Tag Archives: digital

Metro Bank get it right, winning ‘Customer Service Training Programme of the Year’ at the Digital Experience Awards, 2015

Always a pleasure to be judging a category where teams are so proud of their work.  This was definitely the case this year with the Financial Services Customer Services Training Programme of the year.  The very worthy winner was Metro Bank for their innovative and infectious induction programme.  So many businesses can learn from the way they really excite their new recruits into turning up for the first day!  However, I do have to say that it is easier for a shiny new challenger brand like Metro to do everything right – no legacy, no cynicism and no built up problems. They are growing at their own pace for the sake of their brand and customers.  So a lovely clean sheet to start from –  I genuinely hope that it is always so wonderful and exciting to start your career there!

This is why I do have to give a quick shout out to the other contenders in this category as they were dealing with very real and difficult challenges with their training – challenges that only really come from brands which have been around a while and need to make some real changes.  Whilst not ground breaking for this category they were certainly very innovative in their own businesses and hopefully for their customers – the most important thing right?

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For further information on how we can help with your customer experience 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.

Has digital figured out how to improve high street customer experience?

Time, our most precious commodity. And lunch hour even more so.

So, isn’t it great when brands takes this into consideration and use technology to reduce effort and improve the convenience of the experience rather than just employ it to save costs.

And even rarer when the designers and the technologists work together to enhance the aesthetics and with the perceptions of the brand at the same. This perfect collision of world can deliver a better experience and reaffirm the differentiation of the brand. This drives a greater ROI from CX than the typical ‘preservation’ approach digital often is employed to provide. (migrate customer from one costly channel to a less costly channel)

To understand how to measure if your CX strategy is ‘maintaining’ a basic level (often at a low ROI) or ‘differentiating’ at a superior level (and delivering a higher ROI) email us for a copy of Lexden’s ‘MAD CX’ Audit 

With this in mind, here are two examples of much loved high street names leading with a customer experience approach which introduce digital technology into their operational processes across the value chain to add real value to all involved.

McDonalds Faster Food

If your fast food is not delivered fast enough or you find waiting in a queue as time consuming as downloading via a poor internet connection. McDonald’s has begun trialling in store self-order kiosks with speedy contactless payment for time strapped customers at one of its branches in London.mcdonalds

Welcome to Planet Argos

Separately, Argos has made much of its new sleek digital concept stores. Bringing the online experience to the high street with the entire catalogue available to order via an interactive tablet as well as a collection facility. Click the image to link to a YouTube video showcasing the new store in Old Street, London.


In both cases, what works is the simplicity of the approach. Whilst each has clearly been designed to speed up service fulfillment, it’s noticeable that actually having designed the process with the customer at the centre, visitors to the stores can be observed happily interacting with the simple to use technology and in fact spending that extra time to browse, select and even order more.


Lexden is a Customer Strategy Agency | We put customers at the heart of the decision 

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 experiences and creating engaging customer value propositions.

If you like what you’ve read sign-up to our ‘Putting Customers First’ newsletter. Or for further information contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or call us on  M: +44 (0) 7968 316548 or T: +44 (0)1279 902205 .    You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter or read client case studies at www.lexdengroup.com 



Unordinary Thinking No. 17 – Turning the mundane into a miracle

In marketing, we are always challenging ourselves to improve upon our customer experience; to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, create competitor advantage etc. It’s a constant that never seems to drop from the marketing agenda. And if we are customer-centric, we typically frame the challenge as, ‘How can we make a user’s experience better?’ If the process behind the change is solid, we would hope to see improvement.

But some internal stakeholders might claim that repeating the same process of improvement will only lead to diminishing returns and eventually become counter productive. And at the risk of being presumptuous they are possibly right. This ‘tackle the problem head-on’ approach will probably not arrive at any business transforming outcomes or miracle consumer betterment either.

So what’s the alternative? Well you may not need to change the process which is the usual focus. Instead, be unordinary in your thinking and simply think more broadly about what customer improvement could mean. We typically focus on the sharp end. But we don’t always need to connect the improvement to sales. Improvement to brand perception or purpose of business can increase overall consideration which in turn increases the chances of customer preference.

Here’s an example from the unordinary thinkers at customer data authentication company CAPTCHA. When they looked at the improvement challenge side-on it enabled a much stronger and more significant ‘customer’ betterment to emerge.

An estimated 200,000 hours are spent by us every day typing in words to authentic ourselves as human users and not computer viruses on millions of websites across the world. The folks at CAPTCHA knew that whilst serving a beneficial service to us consumers, we saw it as a bit of a tedious chore.

Thinking about what could be done to improve the situation and pondering a more interesting way for individuals to verify who they are, the marketers at CAPTCHA concluded that what they’d created was still the best solution for customers, even if we didn’t get excited about it.

So they looked at the challenge from a different angle and framed it as as, ‘How can we make better use of the experience?’ This changed the direction of their thinking and attracted new attention. Google, now their parents, shared a project they were working on to digitise ancient books in order to ensure the scripts were captured and preserved electronically forever.

They were using “Optical Character Recognition” (OCR) which photographically scans the word, and then transforms it into text. However it often does not recognise words which it flags up, as the image below shows.

To get these missing words authenticated requires manual intervention. Which if paid for would be expensive and time consuming…enter reCAPTCHA. And with it those 200,000 hours of free consumer resource every day!

How the reCAPTHCA miracle works?

The image of the unknown text is sent in the form of a reCAPTHCA code to the website where you are authenticating you are who you say you are – added as a second word to a ‘known’ first word. And then when you authenticate your personal details you now type in two words. As the first is known, if you match that correctly, reCAPTCHA accepts your deciphering of the second word too. And when it has 15 consistent matches from different users, the word is created from the image and added to the page from which the OCR took it.

So every time you are deciphering wobbly letters to verify you are not a virus, look for the ReCAPTCHA logo. If it’s there you are participating in the world’s largest book digitisation programme ever.

And with over 250,000 Google books and old copies of the New York Times currently being updated, your authentication code is achieving more for society than just protecting your identity online. Future generations will now have access to old, rare and important fragments of history that may have perished without digitisation, thanks to ReCAPTCHA and you.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. http://www.lexdengroup.com

For more information on how we can help you, contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com or ajairanawat@lexdengroup.com, or call us on T: +44 (0)20 7490 9123.  And you can follow us on Twitter @consultingchris or @consultingajai.