Tools & Resources Building a Culture of “Excellence” in Service at Ujivan

Building a Culture of “Excellence” in Service at Ujivan

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From 2009, Ujjivan established a Service Quality department and developed a detailed grievance policy providing multiple channels for client complaints and a time-bound framework for complaints resolution.

UjjivanLogoFrom 2009, Ujjivan established a Service Quality department and developed a detailed grievance policy providing multiple channels for client complaints and a time-bound framework for complaints resolution. Clients have multiple options to register their complaints: (1) Customer Care Representatives (CCRs) in respective branches; (2) Written complaints through a system of customer complaints at branch; (3) Toll Free numbers; (4) Customer connect programs30; and (5) Interviews with drop-out clients.

The CCRs are selected by Ujjivan based on their ability to interact well with clients. CCRs are trained at least four times a year, to ensure that they reach out to clients effectively. The CCR proactively reaches out to clients through field trips and center meetings and receives walk-in complaints from the branch. From simply using a spreadsheet to record complaints, Ujjivan has upgraded to a customized software, “V-Tiger,” which allows the CCR to log in the complaint on the same day and to be viewed by the Service Quality Manager.

The success of Ujjivan complaint resolution mechanism rests on three pillars: CCRs, continuous trainings, and the software that helps to track complaints as soon as they are logged in. Timely feedback has helped Ujjivan to make improvements in its policy and processes.

As a consequence of the effective implementation of the complaint resolution mechanism, staff productivity at Ujjivan has risen steeply from 400 to 700 borrowers per CRS (i.e. loan officers) in mature branches, boosting productivity and efficiency of business operations. With the introduction of CCRs, CRS has exclusively focused on fulfilling business transactions, thus helping Ujjivan align to the stringent RBI norms on MFI margins. Ujjivan implemented responsible practices for client grievance redress mechanism not just to comply with regulatory norms, but also from a pragmatic business need to improve customer retention rates. CCRs have been able to convert 30 percent inactive clients into active borrowers and helped to prevent drop-outs by proactively resolving the complaints of customers who intended to drop-out.

This story was originally published in the Smart Campaign State of Practice Report Implementing Client Protection in Indian Microfinance.