Tag Archives: aviva

The Financial Services Forum – Awards for Marketing Effectiveness 2015

It was Lexden’s first year as award sponsor at The Financial Services Forum Awards for Marketing Effectiveness 2015. We were delighted to  join other industry experts such as The Co-operative Bank, Columbia Threadneedle, Barclays, Direct Line, Aviva, SunLife, RBS and many others at the event.

This year saw the introduction of the Customer Experience category awards. Lexden , as independent specialists in FS Customer Experience were a natural choice to sponsor the award. It’s a new category for 2015 and one the judges expect will be very competitive in years to come.

The FSF Awards for Marketing Effectiveness are dedicated to recognising and rewarding proven success in the creation and promotion of financial services and products. Since the Awards were introduced in 2002, their purpose has remained consistent: to create a better understanding of the role and impose of marketing; to prove, beyond doubt, that marketing can be effective; and to promote and reward marketing effectiveness.

Christopher Brooks, Lexden’s MD, caught up with some of the winners and commended entries for their outstanding achievements on the night.


Kent Reliance (Teamspirit) won the CX category for ‘Putting Customers at the Heart of the Experience’. In 2011, Kent Reliance reported a loss of £11.1m. Customer feedback was consistently unflattering, and rising complaints were matched by the departure of loyal customers. The company reacted immediately. It undertook extensive research, then launched a real-time customer feedback strategy, which shaped an innovative multi-channel customer experience, placing the customer at the heart of the solution.

The success of this strategy was simply extraordinary. Complaints reduced by over half in the first six months alone….and within just three years, customer satisfaction rose, sales trebled, and Net Promoter Score went from negative to mid range positive.

The judges said the entry had very clear insight with a variety of rich metrics made this a very succinct and well-executed entry.

Runners up for this category and commended included RBS (SapientNitro) for RBS Get Cash and Santander for Simple, Personal, Fair.

For RBS this is the story of how a small but high-value experience innovation has delivered new utility to a key group of at-risk under-35 customers and supported the bank’s broader brand promises of “Helpful Banking” (Nattiest) and “Here for you” (RBS). By embedding new technology in their mobile-banking apps, RBS/Natwest has made card-less access (for emergencies or just convenience) to cash quick and easy, as well as zero cost.

For Santander it was a radical new approach, which completely redefined customer experience at Santander. They needed to evolve their brand identity; and customer loyalty and satisfaction needed improving.

Listening to customer pain-points, Santander realised there was deep-seated anxiety at the core of the relationship between bank and customer. Customers didn’t trust banks, and wanted to feel confident in managing their money. Santander’s task became clear, and it would be mammoth, requiring a wholesale change in how they did business.

Other categories included Advertising, Content Marketing, Customer Loyalty & Retention, Digital Marketing, Direct Marketing, Integrated B2B Campaign, Integrated Consumer Campaign, Internal Communications, New Product, Service or Innovation, Public Relations, Social Media, Sponsorship, Best Consumer Insight, Best Contribution to Marketing Learning, Marketing Excellence, Young Marketer of the Year, Agency of the Year and Marketer of the Year.

We will also be speaking at other FSF events in the near future.

Lexden works with clients looking to achieve sustainable profit from Customer Experience Strategy and Management.

If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to Lexden’s ‘Customer’s World’ Update for ideas, inspiration and insights to improve your customer strategy endeavours.

For further information on how we can help with your customer challenges contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call M: +44 (0) 7968 316548 or T: +44 (0)1279 902205. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or read client testimonials and case studies at Lexden Group.


Unordinary Thinking No. 38: Deliver less and make customers happier

Organisations often say “We must do more for our customers”. And whilst that’s a worthy ambition, the way in which it is delivered is not that straightforward. The typical response to such a desire, which is ideally accompanied by a ‘I can’t sleep at night until we do” sentiment from the tearful CEO or an equally emotional fist smashing down on a break out area desk, is to give customers more of something. And the typical demonstration of more is to give them more money off stuff – or less. Hold that thought.

fist on desk

Here are three examples where brands have taken a step back, looked at this situation from the customer’s perspective and found they could do less than they did before for their customers and still improve things for their customers. Additionally, in every case there is an improvement to their own bottom line – no margin eroding brand equity destroying discounting needed here, thank you!

