Tag Archives: financial services

FS CX Special: 3 interviews with CX leaders in financial services

I write a series entitled, ‘CX leaders’ which has included number of CX practitioners. The selection criteria for the interview is simply companies, or CX leads within those organisations who have impressed me with their commitment to a customer-led approach.

I’ve covered a range of sectors, including financial services. There is inspiration to be found from talking with those who are pushing forward with a customer agenda in a world dominated by transactions. As the interviews featured in this FS special show customer experience is a great way to transcend from a customer transaction focus to a customer relationship culture.

Against a backdrop of FCA regulation, historical lack of consumer trust and the arrival of nimble ‘cloud’ inhabiting digital brands, the established FS brands have their work cut out to stay relevant. But as these three interviews show, FS has a lot to gain from an effective CX strategy.

Newcastle Building Society – interview with Stuart Fearn, Head of Customer Contact

Stuart explains how NBS review technology to understand how it helps customers before deciding whether its relevant and valuable to adopt.

“Our priority is to make it easy for our customers to deal with us and to create positive, memorable moments and connections.

Link to the full interview – CX Leaders: Newcastle Building Society

The Bank of Cyprus – interview with Scott Fleming, Chief Customer & Commercial Officer

As his job title suggests, the Bank of Cyprus see customer-led thinking as a key growth imperative. With a customer base spread across branch usage and online banking, BoC’s challenges are familiar to most in retail banking.

Scott highlights the key requirements and support needed to make customer experience a priority focus in a financial organisation, including KPI management and backing from the CEO.

Link to the full interview – CX Leaders: Bank of Cyprus

One Savings Bank – Interview with Stephen Plimmer, Head of Customer Strategy & Insight

I met Stephen at the FSF Marketing Effectiveness Awards where OSB had picked up the CX award we sponsored that year.

Their story is of interest to anyone with a specific product or demographic looking to broaden their reach further.

link to the full interview – CX Leaders: One Savings Bank

These three interviews highlight some of the challenges and solutions financial services brands are dealing with in order to pursue a more sustainable profit from committed and content customers.

If you would like to be, featured in our CX Leaders series please drop me a line.

If you’d like to understand more about the value of CX and how to apply it to your business, email christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com and we will forward details of how to ‘improve’, ‘prioritise’ and ‘lead’ with CX.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Lexden – The Customer Experience Practice

lexdengroup.com ¦ +44 1279 902205 ¦ @lexdengroup

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Storytelling, stopwatches and suspense – a judge’s eye view of the UK Financial Services Experience Awards 2016

Working with Lexden I was delighted to be a judge at the awards especially as I recalled we’d partnered the inaugural event last year. I have been on the finalists’ side of the fence a few times, but it was my first time as a judge.

If you get offered an opportunity to judge in future years, take it – I found it a thoroughly educational and enjoyable day all round. I met some wonderful people with inspiring stories.

it’s the award to win if you excel at FS CX

The awards are broken down into around 20 categories. Each category has its own judging panel – usually four or five people.  Before the main event, we review written entries and complete a first round of scoring. The final round takes place on awards day itself.

fs cx awards

The Awards day started really well – a sparkling-blue-sky, and a train which got me from A to B on time.  Which is certainly out of the ordinary. During the journey I wondered what it must be like to deal with a hotel full of customer experience specialists. I expect we can be rather demanding customers.

When I arrived at the venue, Lisa Bailey and her team whisked me off for a judges briefing.  I knew I would be chairing the panel for my category – Best Use of Technology – so I was extra keen to have everything work smoothly for our five teams of finalists.

I was given a timetable setting out which order the finalists would present in, a set of scoring sheets, and a stopwatch. With up to five finalists presenting in each category, the event is a logistical marathon.  So timings are planned with military precision.

The panel set themselves up in a room, and the finalists appear in turn to make their pitch, and do a question and answer session, then leave the room so the judges can score the entries and note down their comments. After each presentation scoring sheets are placed in an envelope and collected by a member of the Awards team.  The scores are totted up, ready for the awards ceremony and dinner later that afternoon.

Our superb six were; – Welcome Real Time, Carfinance 247, Provident Home Credit,                  G2A.COM Limited, Standard Life plc and LV= Retirement Wizard

After the judging stage was complete, we enjoyed a quick glass of fizz and a chance to meet people and share stories.  Then it was time for lunch and the awards themselves.  The trophy giving took about three hours, so there was a lot of nail biting for the finalists before they were fully able to relax and let their hair down.

And the award goes to…

While the entries in our category were very different, all of them told a compelling story about how they had made life easier for customers, and improved business performance.  Many of them also talked about an influential leader who had got behind them and shouted them on from the sidelines.

A worthy silver went to Carfinance 247. But for the winning team – Standard Life – success was about people as much as technology. The careful selection of team members with the right balance of technical and people skills.  The quest to build bridges between functions and suppliers.  And you could see it right there in the room as they were presenting – determination, unity, and an amazing team chemistry.

