Quality and Speed of Service 

Quality Management and Complaint Handling

Achieving a significant improvement in the quality of service we provide is one of the priority objectives in Sberbank’s Development Strategy. As such, we regularly carry out customer satisfaction surveys and studies. For example, in 2010 we conducted a largescale survey in the retail sector of our business, a pilot study on corporate client satisfaction and a poll of customers using our call centre.

Based on the results of these surveys and studies, we develop programmes to improve quality. In 2010, Sberbank developed and implemented a programme to improve the service quality in the retail sector of our business; in 2011, we plan to develop a similar programme aimed at corporate clients. In order to ensure the effectiveness of our quality enhancement programmes, the Bank includes service quality indicators in incentive programmes for various staff categories.

On the basis of customer feedback and suggestions, we developed a set of corporate service quality standards, which were implemented across our whole network in May 2010. Our programme to enhance the quality of customer service includes a number of instruments that are used to track progress at various stages of interaction with customers. These include:

  • Continuous monitoring of the quality of service at service outlets and our call centre using ‘Mystery Shoppers’;
  • Internal inspections on the quality of service at customer service outlets;
  • Testing to gauge the usability and functionality of our remote banking services;
  • The promotion of a wide range of channels for customer feedback.

The Bank maintains a range of feedback channels allowing customers to submit their suggestions and complaints. These include our corporate call centre, the Book of Comments and Suggestions, personal customer consultation hours, customer surveys, our corporate website (http://www.sberbank.ru), and our email and postal addresses. A separate area of activities is the monitoring of customer complaints posted on various regional and federal banking forums and social networks on the Internet. All activities to handle customer complaints across all divisions of the Bank are carried out by the Customer Care Service.

In 2010, in order to improve the quality of customer service, we launched the Ideas Exchange, a publicly available forum on our website (http://www.sberbank.ru/moscow/ru/idea/). Now every customer is able to not only make a suggestion to improve the quality of service, but also to see other customers’ feedback on his or her initiative and to track the progress of the suggestion within Sberbank.

One of our main achievements in 2010 was the launch of the Integrated Distributed Call Centre (IDCC), which is comprised of several sites located in Voronezh, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. The main objective of the centre is to provide 24/7 information, consultation and technical support to Bank customers 365 days of the year. The IDCC also handles customer complaints.

Inauguration of the First Integrated Distributed Call Centre

On December 15, 2010, a local IDCC in Voronezh was officially inaugurated by Herman Gref, Sberbank CEO and Chairman of the Management Board. Since the centre’s launch, the time necessary for a customer to connect to the Bank’s help desk has decreased dramatically — from 40 minutes to 25 seconds. Sberbank has become one of the best Russian companies in terms of this indicator.

The Bank has developed and approved a new standard layout for its Book of Comments and Suggestions, which should be available to customers at every outlet. Unlike the old layout, the new one has a number of structured fields for filing a suggestion or complaint, which helps the Bank optimise further handling of feedback. The Book of Comments and Suggestions is intended to show customers that we value their feedback and are grateful for their contribution to the improvement of service quality.

At every service outlet, the Book should be placed on a special stand, which also displays when customers can be personally received by a member of our team. In this way all information about how to submit complaints or make suggestions is conveniently available in one place. Our regional banks, branches and service outlets should all have designated hours for personal customer consultation at least two days a week and at least three hours a day.

In order to improve the quality of our operations, we are actively expanding our team of account managers. Customer account managers are experienced and highly skilled Bank employees that have a deep knowledge and understanding of the business of the customers assigned to them. An account manager serves as the main contact point for Bank customers: through their managers, customers are able to select banking products most appropriate for their needs. Currently the Bank offers account managers to its corporate clients in all target sectors.

In 2010, the Bank completed the development of the respective organisational structure to serve large customers and mediumsized businesses. We also star ted to develop a team of special account managers for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs. In 2011, we plan to fully deploy and begin to further develop the system of account managers at regional banks.

In order to improve the effectiveness of retail customer service, we are transferring our customers to a new service model, the Universal Banking Service Agreement. The agreement defines a package of integrated banking services, making it easier for customers to use key products and services, thus saving customers’ time and effort. The card associated with the agreement allows customers to access their accounts and services both at the Bank’s service outlets and via remote channels. By the end of 2010, 13.6 million retail customers were transferred to the Universal Contract.

Modernising Our Customer Service Outlets

The re-formatting of our branch network is a key corporate project aimed at improving service quality. The design of new formats for our customer service outlets is one of the most important elements of the Bank’s modernisation process. The new outlets will help introduce a new model for sales and service for various customer segments, while improving the quality and speed of service.

