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In using the term “queries”, I am assuming these are questions or issues coming to the bank from key customer service access points, such as call centers or visiting a branch. At a high level, you would follow the following steps, which demonstrate a simplified PDCA approach (Plan, Do, Check/Study, Act):

  1. BRIEFLY describe the problem (NOT solution) in a sentence or two. Use data if available at this time. For example you might say “Customer queries per week have risen 25% in the last quarter, exceeding our projections by 20% and stressing our call center capacity.”
  2. Gather some data, such as the number of queries and the kinds or types of queries. This can often be done with simple manual checksheets given to customer service representatives.
  3. Once you know the types of queries and how many, create a Pareto Chart. Pareto charts visually demonstrate the 80/20 rule (80% of the issues are caused by 20% of the possibilities). By focusing on the “vital few”, and you eliminate most of the issues. For example, let’s say you have 10 areas of queries and your data shows 80% of queries come from the two areas of “fees” and “bill pay”, you would focus on those two issues, starting with the most common.
  4. Once you have the focus area, you are ready to determine root cause by applying an appropriate root cause tool (e.g. 5 Whys or Cause and Effect Diagram). Once root causes are determined, you may need to verify those by collecting more data. For example, you may believe most of the fee questions are due to unclear explanations on customer materials. You may need to talk to a few customers to verify this theory.
  5. Now that root cause is known, you can determine your solutions and TEST them to ensure effectiveness.
  6. Implement the solutions and ensure there are methods to track performance and sustain the gains.

I hope this helps!

Carol Knight-Wallace

For more than 25 years, Carol Knight-Wallace has been helping organizations in the public and private sectors achieve excellence through Lean Six Sigma application, project management, strategic planning, and facilitation. Her experience includes Fortune 100 financial services companies, healthcare, manufacturing, government, non-profit, and higher education.