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WWW.CUSTOMER-INSIGHT.CO.UK NOVEMBER 2011

THE “IAMRHP” EXPERIENCE THE UK’s NEWEST BANK

COMPANIES IN THIS ISSUE Barclays Wealth Metrobank Stoves easyJet Disney RHP

LATEST UKCSI RESULTS ECEW CONFERENCE BRINGING THE VOICE OF THE CUSTOMER INTO THE BOARDROOM

Plus... Complaint Handling Latest Thinking Online Panels Book Review


November 2011

6 Case Study

23 UKCSI

Innovative customer service in social housing.

Latest results - which UK companies are satisfying their customers the most? 29 Case Study Best financial services company, UK Customer Experience Awards 2011.

10 Case Study See how easyJet, Stoves and confetti.co.uk use online panel research. 12 Case Study

32 Latest Thinking

Stupid bank rules are no more!

Your customers have to love you, not just like you. 36 Technology Bringing the voice of the customer into the boardroom. 37 Book Review

17 Research

In this issue...

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 2

Designing With Data Excellent primer on the key principles of accurate and effective data presentation.

How to use online panels for research and consultation. 18 Conference European Customer Experience World 2011 with Disney, Unilever and more. 22 Complaints Complaint Handling: The Good Guys & The Bad Guys.

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Have your own online panel of customers or relevant target groups Use the experience and expertise of The Leadership Factor to recruit and manage your own branded panel of relevant people for surveys and other research or consultation activities. A representative panel of your own customers or relevant people is extremely useful to:

n Obtain customer perceptions n Undertake consultations n Research & Develop your product n To test Marketing initiatives n To build a relationship with panellists

nW  e can create and recruit a bespoke panel which contains relevant YourSayPays panellists, people from your database or a combination of both.

n As well as the software and management of the panel we can also provide questionnaire design, analysis & reporting, survey insights and consultancy.

To find out more contact Darren Wake darrenwake@yoursaypays.co.uk or call 01484 467012

online research

www.onlineresearchuk.co.uk


Nigel Hill editor

If you were a social housing resident in Richmond you would be experiencing “iamrhp service”, based on “doing the basics brilliantly” and being best at what matters most to their customers. Customer contact staff are recruited for attitude and trained for skills, they get monthly feedback on customer satisfaction (RHP Heartbeat) and can consult the ground-breaking RHPedia for advice and guidance on resolving any customer enquiry first time. Winner of the 2011 UK Customer Experience Awards, you can read about RHP from page 6. Another winner of the UK Customer Experience Awards (best in Financial Services) is Barclays Wealth – for ‘its innovative customer commitment programme, its extensive employee engagement programme and the passion that its people had for their clients’. Like RHP they invest heavily in training and development and employee engagement – happy staff leading to happy customers. Read about Barclays Wealth from page 30. The same philosophy applies at Metro Bank. The first new UK bank to be authorised for over 150 years opened its first branch just over a year ago. It is based on America’s highly successful, and very different, Commerce

Customer insight is the magazine for people who want their organisation to deliver results to employees, customers and any other stakeholders as part of a coherent strategy to create value for shareholders. We publish serious articles designed to inform, stimulate debate and sometimes to provoke. We aim to be thought leaders in the field of managing relationships with all stakeholder groups.

Nigel Hill

Editor:

Production Editor: Chris Newbold Rob Ward

Designer:

Bank, whose founder, Vernon Hill built its unbank-like business model on the customer-centric approach of the Burger King franchises that he already owned. You can read from page 12 how Metro Bank compares

Creative Director: Rob Egan Charlotte Ratcliffe

Marketing:

with the kind of banks we’re all familiar with. Does your bank open seven days a week and from 8am to 8pm on weekdays? Interestingly, most of Metro Bank’s new accounts are opened during the evening or at the weekend. Also in this issue, the latest UKCSI results are out so you can find out who the UK’s most admired companies are when it comes to customer satisfaction and there is a report on the European Customer Experience World Conference. We also have articles on complaint handling, online panels and a thought-provoking book review on graphic presentation of statistical information.

