We held focus groups with agents in two different districts to get a better understanding of what each day looks like and how each agent manages their customer relationships. Together, we went through a journey mapping exercise to learn the specifics about timing—how long one spends in transit, how much time gets spent acquiring new customers, marketing new services, and how long is devoted to servicing existing customers.
Through this we learned that these mobile agents were spending 20-40% of each work day just getting from one customer to another, and adding more responsibilities on top of their existing customer base wouldn’t be possible given an 8-9 hour work schedule.
On top of our focus group exercises we rode with agents to shadow their transactions throughout the day. It became abundantly clear that the relationships between agent and customer went far beyond just transactions. Agents had developed such a level of trust that customers would hand over their cash deposit and walk away for up to 10 minutes, leaving agents to complete the transaction without supervision. I paid particular attention to the interaction between agents and their mobile payments app, timing the speed of transactions and jotting down potential usability improvements.
Agents worked hard to maintain these trusted relationships with customers, and face to face interactions were at the core. Since agents were already dealing with an overflowing set of responsibilities, adding anything more seemed to come in direct competition with this quality time.
- For existing customers where trust has already been forged, how can agents market new services without compromising the quality and time dedicated to existing ones?
- For new customers, what tools will help agents more efficiently and effectively communicate the value of their services?