We’ve all been there, in the thick of a complex project with heartburn-inducing deadlines.  But managing budgets and sprints is only part of the job.  Thank you Standard Life for reminding me that it’s people who sustain organisations and create change.

The Standard Life team collecting their award on the day.

standard lifeSee more on the event at: http://f-x-a.co.uk/meet-our-judges/#sthash.VBMuCgvI.dpuf.

Posted by Beth, Associate Consultant with Lexden Group.

Lexden helps deliver effective customer experience strategy and solutions 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. 

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?

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 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.

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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Showing the Human Side of (n)Power

npower’s Head of Customer Experience explains how customers are taking centre stage in the business

The utility sector has been through some tough times, with press scrutiny, regulatory pressure and customers who are starting to vote with their feet, but despite this backdrop npower, spearheaded by Kelly Iles (Head of Customer Experience), is determined to embed a customer first strategy in order to gain back the trust of customers in the energy sector.

Kelly Iles,Christopher Brooks, Managing Director from Lexden Customer Strategy Consultants caught up with Kelly to find out just what npower has in store for its customers.

Christopher: You’ve been with npower since 2012. It’s a sector which is striving to provide better customer experience and has a way to go in this space. As head of customer experience at npower, what are your key responsibilities in driving npower’s customer agenda forward?

Kelly: We have come a long way, npower has put a lot of focus and effort into making it better for our customers but it’s fair to say there’s still much more work to do. Our mission to achieve this should never stop. My team’s remit is to be the voice of the customer, championing what they want, need and deserve. I have the accountability and authority to set our customer experience improvement agenda which for us right now is getting back to the basics and delivering the energy experience that customers expect. This means addressing core processes, people capability, systems, communications as well as changing the culture of the organisation. It’s a pretty full on role!

Christopher: Already I can tell you are clearly passionate about customer experience, what do you find most interesting about CX?

Kelly: I love the fact that CX touches every facet of the business. There are no hiding places; all areas of the business are involved in the delivery of a seamless experience and to make it work, activities need to bring business and functional silo’s together, which has always been a management challenge.

Christopher: So what is your ‘customer first’ ambition for the company? 

Kelly: We’ve only been serious about building CX capability in the last 3 years. It requires a wholesale business transformation and we continue to move through the different stages of maturity. Whilst this started as a programme ultimately building an enduring capability and culture as well as a well-recognised discipline is our aim.
The core stages are; 1) building a customer insight capability – to understand the issues are customers experience and to measure our progress and performance, 2) map the customer journey to understand when, how and why these issues occur, 3) build and execute an effective improvement plan and finally, 4) embed the methodology, approach, ethos, and culture so that it becomes everyone’s responsibility.

Christopher: What’s driving CX up the utility sector’s agenda?

Kelly: CX has become a core priority across the entire sector. As choice widens, customers become less inert this results in, energy providers have margins being squeezed and commoditisation increased, however for sustainable growth pricing can’t be the only answer. As a result providers are recognising that offering a good service may mean customers are less likely to shop around and might move away from choosing their provider based solely upon price.
Ultimately retention of customers becomes key and delivering a great experience will help to build long standing sustainable customer relationships.

Christopher: In the insurance sector the metric is ‘effort’. In a sector such as utility which is very much an essential service, what are the priority areas of CX improvement to impress customers?

Kelly: Opportunities to delight and impress customers are far less than in other sectors such as retailers. Like insurance firms, the key is to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with us, effortless in fact. Developments such as SMART and the introduction of digital technology for example our new energy app allows our customers to track usage, manage their energy usage and ultimately keep costs as low as possible. For us it gives an opportunity to build engagement with our customers as well as giving us data that can be used to build a better picture of our customers upon which to offer more targeted products and services.

Christopher: It sounds as if there is much going on, can you give me an example of a one of those improvements made for customers?

Kelly: Listening to our customers we understood the anxiety that a house move creates. During any home move, Customers have lots of other things to sort. Managing their change of energy to their new property is the least of their priorities. as well as their energy. Our processes made customers contact us at a time suitable to us and we were only prepared to process Home moves by our telephone channel. Ultimately we quickly realised we could do a lot to make this process much less effort and one less thing to worry about at the time of the move. As a result we’ve digitised the whole journey and removed the restrictive contact window so that customers can inform us of their home move when it suits them. At the same time we built key checkpoints so we are able to reassure the customer that everything is going through as planned.

Christopher: You’ve mentioned a number of customer improvements being made. Where do the drivers for improvement come from?
npower

Kelly: Our Voice of the Customer programme is complimented by our Voice of the People and Voice of the Process programmes. This gives us a complete view on what’s happening to both our customers, our people and why. By bringing together multiple data sources and developing insight, we are able to clearly see the priority customer issues that need to be addressed. Our focus is on what matters to the customer.

Christopher: What are the contributors to your CX programme you value the most?

