SunTrust Bank Uses Strategic Phrasing in Surveys to Magnify Customer Engagement

Jessica Hatch, Senior Vice President of Client and Teammate Experience for Consumer and Business Credit and Debit Cards at SunTrust Bank, told Loyalty360 that the bank’s customers have changed significantly in the past several years.
“The way our clients communicate with us has changed dramatically over the last several years,” Hatch explained. “As we create our client journey maps, we explore all areas of communication. We must be strategic in phrasing our surveys. Clients are less willing to respond if they feel that a question is about us and how our employees performed. Accordingly, we shift the focus to the client’s experience and the benefits of a SunTrust credit card. We want to know whether an experience is distinctive or exceptional and how a client perceives value in our rewards program.”
The channels of communication have also changed.
“SunTrust clients typically use mobile devices, which reduces personal interactions with SunTrust teammates and may increase the likelihood of complaints through social media channels,” Hatch said. “Accordingly, we strive to personalize digital interactions and closely monitor social media commentary. Many surveys show that the primary thing that client’s value is their time. Therefore, we have increased efficiencies by automating self-service options for rewards, offering a lock/unlock feature to instantly put a hold on spending, providing a monthly FICO Score for the primary card holder, and issuing fraud alerts via SMS text messages. In addition to making these requests easier for our clients, this also provides our call center teammates the availability to be able to respond to those moment of truth calls where clients need us to provide knowledgeable and clear answers while resolving the requests that cause them concern.”
Technology can aid SunTrust customers in times of anxiety.
“When our clients experience a high anxiety moment of losing their card or having their wallet or purse stolen, they can be confident that logging into the SunTrust mobile application will place a ‘lock’ on their card to put an instant hold on spending,” Hatch explained. “This feature also builds trust and provides assurance to our clients that their bank is always there to assist in building their financial confidence. Additionally, we have also invested in new acquisition platforms to improve the on-boarding experience. We feel that these benefits create a higher financial confidence and end-to-end experience for our clients.”
But, Hatch noted, “it is always challenging to balance client initiatives aimed at maintaining the loyalty of our client base of Baby Boomers while investing in innovations that younger generations will demand tomorrow. The way we receive and process client communication to deliver client journey maps is the most underrated part of our approach. We now use all areas of communication to find gaps in our experience design. With our investments and determination to resolve those gaps, we can create an experience that ensures clients can change from one channel to another easily and efficiently.”
SunTrust offers a suite of products that received national recognition for the financial value they bring to clients, “as well as the sense of clarity and trust in how we service the accounts,” Hatch added. “Our clients are at the center of every decision we make and our goal is to create, not only a great experience today, but a lifelong relationship. That is something we are proud of.”

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