Printers of Customer Insight Magazine

www.customer-insight.co.uk info@customer-insight.co.uk Customer Insight C/0 The Leadership Factor Taylor Hill Mill Huddersfield HD4 6JA NB: Customer Insight does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points of view expressed in the articles by contributing writers and/or in advertisements included in this magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this magazine, no legal responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information published. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable system or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent of the publisher. Copyright © CUSTOMER INSIGHT 2011

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Case Study

RHP

– a housing provider in Richmond – has always believed that putting customers at the heart of its business strategy was the right thing to do. They own and manage 9,500 homes for people in need, including affordable rented housing, housing for older people and key workers and provide a variety of home ownership opportunities. Although providing and maintaining affordable homes is a big part of what RHP does, what really matters to them is the way it does things. So the way customers experience their services is a vital part of business for their 220 employees.

Mark McCall Client Manager

The Leadership Factor markmccall@leadershipfactor.com

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Case Study

RHP’s whole approach to customer service is centred on doing simple things consistently well – hence its focus on ‘doing the basics brilliantly’. The basics for them include being responsive, bringing homes up to a good standard, ensuring that repairs are done quickly and well, and dealing honestly with problems when they arise. As a small company, RHP has a huge ambition – to become the best customer service provider in the UK and an excellent employer. Through the pursuit and delivery of these goals it aims to provide a seamless and exceptional customer and employee experience – the RHP Experience - that people recommend to their friends. In turn, this contributes to its business growth enabling it to provide more homes and a wider range of services that match the needs and aspirations of their existing and future customers.

IN A RECENT SURVEY, 90% OF EMPLOYEES SAID THE iamrhp SERVICE HAS IMPROVED THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

RHP knows that to stand-out, it must compare itself against the big hitters in the industry. So rather than follow the historically safe approach to customer service, it pioneers new ways of working. By working for and with customers, in the last year alone, RHP has seen the launch of some amazing new initiatives which has led to them achieving customer satisfaction of well above 88% the industry norm. This article looks at how some of their latest innovations have helped them achieve ‘the RHP Experience’.

The Employee Experience RHP employs likeminded people, who are passionate about doing things exceptionally well for their customers and being the best at what they do. “We don’t just look for people who are technically qualified to do the job; we bring in people who innately embody the behaviours needed to deliver our goals. This makes engaging employees with our strategy easy!” says David Done, Chief Executive. “We provide a great, fun, working environment as we know that happy employees mean happy customers. The key to

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Case Study

our employee success has been rewarding behaviours that promote trust, open communication, creativity and autonomy while fostering an environment in which our people have the atmosphere, support and tools to do a great job.” This has seen RHP invest over £200k per year in relevant employment development for the past five years. As a result, they have achieved employee satisfaction of 98%.

The iamrhp Experience RHP did exhaustive customer research to find out what really mattered to its customers. Through its research with the Leadership Factor, it discovered that actually, for their customers, there are key behaviours that are essential to improving service experience. For RHP customers, the key behaviours identified were: · being on the customer’s side · being honest and helpful · fixing things fast, to last So RHP began working with their employees to make sure that they are always demonstrating the behaviours customers want most – known as the ‘iamrhp’ service style. Through simplifying the Myers-Briggs model personality types, they’ve worked with their teams to identify their own personality types. This has helped give their employees a greater understanding of how to improve their communication with customers and adapt their behaviours to meet the needs of customers. David says ‘this is particularly important in our business, as a lot of the time, we have to give messages that our customers may not want to hear. So understanding the practicalities of how to better communicate difficult messages in a non-confrontational way has meant that we can still build positive relationships with our customers.” In a recent employee survey, 90% of employees said the iamrhp service style has improved the customer experience.

The Collaborative Experience Careful planning has allowed RHP to gather information about their custom-

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ers’ experiences in a more intelligent way. They work collaboratively with customers to define the experiences they deliver. Kaylene Potts, Customer Insight Manager explains some of the key components to their customer engagement strategy: Quality Partners Quality Partners are a group of 30 customers who put the spotlight on specific service areas at anytime during the year giving us straightforward, honest information. They do this through a variety of ways including mystery shopping and onsite inspections. Mystery shopping allows us to explore the actual customer experience at a snapshot in time (rather than asking customers for their views retrospectively) and records specific details of that particular experience. As such it is powerful tool for us to help highlight clear action points for improving service delivery. Mystery shopping has been remarkably successful. Through a recent mystery shop of our Customer Contact Centre, Quality Partners highlighted some of the key topics our agents weren’t able to fix at the first point of contact. As a result, we developed several training programmes around these topics so that agents can now deal with these customer issues immediately. e-Consultants We have a panel of 1,000 customers known as ‘e-Consultants’ who we use on a quarterly basis to swiftly respond to online surveys to tell us in more detail what they think and help us better understand their experiences. e-Consultants were selected through asking those customers whose email addresses we hold if they wanted the possibility of taking part in regular surveys about different aspects of our services throughout the year for the chance to win cash prizes or other incentives. Last year we used their feedback to revise our key service promises to customers and ensure we are delivering services in ways which are most important to customers.