Kelly: There are many areas, but three I’ll highlight. Firstly, it needs the support and buyin from the snr leadership team which will ensure that CX remains on the agenda. The leadership team need to take ownership, set the agenda and ensure followership. Secondly, our people on the ground. These are the team that deliver the experience to the customer day in, day out. They also know what the issues are and often how to fix them. Listening, empowering and giving them the accountability to make a difference for customers is vital.
Finally, the ability to upskill and embed CX capability into the DNA of the organisation. For this I look to my team who have the right skills and expertise to work across the business and define what good looks like. This could be practically how you delivery change in a customer centric way right through to building the right operational lead metrics to monitor and evaluate CX change.

Christopher: Are you pleased with the progress you are making?

Kelly: We’ve come a long way but CX isn’t a project, it doesn’t stop. There is always a better way to serve the customer. Real-time feedback as a measure shows the power of ‘in the moment’ feedback. It gives you the opportunity to address a poor experience and to build advocacy through heroic recovery activity. To take a customer whose expectations haven’t been met and then exceed offersa powerful opportunity to build loyalty.

Christopher: Who do you look to for customer first thinking inspiration?

Kelly: For me, I think those companies who just make the whole interaction effortless impress me the most. The AA breakdown service – I was on my own when I found myself stuck on a side of a road, they asked me specifically whether I was accompanied and then applied a very targeted to experience based upon my situation; text updates to manage what’s going on and even a message to help me recognise the recovery vehicle (driver flicking his lights)importantly it was executed perfectly and against the expectations met.

Christopher: CX is evolving fast, what do you think the major trends in your sector will be?

Kelly: The winners in the industry will be those who get the basics right, make interacting with the company seamless and then ongoing, build a proactive relationship with the customer that he or she values. Using data and insight will be key so we can put customers back in control. Ultimately, helping them to manage their energy more effectively.

kelly iles 1Christopher: it’s been so insightful, your passion is infectious and your expertise evident. So how could you help an organisation just waking up to the potential of customer experience?

Kelly: Okay, so I’d have to say strong leadership is key. It can get ugly and you need to be prepared to go through the journey. Leaders need to believe and recognise the phases you will go through. They will also help ensure you get your message out there in the organisation. Also it takes time – there are no short cuts. Many organisations transformation programmes can take up to 10 years. Perhaps most important of all, be relentless in your quest. Never give up. It’shard work but the rewards are great.

Christopher: Kelly that’s great. I’ve seen you at the CX Awards, so you are obviously doing the right things. It’s been a pleasure hearing more about where you’ve come from and where you are going. All the best with your mission. Thank you.

This article is published in the CXM (Customer Experience Magazine)http://cxm.co.uk/showing-the-human-side-of-npower/

If you head up a CX team and would like to be considered for a feature interview, we’d love to hear from you:

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 contactchristopherbrooks@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.

 

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.

 

AN INVITATION TO LEXDEN’s FINANCIAL SERVICES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE MASTERCLASS

fs event.emfFS CX MASTERCLASS

On 30th October 2015, Independent Customer Management Consultants Lexden are hosting a half day FS CX Masterclass at the Association of British Insurers offices in Central London.

As someone who reads our blogs on customer experience, we would like to invite you to join us on the day.

The half day event is designed for financial services practitioners to benefit from a selection of thought leading presentations covering a variety of insightful and inspirational customer experience topics to help clients get ahead.

Speakers topics include (full details below):

  • How to measure customer experience profitability 
  • Practical examples of CX working for FS brands
  • How to get ahead of others in today’s cluttered FS CX space
  • What great looks like for FS customers and how to deliver it

If you are interested in benefiting from this opportunity, please complete the contact form details below and we will reserve your complimentary place.

Speakers include:

phil klausWorld renowned speaker, author and Professor of Customer Experience, Professor Dr Phil Klaus. Phil holds multiple professorships around the globe. His award-winning research has appeared in numerous books, and a wide range of managerial and academic journals. His areas of expertise include customer experience. Phil will reveal the uncomfortable truth about conventional CX performance and share a more superior approach.

meLexden’s MD Christopher Brooks has worked with a variety of financial services giants spanning a 20 year career (including Amex, Aviva, Barclays, Raffeissen Bank, Direct Line, JPMorgan, Hiscox, Visa, Ageas, Tesco Bank, Investec, Nationwide, Visa and The Co-operative Bank among others). Christopher will be sharing insights into what those who excel are up to in financial services customer experience.

darren cornish

Darren Cornish is Director of Customer Experience at The Share Centre. Having driven customer-led thinking forward at  Aviva, Axa, Eon and now with The Share Centre, Darren has always had ‘customer ‘ in his title and customer contentment on his agenda. Darren will share the award nominated  FS CX presentation from The Share Centre.

“Christopher delivered a first class presentation at our Protect Association conference. As Simon Cowell would say, ‘He nailed it!’ – Steve Devine, Chairman, PROTECT

If you are interested, we would love to see you there. Either complete the contact form above, reply via the website lexdengroup.com or email christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com to secure your complimentary place.

Full details of this event are below.

fs event3jpg

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.