More feedback at Discover Financial Services is more opportunity to get it right


Today’s customer feedback comes a lot faster than it used to, and there’s more of it.

“We have a very large customer base and we’re getting a lot of feedback,” says Keith Carroll, vice president, Operations Center, Discover Financial Services. “You’ve got to be able to look for the themes and then look for the individual things: ‘Yeah, we can do that; we’ve got a customer that wants this.’”

If you’re focused internally, so much data can seem like a problem, but if you’re focused externally on your customer, it’s a huge opportunity to get new information to act upon, he says.

At Discover, even the president sits in on the call listening, because customers are at the forefront. If you want to deliver exceptional customer experiences and engagements, you’ve got to make changes based on feedback, whether that’s call listening or transcripts, Carroll says.

Discover has approximately 2,200 Central Ohio employees that work in customer service, security/fraud and risk. The New Albany Customer Care Center is also one of Discover’s four customer care centers.

Carroll, who came to the company in 2008, finds the constant change in customer service an opportunity, more than a challenge.

“I think it’s fun. I’ve been doing this for quite a while,” he says. “I’m Six Sigma and that type of stuff, so change is what I’ve seen and where I came from.”

And with constant change, you can’t decide to rest for a while, Carroll says. It has to be an environment you commit to, in order to be successful with customers.

Pinpoint for improvement

In the past, Discover had customers leave because the company couldn’t understand a problem in a timely matter, or at all. Today’s technology changes that.

Discover focuses on situations where the customer experience or customer engagement wasn’t up to par and uses speech analytics to pinpoint those moments that didn’t go so well. It’s just a matter of building the infrastructure to accept all of the information that’s coming.

“We’ve had to make changes to some of our platforms, some of the agent training; we’ve had to make changes to that type of stuff, so we can actually deal with the plethora of information that we have now coming back from the customer,” Carroll says.

Once you build the process to try and retrieve the moments where the customer interaction didn’t go as you wanted or expected, you’re able to improve.

“We’re as good as the worst experience that one of our customers has, that’s the culture that we have,” he says.