Tag Archives: direct line

5 Customer Experience Trends for 2016

20162015 saw increased budget diverted to customer experience with more and more companies adopting CX as a primary business model. We anticipate 2016 will see further senior executives and CEO’s taking a closer look to understand just how customer experience can be a more profitable competitive differentiator.

With this in mind, as independent customer experience consultants we’ve captured our CX predictions for 2016 below;

1.The CEO discovers a reliable measure linking CX to profit 

phils book2016 will be a wake up year for CX. We are already finding CEO’s questioning the value of chasing NPS Promoters and top box Customer Satisfaction. Our evidence shows these outcomes do not correlate to profit. In fact, according to Measuring Customer Experience by Professor Dr Phil Klaus less than 1% of profit can be attributed back to these performance measures. 

When discovered, for some this will mean the CX Programme is shut down, for others who continue with these measures it means potentially investing profits in initiatives which will drive very little if any ROI. in his book Phil, who is also a Lexden Director explains the value of pursuing behavioral based CX measurement which accounts for over 80% of profit. For those considering this option it could mean smarter profits, effective investment and meaningful focus on the CX improvements which keep the business ahead of the rest. 

2. Brand to finally join the CX party

Too much operational focus is on the ‘fix’ in CX or digital migration where there are no net new gains. Companies focussing on self-serve apps and online systems might reduce processing costs – but at what price? We’ve seen stats highlighting the unsurprising knock on effect of customer engagement and brand consideration levels dropping and with it comms effectiveness reducing. One of the main reason is that these are designed functionally and without consideration of baking in the brand difference.

We hope 2016 sees more emphasis on making the brand difference in to improvements to create sustainable advantage rather than just short term (and easy to copy) efficiency drives.

There are few in this space we find, but Virgin Money, Standard Life and Direct Line in FS are forging the way with CX becoming a key consideration factor for their customer’s preference. Direct Line in particular apply CX principles beyond promotions and propositions, they are connected to pricing. That’s when you really start to pull away from the competition because you are competing on a different playing field altogether.

We anticipate more will start to differentiate on their CX but it’s like any other point of difference, it needs to be just that, not just the basics done well. It will only be those with sound CX strategies focussed on meaningful measurement which will reap the harvest of their CX investment. Watch companies like The Co-op Bank, The One Savings Bank and Nutmeg leverage CX more in 2016.

3. From personalisation to proactive engagement

Data held (big or small) can be used to predict future eventualities for customers, using this more smartly can really help customers, a service which the brand can be remembered for. For instance a customer who goes overdrawn several months on the trot does not need a ‘when it happens’ notice when their options are limited. The patterns are there for the bank to tell the customers days, weeks in advance of the likely outcome if they sustain their rate of spend. Delivery services are improving on this, as are bus and train companies.

So helping consumers manage time to have more of it to consider more options is to become more important and delivered through a great experience will help companies stand apart.

4. Employee experience will get tangible 

Maybe 2016 will be the year of the employee. Companies who help their employees understand the value of CX reap the benefits sooner. Those who ‘push it on to’ colleagues to be done to customers, have themselves to blame. We have seen an increasing number of requests moving from customer experience delivery to employee experience engagement. Brands such as USAA and Zappos highlight the importance of this first stage. But recruiting the right skill set to help employees is key. Conventional training techniques wont cut it so assuming clients engage CX transformation specialists employees will get it and be able to deliver it better – a big focus in 2016 we anticipate.

5. Feedback Fatigue

We often get asked how to 1) increase respondent numbers and 2) reach a more representative cross-section of my customer base with feedback. It’s true, numbers are dropping inversely proportionate to the increase in feedback requests it would seem. There are now more companies requesting feedback overall than ever before and those who have been for some time are drilling deeper and asking for more from their customers.

We sat in a series of research groups last year looking at customer behaviour towards feedback nero surveysurveys. There is much contamination and conditional completing of feedback forms going on it seems. Consumers are wary, citing being asked for irrelevant and duplicated insights as well as seeing little improvement related to their feedback, as reasons for skimming, spoiling or ignoring feedback requests.

A gear shift will be needed otherwise the quality of feedback will become increasingly impaired. A more worrying trend is the professional survey completers who will complete forms on behalf of others (we haven’t figured out why yet) or bill the company requesting their feedback for their time (similar to focus groups).

So perhaps nothing seismic, but the relatively embryonic world of CX will need to find its feet in 2016 if it is to survive the most harshest of judges; the rising expectations of consumers and the CEO’s budget.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Customer Experience Consultant, Lexden

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.

