Tag Archives: NatWest

How I won without even entering the UK Customer Experience Awards

IMG_4794On 25th September I sat down to watch five heavyweights of banking take each other on in a battle of customer experience supremacy. Visa, RBS, NatWest, Virgin Money and Nationwide presented their customer experience initiatives to me and four fellow judges. As MD of Lexden, an independent customer experience agency, I am used to working with senior stakeholders to demonstrate the advantage of improvements. But that didn’t stop me feeling anything less than extremely privileged to chair the group.

The whole day is a genuine pleasure for several reasons, which as MD of Lexden justifies me taking time out of the schedule to enjoy the event. By the end of the day, even without a drink, I felt like a winner because of what I’d enjoyed and gained from the day. Here’s why…

The Judging format

As judges we receive the written entries a couple of weeks before to review and grade. Then on the day each company presents their entry. It’s then you get to see the passion for putting the customer first and can share the challenges they’ve had to get to this place. It’s inspiring and makes you realise we work in a brilliant industry when you watch the fabulous entries unpacked and presented for customer and commercial benefit.

Variety of organisations competing

Having judged discipline awards such as direct marketing, PR and loyalty you find companies are separated by size as well as sector. With the CX Awards all sized companies can compete alongside each other for categories such as ‘best use of customer insight’ or ‘team of the year’. I was chatting to a team from a smaller finance processing house who had been up against high street brands from other sectors, which made them feel great even though they hadn’t won on this occasion. The reason this can happen is unlike many other disciplines, the customer is the common currency here, which results in such diversity.

It’s also reflected in the occupations of the guests. Where else do you find Professors of Psychology rubbing shoulders with bank tellers rubbing shoulders with marketing execs rubbing shoulders with customers and their dogs (yes – that is right, Eurostar brought a customer and their pet dog along to support their case study).

Wonderful people

IMG_4800On that point of ‘broad cross section’, there is still something that every one of the 2,000 people Awards International attract (and wonderfully look after) at this event has in common; everyone is genuinely passionate about putting the customer first. Some awards collections were delayed as the recipients were in floods of tears such their commitment to that cause. It was emotional to see how much companies want to do the right thing.

Of course it’s more than just interesting for us at Lexden as an Independent Customer Strategy Consultancy helping clients to achieve just that.

Surprising guests

I saw many clients, former colleagues and friends at the event. But two stood out for me because they have offers which are not core to customer experience, but highlight how this area really is growing into a leading industry in business and marketing.

IMG_4807I met up with judges, Jo and Kate. They run a growing recruitment company called CX Talent DEDICATED to customer experience. The importance of the DEDICATED bit can not be stressed enough. Having helped a client recruit a customer insight and customer experience team from a generalist recruiter before it is a nightmare. With two minutes I could tell they knew their onions and their text analytics and their NPS from their EXQ. No recruiter should be without them!

I also met Millie and her colleagues from Boost Marketing. A company dedicated to helping people win awards – what a job! They are fiercely secretive about who they work with but they seemed to be smiling an awful lot when winners were announced. My conclusion being they are very successful at what they do! The conversations I had at our table with Millie suggested a real depth of understanding and interest in CX, which is reassuring if you appoint them to help shape your award entry submissions or help with your award entry presentation,

So there we are, why I enjoy these awards so much. Fortunately the industry is growing and with the quality of submissions each year improving I conclude we are in good shape too.

I am looking forward to helping clients win more awards and judging even better entries as the event which celebrates the very best the CX industry has to offer.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Managing Director, Lexden Ltd

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.

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What would your media footprint look like?

I decided back in May to start a diary. Not one that recorded my innermost thoughts or my hopes and fears. But something a lot more visual than that. The diary is a recording of the marketing communications that had the most impact on me that day. And because of what I do, I travel a fair amount and so have been able to capture a really wide selection of images.

I am using the images to create a broader study of what messages, brands and media appeal. And then, by correlating that impact on my behaviour and attitude towards them, try to understand why they appeal. It’s not scientific but, as someone who is responsible for helping clients develop marketing strategies and build brands and value propositions, being ‘alaways on’ comes with territory. However, I have now been approached to publish the diary when it’s complete and consider how to develop it in to a robust tracking study, so that’s cool.

It’s been running just for nearly six months so I thought I’d take a look at which images have been attracting attention. The overall stats say views increase daily as you’d hope. But when I looked at the individual image stats, it shows that one image has had a whopping 1,486 views!! This is the NatWest ad below.

Why? Who’s looking, or rather, stalking this ad?

There are other NatWest ads, as well as RBS comms which have caught my attention, but the level of interest in this one surprised me. As part of the year diary review I hope to be able to figure out what’s happening here.

In addition to this I have had some other big hitters. Here are the top 5 so far: Lucozade @ 201, Barclays Bank bike scheme @ 67, Halifax @ 50, TalkTalk @ 39 and Red Bull @ 38.

I’ve also had an ad where I managed to crop out the logo of the brand. Ronel Schoeman from www.mawdatasolutions.co.uk applied some cool image searching software to track down the missing brand which turned out to be Marc Jacobs. Thanks Ronni.

It’s probably too soon to be choosing favourites, or pointing out which media reaches me effectively, but there are trends emerging. I seem to be a fan of the unordinary: opera singers at Liverpool Street station for Macmillan Nurses, Renova the coloured toilet roll company using toilet doors to promote their range in Lisbon and Dior’s use of multi screen at Edinburgh airport.

Nearly 6 months later I can still recall these ads with ease and vivid colour. And as I look at the collection, I can also remember how I felt at the time-powerful stuff when it comes to comms. After all, that’s what it’s about.

Please do take a look at the full diary http://www.flickr.com/photos/66864671@N00/sets/72157626556021873/.

I would appreciate any comments. And if your brand is here, let me know whether you think I’ve consumed what was expected of me, or if you feel I’ve given it a rough time.

I’ll leave you with my top 3 memories from the first half of the diary.

Lexden is a marketing strategy agency which creates unordinary propositions to motivate customers and deliver commercial advantage for brands. 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.