Email handling at customer support department

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has title::Business process redesign to optimize E-mail based customer support
status: finished
Master: project within::Information Sciences
Student name: student name::Mohan Adhikari
number: student number::0000000
Start start date:=2008/05/01
End end date:=2007/11/30
Supervisor: Michel Klein
Second reader: has second reader::Hans Akkermans
Company: has company::ING Wholesale Banking

Signature supervisor



The ING Wholesale clients who are supported by PCM Customer Support maintain contact Customer Support via several media in case of problems or questions. Number one is by phone, followed by email, fax and mail.The amount of emails received grows rapidly and that increases the workload. In many cases the first contact with the Customer Support is by phone and the follow-up communication via email whereas problems or questions with low priority are mainly addressed to Customer Support via email directly.

Due to the amount of emails received every day (avg 100 a day at Customer Support in NL, spread over three group mail boxes) a lot of effort is put into replying within a reasonable time and following up every email. Also every email needs to be recorded in IRIS or attached to an existing SR record in IRIS. The expectation is that the amount of mails will grow in the future.

Although IRIS supports automatic email recording, tests have proven that the average customer does not like this solution. There are some non flexible requirements to ensure that a mail is recorded properly and in case one of the required settings is missing the mail will end in an error queue for further treatment.

PCM Customer Support needs an inventory of the current email flow and a proper procedure for handling these emails. The initial handling should be unattended as much as possible with assignment to the right persons. A distinction must be made when handling an email between for example the priority of an email and/or the sender. Outgoing mails should radiate a professional standard, especially to our VIP clients; they should give a “personal feeling” to the receiver. In general a mail policy must be defined.

PCM Customer Support wants to appoint a trainee for this thesis subject who will analyse the current flow and make an inventory with classifications. He/she makes a flowchart with all important details. Together with the department the required operational procedure will be compiled. Based upon the requirements the functional analysis can start, followed by a solution proposal and a list of recommendations. Important requirement known already is a high level of unattended processing. The trainee should have an IT background with process knowledge. His/her personal skills should help him/her to make easy contact with ING colleagues and to work in a team. The assignment will be applicable for PCM Customer Support in Amsterdam and Brussels.


  • Analyse the current email flow
  • Email classifications
  • Proper procedure for handling these emails (define new email policy)