Eight model service outlet formats have been developed, differing in terms of the range of services available. Workstations in the new outlets have extended functionality, allowing a single employee to offer a customer a broad range of the most popular products and services. The spatial arrangement of the new outlets provides for two main areas for retail customer service, a transactions area and a consultation and sales area. There is also an extended self-service area; when necessary, customers are assisted by a consultant who can demonstrate how to use the self-service terminals. Electronic queue management systems are widely used in order to reduce customer waiting time.

The new service outlets have maximum open space and are easy to navigate. The new offices have comfortable waiting areas with water coolers, coffee machines and children’s play areas.

In 2010, 22 pilot projects to test the re-formatted service outlets were implemented at seven regional banks. New format outlets were opened in 10 cities in Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Samara, Kaluga, Yaroslavl, Gatchina, Mytishchi and Zheleznodorozhny. Based on the results of these pilot projects, new formats will be improved and implemented across the Bank’s network of branches. In 2011, the Bank plans to transfer more than 800 service outlets to the new format.

Offices of the Future

The first high-tech Sberbank Office of the Future was opened at the end of 2009 in Moscow, on Novoslobodskaya Street. It became the first ‘laboratory’ in the Russian banking industry for testing the most advanced banking technologies before deploying them throughout the Sberbank branch network.

One of the most advanced features of the new office is a biometric customer identification system based on visual recognition technology. A customer, with his or her consent, is photographed with a biometric 3D-camera. On subsequent visits, the system identifies the customer automatically: a virtual manager greets him or her by name and patronymic, while consultants offer relevant products. The system is also used in ATMs, which first identify the customer visually and then ask for a PIN-code. This makes unauthorised use of debit and credit cards virtually impossible.

For those wishing to have a cup of tea or coffee while keeping up to date with the latest news, the office offers a bar with Internet kiosks. Customers’ children are invited to the children’s play area which features holographic games: they can play virtual football or tennis or try being a ‘virtual banker’. The VIP room is equipped with a Microsoft Surface interactive table, which is used to present banking products to customers, a unique use of this technology in the Russian banking sector.

“We built the Office of the Future using technologies, 70% of which cannot be found in any other bank in the world,” notes Victor Orlovsky, a Senior Vice President at Sberbank. “And they were developed by us, they are our intellectual property.”

Queues in our service outlets often result from a large number of retail customers wishing to make payments. Handling these payments is our traditional area of activity and we make every effort possible to optimise the respective systems and processes. Our first step in this direction was the introduction of the Billing automated payment system, eliminating the need for special forms to be completed for most retail payments. Instead, the customer is given a printed receipt containing all necessary data as proof of payment. The streamlining of the retail payment process has resulted in a significant improvement in the quality and speed of service. In 2010, the system was functioning at all regional banks.

In 2010, the Bank launched another large-scale project aimed at cutting customer waiting time called No Queues. The project’s objective is to reduce customer waiting time to a maximum of 15 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes at off-peak times. To this end, the Bank introduced a flexible working schedule for staff so as to have the maximum possible number of employees serving customers on busy days and at peak times. In addition, a new employee incentive programme was developed under which up to 50% of a given employee’s bonus is judged on the number of transactions handled and customer waiting times.

The Third Age University

In seeking to reduce queues at its service outlets, the Vostochno- Sibirsky Regional Bank initiated a project called the Third Age University. Starting from October 2010, groups of elderly customers at the Zheleznogorsk and Sosnovoborsk branches were trained to use self-service terminals and ATMs to obtain their pensions, pay utility bills and make other payments. The results of the initiative are already visible as customer waiting times on peak days have decreased significantly, while the number of newly issued Maestro- Pension cards has increased considerably.

We strive to make our financial services accessible to those with limited mobility. In 2010, the number of service outlets equipped with ramps, handrails or stationary or mobile wheelchair lifts reached 2,112, an increase of 16% on the previous year. Our new format service outlets are equipped with disabled toilets, special tables and ATMs with displays positioned at a lower height.

Streamlining Our Lending Procedures

With the aim of cutting the time taken to process loan requests, Sberbank launched the Credit Factory project. At the heart of the project is an automated lender evaluation process, which is combined with centralised and formalised decision-making. The implementation of the Credit Factory project allowed us not only to reduce our credit risks, but also to simplify the loan approval procedure, reduce the number of necessary customer visits to the Bank and cut the loan request processing time to 1.5 days. The process is successfully employed in the retail lending sector for processing consumer and car loan requests. In the future, we plan to use this technology for decision-making on mortgages.

In 2010, the Moskovsky, Povolzhsky and Srednerussky regional banks started to use this approach in the small business lending segment. Now they are able to make decisions on loans of up to RUB 1 million in three days; while a simplified financial analysis is carried out on the remaining loan applications; that reduces the maximum request processing time to two weeks. In 2011, we plan to replicate this approach in other regional banks. Furthermore, the Bank is working to introduce technology to pre-approve consumer loans.

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