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Driving Cultural Change to Improve CX Performance

The Financial Services Forum recognise the growing importance of customer experience for financial services companies. So we were delighted to speak earlier in the year on the topic of branded customer experience. Our content and delivery gratefully chimed and we were asked back to share with FS practitioners our views on how to culturally embed customer experience within companies. It’s an area we find has a massive impact on ROI and profit from CX when understood and structured effectively.

On the day Direct Line joined us as speakers to share their ‘front line’ experiences. The parallels between the two presentations were reassuring and encouraging given Direct Line’s recent CX and marketing award winning successes. The Lexden presentation is available to members of the FSF through their website. For Lexden followers, the presentation can be found on our website www.lexdengroup.com. When you sign up you will access all whitepapers and presentations including those from our recent ‘Masterclass in FS CX’ event where Professor Dr. Phil Klaus was a keynote speaker.

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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.

ThefSforum

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.

 

Mastering FS CX with Lexden

philLast month we ran our inaugural ‘Masterclass in Financial Services Customer Experience’.  We had a full house and a packed agenda. Since that day we’ve received a healthy wave of positive feedback. It has reassured me that we have provided relevant and thought-provoking content to those good enough to come, which was the original motivation.

I have been invited to attend, speak or sponsor a number of CX events already this year. So why did we decide to run another CX event? Well it’s simple really. We are independent customer experience consultants, not event managers or vendors of CX solutions. So we could share freely. We wanted clients to hear conventions challenged and indiscretions exposed. We also wanted to share practical insights that could be given to others to take and apply.

Without these constraints we could make the event complimentary too. Our hosts were the ABI who kindly provided their conference venue having heard our ambition. I am indebted to the wonderful Julie Geraud from the ABI for making that happen.

If you missed the day you can sign up on our website under downloads Click Here and access all the presentations from the day. Plus a short video of speeches will follow too.

CB on stageI am also grateful to our presenters who agreed to take the stage, without previous evidence of a Lexden event to compare what it would be like against. They included:

  • Professor Dr Phil Klaus (that’s him on the right), author of #2 Amazon Business Book, ‘Measuring Customer Experience’ and award winner of numerous CX studies. Dr Phil showed why chasing promoters is fool’s gold and how an alternative measure is 87% more accountable (that’s not a typo);
  • Fellow of the MRS Tom Kerr, a recognised name in FS customer insight. Tom gave to the audience the only model you need when it comes to fulfilling customers experience needs and desires. This was the real deal;
  • Tour de force Darren Cornish, the inspirational CX Director at customer-centric The Share Centre. Darren explained the pains and the pros of putting a customer first in the business model and helped practitioners realise what you need to do;
  • Brian Simpson, the employee engagement expert with a lifetime of experience behind him. Brian created real empathy with the audience sharing emotional experiences that only someone who has been through the pains of engaging employees in customer experience change management understands;
  • An expert panel including Lexden associates Colette Porter and Alvin Jackson, Jo von Riemsdijk from CX Talent and Basia Szumska-Hale from Geneysis;
  • And I handed over the blue print for successfully embedding brand differentiation in customer experience programmes to drive ROI of 6:1

The content was first class with much revealed by all. I had explained to speakers I wanted the audience to take back to their desks ideas, insights and inspiration they could apply and they  duly delivered.

But most of all I am grateful to the people from Visa, HSBC, Ageas, Just Retirement, Direct Line, Dixons Carphone, HGI, Partnerships, Zurich, AXA-PPP Healthcare, TNS, Barclays, Denplan, Legal & General, Kensington Mortgages, Royal London, UK General, Boost, CX Talent and all our attendees for having faith that giving up time to attend would be a worthwhile trade.

We have been encouraged to do more following feedback. So we will be taking the event on the road West and North and looking to re-run the event in other sectors too.

For those who attended slides will be made available and for those who missed it there is a video to follow shortly.

What I love about customer experience is the generosity of those practitioners within it to share freely ideas, models and improvement techniques. We want to be associated with the best practitioners in this sector so glad to share our ideas and thinking too.

Lexden helps deliver Customer Experience Strategy and Management for clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.

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 www.lexdengroup.com.

5 exceptional financial services customer experience examples

CX award winnweThis summer saw the UK’s first Financial Services Customer Experience awards (that’s me on the right with the winning Direct Line team). It was a great day with a few brands taking the lead now. Nationwide, Direct Line and Standard Life picked up more than one gong. With some smaller players demonstrating that you don’t need a big budget to deliver stand out customer service.

We were there to partner the occasion. We judged, we awarded prizes, we also provided the key-note speaker and we had a ball. So I am sure the 2016 finalists line up will be even more hotly contested.

It will also be interesting to see if the winners can continue to turn their famous winning experiences in to even more profitable outcomes for their shareholders (or members in Nationwide’s case), by obtaining more share of their contented customer’s wallet.

