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Analyzing Messages

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Business Experimentation


April 16, 2012

Business Experimentation

The United States economy is dependent on services. Some businesses focus on products and not on services. Bank of America uses innovation to provide services people dependent on. The purpose of this experiment is to help Bank of America evaluate services that by changing a banks settings, will help improve customer satisfaction, generate higher revenue, productivity, and performance, these four items determine transaction and waiting times.

This critique will describe the independent and dependent variables of the experiment implemented by Bank of America and by analyzing the variable provide feedback on the reliability and validity to see if the outcome of the experiment is a good choice to implement.

Independent Variables

Bank of America took 20 of their 200 offices and used them as independent variables. They took these 20 banks and divided them into three different models. The first five banks were molded into "express centers", these where modern buildings allowing customers to do basic transactions, such as deposits and withdrawals (Thomke, 2003). The next five banks where given the title of "financial centers", these centers where spacious and relaxing allowing customer's access to highly trained staff. The centers allow access to new technology, allowing customers to access stock trading and managing stock portfolios. The remaining 10 banks had the title of "traditional centers." These banks kept the same appearance of the standard branches that provided conventional banking services, but with newer technology and a redesigned process for the transactions that take place. Essentially the bank gave the customer something to do or interact with while waiting in line (Thomke, 2003).

Dependent Variables

In this experiment, Bank of America gave four variables that need measuring after the implementation of the independent variables; they are customer satisfaction, generating higher revenue, productivity, and performance.

In this study, one measure of customer satisfaction was "actual versus perceived waiting time" (Thomke, 2003, p. 76). The bank applied the use of television at two of the branches, one at a traditional center and one at a control branch. After a specific period, the customers perceived that their waiting time dropped from 32% to 15% at the traditional center. During that same time, the control branch saw an increase in time from 15% to 26%. With the data, the Innovation and Design team had to prove if this specific tactic would increase revenue. From previous studies, the team knew that for every one-point improvement would add revenue from each household by increasing customer purchases and retention. This would give a branch "with 10,000 customers an increase of revenues", exactly what the bank wanted. Therefore, if the team increased it by two points, projections would give a 5.9-point increase with customer satisfaction (Thomke, 2003, p. 76).

With any change in a company, some employees are happy some are not. Bank of America changed the pay scale in the test branches to accommodate the training that went along with the changes. The change gave the employees the opportunity to earn bonus points on performance and productivity it also caused problems. The problem was some employees would leave their post to help new customers; this would give them the opportunity



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