Karen Larrimer

An interview with our Head of Retail Banking & Chief Customer Officer

Q: What are the greatest challenges and opportunities facing Retail Banking in 2017 and beyond?

A: Retail Banking will continue to experience a significant transformation as customer behavior, preferences and expectations evolve. Technology, for example, plays a larger role in customers’ everyday banking and investing more than ever before. This, among other changes, requires that we be incredibly thoughtful and strategic about where and how quickly we invest to ensure that we are best serving customers across all channels, including branches, care centers, ATMs, and online and mobile banking. At PNC, we want to create a seamless experience for our customers so that each new product or service we create is faster and easier to use. Our success is dependent on our ability to serve our customers efficiently through their channel of choice and to provide customers with access to the financial expertise and unique tools they need to successfully manage their money.

Our greatest opportunity is to grow our capabilities that allow customers to address more of their banking needs through mobile or online banking, to secure a loan within hours and to receive investing advice in a digital environment. We also are working to further protect our customers’ data and privacy through the use of technology and educational tools. And finally, we are collaborating with our Financial Technology (FinTech) competitors to innovate new solutions that improve our products and services and ultimately make banking easier for our customers.

Q: What role does talent development play in interacting with the customer?

A: At the core of who we are and what we deliver for our customers are our people. Regardless of how digital our money management solutions and other products and services become, we always will need the best talent. I find that people still have a very personal connection to managing their money, especially when it comes to making big decisions in life, like buying a new home or making an investment decision. To help our customers navigate these financial decisions, we always will need the right mix of human interaction and digital tools. In addition, behind every new digital solution are people with product, financial, technical and risk management expertise. I am a strong believer in finding the best people, immersing them in PNC’s culture and spending the necessary time and resources to develop them. I was fortunate in that throughout my career, people took the time to develop me and offered me opportunities to expand my knowledge and capabilities that ultimately allowed me to grow personally and professionally.

Q: How do you view the Office of the Customer’s role evolving in 2017 and beyond?

A: The Office of the Customer will continue to initiate programs and make investments to further drive a customer focused culture. The Office of the Customer recently created a three-year strategic plan, comprised of 17 initiatives that aim to differentiate PNC customers’ experience. The Office of the Customer members, who represent every line of business and staff function across the company, will each take ownership of one of these initiatives, managing and driving the associated bank-wide implementation plans to successful completion. Members also will take an active role in reviewing and implementing employee-submitted Just Fix It! ideas. Of the 1,700 ideas submitted in 2016, more than 100 already have been implemented, with many others currently under review.

Furthermore, the Office of the Customer will continue to drive business-specific customer experience plans and measure its progress using the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which allows PNC to measure a customer’s likelihood of recommending PNC products and services to others. And finally, we are strengthening our root cause analysis program and standardizing processes to ensure we are identifying and resolving customer pain points while also mitigating risks for the bank.                             

Q: What is the most important thing you’ve learned since becoming Chief Customer Officer?

A: First and foremost, this role has reinforced how much I love interacting with our customers and getting a first-hand look at customer feedback. Taking the time to learn what we are doing well and what we can improve has made a big difference in terms of helping us determine where to focus our attention. I have learned that there is tremendous power in leveraging all of our employees across the company regardless of their role to improve the customer experience.   They are passionate about serving our customers and know better than anyone else what gets in the way of delivering a great experience. Listening to our employees and putting their ideas into action has been a gift.


Karen Larrimer
Head of PNC Retail Banking & Chief Customer Officer

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