So it’s a win-win, or is that a win-win-win. I’ll move on.

A slower delivery saved a builders merchant millions 

I was speaking to a very bright CX consultant who recalled a classic case from builders merchants Travis Perkins. TP used to bust a gut to get deliveries out next day. However, when examined it turned out the type of ‘builder’ TP attracted wasn’t a last-minute ‘@**&, we need it now!’ type. It was well planned projects so orders were put in a week or so ahead of when materials were needed. Through research customers confirmed a later delivery date was just fine, as long as the knew when it would be. It was this permission which helped TP save a shed load. If the delivery could be more than four days, then their suppliers were happy to drop materials directly at the customer’s site rather than taking it to TP who then had to reload and take it on to customers. This saved millions and customers were equally happy (and in some cases more happy as they didn’t have palettes stacked on their drive a week before they were to use them). Smart.

Snail mail reduces unwanted inbound call costs

cat & postbox

I have worked with Aviva in the past on comms and branding, but never on CX. But they do seem to have a rich supply of great examples – so well done to those in York, Norwich, London and everywhere else – we salute you. This is another such case. I’ll admit I don’t know what the product was, but customers purchasing over the phone were told documents should be with them in 3 to 4 days. The key word in that sentence is ‘should’. One of the most vocalised attributes of customer satisfaction is managing expectations. The problem with the should be with you in 3 to 4 days statement is that whilst from Aviva’s perspective it sounds like a licence to tolerate error, the customer hears ‘should’ but computes this uncertainty as a more certain ‘will’ – human nature at play. So when the docs don’t arrive in that time frame, as they didn’t in many cases, the customers (I did hear 75% of them) would call up and tell Aviva they hadn’t arrived. Aviva had dispatched them but the Royal Mail who should deliver in 3 to 4 days hadn’t delivered all of them.

So whilst it wasn’t the customers desire to have them in 3 or 4 days and it wasn’t Aviva delivering them, the expectation was unnecessarily set so Aviva ended up picking up disgruntled customer calls costing them money.

So instead they checked with the Royal Mail who said all post of that class used is delivered within 7 days. So the operators switched to ‘your docs will be with you in 7 days’. The time difference wasn’t important to customers but the certainty of expectations being managed was. As a consequence 95% got their documents in that time frame and were happy and Aviva reduced the cost of managing the ambiguity of the Royal Mail delivery down to just 5% of what it had been.

One flavour for all

shower gelOne of the largest gym chains in the country runs a daily ‘CSAT dip tracker’. One complaint they received was that the (let’s call it) mango and lime shower gel had run out. So they fed back to the facilities manager at that store what had happened. Who duly ordered more from centralised procurement buying. It happened again, and again at different stores. Nothing amazing there until the data showed it was always the mango and lime gel that was mentioned. Procurement confirmed they’d been ordering exactly the same volumes as the other flavours.

It was then the CX team realised this was so popular the others weren’t being used at all. So the decision was to drop all but one of the other flavours. Procurement was now able to negotiate a much keener price for the gel because they were ordering nearly three times as much. The complaint disappeared off the radar of the CSAT tracker too. Giving customers less choice proved more popular and saved the company money in the process.

It goes to show what a little lateral thinking can achieve. But that’s half of what being a pedigree CX practioner is about. It’s about taking a step back and questioning is there a better way to do this for customers. If the answers yes, then you can start to think about the other dimensions such as affordability or capability to deliver it. If you put customers at the heart of the decision-making, everything else always falls into place. Trust us we are customer consultants!

If you don’t believe how easy it is to do, put us to the test.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the start and the heart of the marketing strategy.

We work with brands to attract and retain happy customers | We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, building memorable customer experience strategies and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read please sign-up to our monthly ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter | Or for a discussion on how we may be able to help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548 | You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris.