January 9, 2024
Interview with Lance Gruner, Executive Vice President of Mastercard Global Customer Care
Mastercard recently achieved certification to the COPC Customer Experience (CX) Standard for Customer Operations, a first for a Fortune 500 company. This achievement, which includes its business-to-consumer locations in the United States and Australia, marks a pivotal moment in Mastercard’s ongoing commitment to customer service excellence.
The requirements for obtaining COPC certification involve thoroughly evaluating the organization’s processes and measuring performance against the COPC CX Standard’s best practices and guidelines. The COPC CX Standard was originally established in 1996 and has continued to evolve to address changing industry dynamics. Certification to the COPC CX Standard validates that the organization is achieving high performance and driving continuous improvement.
Recently, COPC interviewed Lance Gruner, executive vice president, Global Customer Care at Mastercard, about the company’s journey to COPC certification and what it means for Mastercard’s ongoing commitment to customer service excellence.
COPC: What were the driving forces behind Mastercard’s commitment to elevating your practices to industry standards?
Lance Gruner: Our journey is rooted in our core purpose of connecting and powering an inclusive digital economy that benefits everyone. We aimed to make transactions not just safe but also simple, smart, and accessible.
A few years ago, we recognized the importance of enhancing our Global Customer Care team. So, we embarked on the path towards achieving COPC CX Standard certification to gain insights into industry benchmarks. By adopting new technology and expanding our team’s capabilities, we’ve contributed to Mastercard’s overall growth and positioned the company among the leaders in the contact center industry.
COPC: What specific challenges or opportunities has your team faced? What were some key milestones or significant learnings?
Lance Gruner: As we grow and diversify globally, providing best-in-class customer service remains a priority. With a global footprint, we sometimes face communication gaps and inefficiencies. Partnering with COPC helped us assess and refine our communications, operations and performance. Implementing the COPC framework has enabled us to simplify processes, personalize experiences and effectively address customer needs.
Comprehensive training and the tools inherent in the COPC certification process equipped our team with a framework to streamline operations and create a unified culture. We ensured alignment by creating an employee brand book that encompassed communication guidelines, employee objectives and project roadmaps.
COPC: How does achieving COPC certification align with Mastercard’s broader goals around customer experience enhancement and operational efficiency?
Lance Gruner: Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, delivering best-in-class service efficiently remains a key objective. We aim to enhance our customer experience scores, which we measure through traditional key performance indicators such as customer satisfaction, net promoter score and first-time resolution.
We also look at how the service experience impacts customer loyalty and lifetime value. Our leadership endorses a holistic approach to deliver simple, relevant experiences, creating value for customers, employees and shareholders.
In a move that further solidifies its commitment to leading CX standards, Mastercard has appointed Scott Horace, Senior Vice President of Mastercard Global Consumer Support Services, to the COPC Standards Committee. The committee is comprised of global leaders overseeing the COPC CX Standard, and Mastercard’s involvement underscores its active role in shaping the future of the customer experience industry.
COPC: In what ways does COPC certification benefit Mastercard customers directly? Are there any specific customer-centric improvements or experiences you expect to see because of this certification?
Lance Gruner: Our customers expect a seamless experience with every interaction, from sales to service. COPC certification ensures our global teams and systems work together with a shared vision, culture and best practices to drive customer loyalty.
COPC: How has the evolution of Mastercard’s Global Customer Care team impacted the overall customer experience?
Lance Gruner: Our Global Customer Care team has observed a notable shift in our industry towards a more customer-centric culture, with an emphasis on understanding and fulfilling customer needs. We’ve adopted innovative technologies and tools to provide efficient, tailored solutions, reflecting our commitment to continuous improvement and excellence in customer care.
The COPC certification process was a catalyst for Mastercard, fostering process consistency, efficiency and overall CX enhancement. We plan to extend these standards to our business-to-business operations, underscoring our dedication to excellence across all facets of its business.
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