Elizabeth Okomba wins CXLOTY 2023 Culture Awardby
The judges' scores are in, the votes have been counted, and we can proudly announce that the winner of the Customer Experience Leader of the Year 2023 Culture Award is Elizabeth Okomba, Deputy Director and Group Head of Customer Experience at NCBA Bank.
Elizabeth Okomba became Deputy Director and Group Head of Customer Experience at NCBA Bank in September 2021. At that time, NCBA Bank was recently formed through the merger of two Kenyan banks, NIC Bank and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), making it the most extensive banking merger in sub-Saharan Africa. Mergers of such magnitude present significant challenges, including coordinating diverse cultures, merging products and processes, and establishing unified systems.
One of Elizabeth's primary tasks was to evaluate the state of customer experience within NCBA Bank, and the results were telling. Nearly half of the team (43%) believed the bank wasn't customer-centric enough.
Elizabeth aimed to establish NCBA Bank as a brand renowned for great customer experience. She developed a CX strategy that aligned with the corporate plan and set up a robust governance structure, including committees for customer satisfaction, engagement, behaviour change, and service culture.
When Elizabeth started, nearly half of the team (43%) believed the bank wasn't customer-centric enough.
Elizabeth's approach to realising the CX vision and objectives included:
- CX strategy development: She developed a CX strategy aligned with the corporate strategy and obtained buy-in from the Senior Leadership Team and the Board.
- CX governance: She established a robust CX governance structure, including a Service Steering Committee and a Service Excellence Working Committee, focusing on key CX areas such as customer satisfaction, engagement, behaviour change, and service culture.
- CX KPIs: Elizabeth defined KPIs and set NPS as the primary CX metric, enabling the bank to measure and track its CX performance rigorously.
- Voice of the customer: A VoC program was implemented, fostering a closed-loop feedback system. A cross-functional team met monthly to analyse customer insights and drive CX improvements.
- Complaint management: A comprehensive complaints management framework and service recovery process were introduced, significantly improving the complaint resolution rate.
- Contact centre enhancement: The contact centre was revamped, introducing innovations like WhatsApp as a BOT service and a structured engagement program to motivate and engage service teams.
- CRM system: A new cloud CRM system was approved, enhancing customer data management, reporting, and communication.
- System stabilisation: An agile project management approach stabilised critical customer channels, improving user experiences and reducing system-related issues.
- Service charter: A service charter and service guarantee were established to communicate the bank's commitment to customer service excellence.
- Customer engagement plans: Tailored customer engagement plans were developed for various segments, focusing on strengthening relationships, retention, and loyalty.
Elizabeth championed the internalisation of the customer promise, "We Know You, We Back You, We Will Wow You," fostering a culture that embodied this promise in all interactions. Her endeavours yielded measurable impacts, including notable improvements in NPS scores, reduced call volumes, and increased contact centre service levels. The bank's successful merger integration was also recognised when NCBA Bank was awarded "Best Bank in Customer Experience Excellence" in the Kenya Bankers Survey 2022.
Her work in the sector has led to Elizabeth becoming an influential industry expert, contributing to talks and panels on customer-centric approaches and digital transformation. She co-founded the Institute of Customer Experience Kenya and played a vital role in creating industry standards, such as the KBA Gold Standard of Banking Services in Kenya.
Elizabeth Okomba's leadership and strategic vision transformed NCBA Bank into a customer-centric organisation, overcoming the challenges of a complex merger and setting a standard for excellence in customer experience. Her commitment to elevating customer service levels in Africa is evident in her impressive achievements, both within her organisation and in the wider CX community, making her a well-deserving recipient of the CX Leader of the Year Culture Award.