide senior managers with sufficient detail about the complaint to enable them to take preventive or corrective action. In addition, branch representatives frequently failed to record the member’s full name and contact information. Worse still, it became obvious that many employees were not sending in the completed forms, perhaps fearing that to do so would reflect negatively on their own performance or that of their branch.

“The system we had in place was not an effective measure of member satisfaction or dissatisfaction, in part because there was too much filtering going on at the branch and the departmental level,” Donahoe says. “For example, if the number of complaints involving a particular branch or service went down, we had no way of knowing whether things had improved or whether the staff had just stopped filling in the forms.”

The solution:

The first step toward improving AEFCU’s complaint handling capabilities, Donahoe realized, would be to find a way of collecting member feedback that did not rely on the branches as the primary capture point. The obvious answer was to design an online capture form that would enable members to submit complaints via the credit union’s existing website. But Donahoe was determined to go even further: she also wanted to enhance AEFCU’s ability on an ongoing basis to manage, respond to and learn from member feedback.

After considering several alternative complaint handling products, AEFCU chose i-Sight Service and Complaints Software from Customer Expressions, the leader in customizable, web-based solutions for business processes that require case management. According to Donahoe, several major factors tilted the decision in i-Sight’s favor. For one thing, she and her colleagues were impressed by i-Sight’s friendly and inviting user interface. Unlike a traditional web form with a long list of questions and fields to be filled in, i-Sight “walks” the user step-by-step through the process, as simply and as efficiently as possible. As a result, customers perceive the process as being faster and easier than filling out a paper form – and are therefore far more likely to complete the form and to provide managers with useful and actionable information.

Another reason for choosing i-Sight, Donahoe says, was the ease with which the software could be adapted to fit AEFCU’s specific needs and business processes. For example, each new complaint is now automatically referred to a designated “product owner” who is responsible for that particular product or service. If that individual does not respond within a specified timeframe, the case is then automatically escalated to a more senior manager; simultaneously, the system sends an advisory to Donahoe and her staff. “If a case goes beyond its timeframe and is escalated, we are kept aware of what is happening. And if that person is out or unavailable, we can either deal with it ourselves or reassign it to another person.”

Adds Donahoe: “The team at Customer Expressions was very good about designing the system to meet our needs. Of course, after we rolled it out and had a chance to play with it, there were a few things that we decided needed tweaking. At first we gave members the option of telling us whether they wanted to be contacted, but after some experience we decided to make that a required field. The important thing, from our perspective, was the service we received from Customer Expressions was very responsive.”

Now that the system is in place, Donahoe is convinced that AEFCU made the right decision. Not only has i-Sight improved the credit union’s ability to capture and respond to specific complaints and concerns, it is providing senior managers with much greater insight into the underlying factors that drive member satisfaction.

“Up until now, our primary measure of member satisfaction was a score from an annual survey,” she says. “Now we can analyze complaint resolution times, compare different branches and examine our performance based on various indicators.”

Under the old system, Donahoe says, there was a tendency for staff to view a member’s complaint as something negative as opposed to a service priority. With i-Sight, however, that no longer happens. Instead, the system maintains an electronic record of every piece of feedback and ensures that each complaint is properly reviewed and addressed. Complaints have become a valuable source of business intelligence and an opportunity to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

“What we are trying to do is to create an open environment in which our members feel comfortable voicing their complaints, and people at the branch and departmental level take greater responsibility for resolving complaints,” Donahoe says. “It’s a big change from a cultural point of view, but with i-Sight we feel strongly that we can get there.”

About Customer Expressions

Based in Ottawa, Canada, Customer Expressions (http://www.customerexpressions.com) is a leading provider of web-based case management solutions for regulators and enterprises focused on quality assurance and customer service. Customer Expressions has gained an international reputation for best-in-class software that enables managers to improve customer retention and profitability. The privately held firm provides i-Sight, an integrated solution for complaint handling, corrective and preventive action management (CAPA Management), compliance monitoring and other business processes that require case management.

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Joe Gerard