The financial service sector has woken up to Customer Experience. With that in mind, here are 5 great customer experiences. We’ve highlighted some which are unique and some which are well used. We hope they provide inspiration either way.

Umpqua Bank’s night time antics

umpqua.png2This American retail bank, with a growing network of branches is bucking the trend. They are locally focused so they’ve introduced a range of ways to embed themselves in the community. Which is all part of their positioning as a community bank. One of the ideas is the ‘hand the keys over’ initiative. When evening falls the branch is closed so the branch is a dead space. Space is much sort after by community groups, so members of the local community can hire the open areas of the branch for social activities such as Pilates and book readings – thereby helping the community out by making more of their underutilised assets.

Sun Life Direct making life easier when it’s painful enough 

sun life directFamous for the over 50’s life insurance (mainly bought for funeral planning) product, 98% of new policy holders state they are happy with the service they get when the plan is taken out.

However, following the death of the policy holder, when a relative claims for a payout is when the brand must really deliver. It used to take a few weeks to get a payout because of the pieces of information and documentation expected.

The irony being that the account holder was often buried before funds which they’d put premiums into the plan for, were released. So the very purpose of the plan was therefore not delivered upon! A basic fail.

Sun Life decided to challenge this with a ‘we take the risk’ approach. It reduced the requirement at claims to one number being needed. With this agreed at Sun Life payouts happen in days now and relatives have less to worry about.

Such is the impact of this idea I’ve since seen it win awards for a different brand, so it clearly has meaning and motivation.

First Direct pay customers for leaving

First Direct buck the trend by not only offering customers an incentive to open a current account, but so confident are they that the experience received once customers join or switch will meet customer’s expectations, they offer the same again for them to leave!

first directThe First Direct Service Guarantee states, “We’ll pay £100 per customer or joint relationship if you close your Account within 12 months of opening it <small print>. We’ll pay the £100 into your account prior to its closure. All accounts with First Direct have to be closed and your 1st Account transferred to another bank/building society.”

I’ve held an account with First Direct (among others) for many years. I can vouch for the thread of steel holding all experience touch points together, across products, across time.  This individual acknowledgement is backed up by several reputable studies and awards in customer service and experience including uSwitch and UKCSI.

Becu bank closing for good!

becu closed for goodThe American retail bank makes a commitment to the communities it serves which is authenticated through every aspect of the business delivery. It’s clearly an authentic focus for them. As their website states; PUTTING PEOPLE FIRST | MAKING OUR COMMUNITY A PLACE TO PUT DOWN ROOTS. As a consultancy which preaches a customer first philosophy (allowing profits to follow) we really connect with Becu. We are a fan and follower of their progress.

Their community commitment is evidenced through several initiatives; people helper rewards, environmental stewardship, financial empowerment partnerships, foundation scholarships and ‘Closed for Good’. These are great experiences for customers, employees and the community to enjoy who see Becu as a bank which cares for its community. It also helps employees understand the importance of community which ensures it is then evidenced through every other touch point.

‘Closed for Good’ is an initiative run on October 20th this year. It entails the bank closing until 1pm and every employee identifying where financial support will be beneficial and sharing their expertise with groups in the community. Is this the business model being delivered or marketing? Either way it ensures customers and prospects experience first hand or through the inevitable word of mouth, that Becu care about those they help. This delivers that rarest of commodities for banks; trust.

AIB’s digital transition lab

aib3There is efficiency in migrating customers to digital interactions with their bank – both for the bank and for the customer. Preemptive marketing which can help customers keep one step ahead of decisions is a good example of where banks can provide customer relationship updates via a digital platform. Click on the pic for a virtual tour of the AIB LAB.

Allied Irish Bank recognised that whilst this is a commercial ambition for the bank, customers benefit from it too. Customer adoption will take longer to move from the ‘comfortable and not broken’ to the new world of digital banking. With that in mind they have created a ‘digital transition’ store in Dundrum Town, Ireland which has no sales agenda but a hand holding experience for customers to trial new platforms and ask questions. According to AIB it’s “designed to deliver an exceptional customer experience through digital self-service.

The award-winning enterprise is making the retail assets move from sales to education to and the support creates a new experience perception of the bank whilst encouraging in a passive and comfortable way customers to trial and adopt new banking platforms. It also presents a future impression of the bank’s image through this experience enhancing activation.

If you’ve enjoyed this article other ‘5 exceptional experiences’ posts cover airlines, how to have fun with CX, hotels and automotive. Click on any to link straight through.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director, Lexden

Lexden has a proven track record in delivering Customer Experience Strategy and Management to clients seeking sustainable profit from customer experience.

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 www.lexdengroup.com.