Tag Archives: santander

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.

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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.

 

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Do you know where your brand’s customer experience blind spots are?

One morning last week in the space of 10 minutes I walked past three examples of customer experience which are more to do with my interpretation of what I experienced rather than the intention of the brand trying to deliver the customer experience.

It highlights that all brands have blind spots. Most organisations look at customer experience from a ‘process’ or ‘journey’ perspective. However, as these three real examples below show reviewing the experience from a ‘scenario’ perspective can throw up unplanned experiences. This also demonstrates how evident it is when a brand has a customer experience ‘programme’ rather than a deep rooted philosophical belief. Otherwise the way these ‘unforeseen’ experiences are dealt with would have been very different.

There are brands who do make the most of these misfortunes. If you want to know how to turn blind spots into brand differentiating experiences get in contact. But for now I hope you enjoy these three examples.

Specsavers ‘managing’ operational issues from the front line

I popped in to the store for a pre-booked contact lens test. It was very good in terms of the service and overall experience, as ever. However, I couldn’t help but notice a post it on all the monitors. It read, ‘Please quote 10 days for jobs you would normally quote 7 days.Thanks’.

Managing customer expectations effectively is a key attribute of CX, but hanging this type of message out in front of customers festers a worry that everything said before and after by the staff isn’t quite true, even if it was meant with good and helpful intentions.

Without brand and quality control on board, the delivery of a customer experience will be inconsistent at best but can turn lawless if not contained. The interpretation of this experience by the consumer will then impact a new lesser perception of the brand, even if the intention of the CX delivery of the brand was entirely different.

Santander saying ‘sorry’ with a scrap of paper

santander2On my way to Specsavers I intended to get some cash out for a coffee later. But on passing the Santander ATM I was confronted with a usual modern sight; a faulty ATM. But rather than the usual screen denial message there was a personal note applied by the store.

it read, ‘please accept our apologies – this cash machine is not dispensing cash at the moment. Engineer on the way.’ All very good you might say. But considering this was more noticeable than the high gloss, high budget ads which hung in the branch window, it was delivered on a tatty and ripped scrap of paper.

So why doesn’t it have a ‘brand approved’ execution too? After all this is a regular occurrence. If I was heading in to discuss a current account would a seed of doubt have been planted? Possibly. Would it be enough to stop me? Possibly.

Costa’s Muffin creates such a buzz, I headed to Nero

Having completed my eye test I popped into Costa Coffee to grab a coffee and a muffin to take back to the office. However, I traced the buzz of the fly to a muffin being displayed in a large glass container. It is designed so that a customer can’t get their hand to the cakes. Okay, it may be just me, but on a cool October morning when you hear the buzz of a fly you think the worse in a restaurant or coffee shop. I had no idea how long the fly had been having a field day on the muffins or anything else I could have changed my order to. The barista were oblivious to it which again suggested they were worringly used to it.

The reality was probably very different. The fly had probably only just arrived, the barista probably hadn’t seen it but would get rid of it as soon as they did and the fly ‘brushing’ my muffin would make no difference to my eating pleasure. However, reality counts for little where perception is concerned.

The impact was made on my experience. I left the store and headed across to Nero which had no flies, or at least had dealt with them before I arrived so I was none the wiser. Flies are attracted to cakes and coffee so surely the scenario should have a CX response drilled into the Batista to reassure customers of brand quality standards.

In summary, none of us are perfect, but we need to plan to be more so

As consumers we can’t ‘un-see’ these sorts of things. They invariably play a part in our assessment of that brand and our future consideration of it. Therefore, making sure everyone from the boardroom, to the brand team to the ‘brigade’ on the front line are in on the joke. Make sure you look for the blind spots as well as the blindingly obvious if you want the customer experience delivery to be a differentiation rather than a detraction.

Posted by Christopher Brooks, Director, Lexden

Lexden is an independent customer experience consultancy practice. We help clients deliver greater profit through more effective customer experience practices.

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.

Unordinary Thinking No.34 | Creating brand warmth with a zombie

Big names. Big events. Big Business.

Sponsorship agencies are always on the lookout for successful properties to associate with their clients. Events don’t come bigger than the Olympics where Visa’s prolific association generated a 49% (Interbrand) consumer connection between brand and event. But it’s not for the fainthearted or small budget holder at a quoted £61 million for a 4-year deal. If it proves a key contributor towards Visa’s increased competitive dominance of debit payment schemes across Europe, it will be qualified as a sound investment.

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If it’s not events, sponsorship agents can seek endorsement from famous faces instead. Most notably in this space the recent appointments of superstar Santander brand ambassadors Jensen Button, Jessica Ennis and Rory McIlory. These are not just a set of sporting mannequins draped in logos. The trio are being made to work for their fee with direct product promotions as well as brand endorsement.

And when not in ads, they can be found in Santander ISA statements. In my recent statement Santander has promised if Rory wins a PGA tour I will get an extra 0.1% interest on my savings. Not the reason I took the ISA out, but an engaging way to reward my loyalty all the same. Let’s hope 100% Rory success hopefully breeds 0.1% success for me.

With so many brands competing for our attention through these sponsorship properties has success become saturated? If so where would a brand manager look next to create brand attention?

The Gate (Edinburgh) gets grizzly.

So if all the big properties are taken up or require 8 figure sums to secure, how can you still achieve stand out? The answer is to be creative in your thinking and creative in your execution whilst still capturing the hearts and minds of your target audience.

With that in mind, how about sponsoring a disaster instead of a success? An unordinary thought, but one which is creating a storm for established marketing agency The Gate from Edinburgh.

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Here’s the idea… Deadinburgh: It is claimed Edinburgh will never be the same again, as The Enlightenment Café host Deadinburgh. Billed as “the only safe haven in Edinburgh to avoid an unknown pathogen virus ravaging Scotland’s capital”, guests of The Gate are invited to a unique evening of experiential entertainment where they will role play at being ‘one of the last uninfected citizens in the UK. Guests have hours to decide how to save mankind’. As the night unfolds The Gate’s guests will be ‘working with eminent scientists to learn how closely the fictional world of zombies resembles the real animal world in order to stop the virus.”

Blending the Gate’s creative talent and the Enlightenment Café’s dramatic approach to theatre has produced what promises to be a memorable experience. An event which The Gate hopes turns this particular disaster into another success for it’s business.

Should you be interested in attending the experience there are several public shows between 19th and 21st. Tickets are still available.

To stand out, be creative.

Are there other brands out there achieving stand-out from such an innovative creative experience? Or are The Gate in a league of their own by standing out from the crowd as well as reaffirming their creative class.

Inspired thinking from the team from Edinburgh. At Lexden we look forward to seeing how this brand activation initiative converts over the coming months.

Posted by Christopher Brooks

At Lexden we work with brands to attract and retain customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, build memorable customer experience strategies and create engaging value propositions.

Don’t forget to sign-up to our new Lexden newsletter Putting Customers First

For more information about how we can help your customer strategy please contact christopherbrooks@lexdengroup.com , or call us on M: +44 (0) 7968 316548. You can follow us on LinkedIn Facebook and Twitter @consultingchris