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RHP Heartbeat The Leadership Factor feedback surveys, referred to as ‘the Heartbeat’, are at the heart of what we do and tell us about our customers’ ongoing experiences. These results allow us to confidently check whether the changes we are making are actually making an impact and being noticed by our customers. Every month we conduct 100 telephone surveys which means 15% of our customers are interviewed annually. Customers are asked to score their satisfaction against factors that are directly linked to RHP’s key behaviours. Customers are asked for specific details of what RHP could do to make them more satisfied, whilst very satisfied customers are asked what makes them so happy with RHP. The results are published using our monthly Customer Heartbeat Bulletin – with the key messages from customers disseminated throughout the organisation as soon as the results are available and The Leadership Factor’s web reporting tool (around 50 employees have access). This helps managers to remain focused on key areas and results are available onmanager, team and even individually to ensure accountability. The verbatim comments from the survey are also shown on the web report, enabling employees such as customer advisors and caretakers to see specific examples of what customers are saying about the service they receive from them, thus bringing the results more to life. In the last three months we have seen that many of the changes we have made really are making a difference. Compared to the previous 12 months we have seen improvements in all three of our key headline measures, ‘overall satisfaction’, ‘satisfaction with repairs’, and ‘satisfaction with taking your views into account’. We have seen improved performance at


Case Study

the top end with more customers ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ satisfied and just as importantly fewer people who are dissatisfied with our performance. An example of this improvement is that the number of people ‘very satisfied’ with taking their views into account has increased from around 34% to 43%.

The Technology Experience Kaylene explains some of their recent innovations achieved through working directly with customers. “Our Contact Centre (CSC) answers almost 100,000 calls every year, making them a vital customer facing team within the business. Through the work with our Quality Partners, we re-designed the way calls are directed into the contact centre. Quality Partners identified that if a customer had to call the contact centre more than once in a day about the same issue, they may end up explaining their issue twice. As a result, we installed a new programme on our phone system, which automatically re-routes customers to the same agent they initially spoke to. This has helped our agents to build a rapport with customers, saves our customers time and improves the overall experience for customers.” RHPedia Out of RHP’s new service style has come the inception of RHPedia – their trailblazing online knowledgebase, dedicated to fixing things fast, to last – the third behaviour of their service style. This website is based on the Wikipedia model. RHPedia enables any employee to deal with customer issues at the first point of contact by giving them the key information, advice and guidance needed to resolve any customer enquiry that comes in. Employees can directly add information to RHPedia that is then reviewed by RHP employees before going live within 24 hours. They have competitions and prizes

for those who add the most useful information. Prizes have included iPod shuffles and theatre tokens. RHPedia has reduced the need for customers to ask for call backs by 60%, as more employees can answer more enquiries first time. Kaylene explains that “What’s fantastic about it is that it engages our employees through collaborative learning. It allows them to impart their knowledge on how to deal with the many complex customer enquiries we receive on a daily basis. This has really made the difference for us increasing the number of enquiries we resolve at the first point of contact by 14% in the last few months.” Choices Through the work with their e-Consultants over the last year, RHP has been delving into what their customers want most from a repairs service. One of the things that came top was to make it really easy for customers to report a repair. As such, RHP has introdued 2-hour repair appointment time slots. The development of its interactive website has seen RHP become the first housing provider in the country to allow customers to directly book 2-hour repair appointment slots online. Just another example of how RHP uses innovation to enhance the customer experience.

challenging and influencing. Kaylene is keen to emphasise the fact that “the way customers feel about our service is what will make the difference. We know that great experiences don’t just happen; they are designed, so we plan every customer experience down to the last detail. We have developed a customer experience that is consistent at every point of contact, different from our peers and valued by our customers.” This is why RHP has been shortlisted for the National Business Awards’ Customer Focus Category and has just won the UK Customer Experience Award for Public Sector/Not for Profit companies. The judges of the UK Customer Experience Awards said “Customer focus is clearly within the DNA of the organisation. RHP value their customers and employees and are proud and passionate. There was clear evidence of how they use customer insight to drive effective business processes. An inspiring service with real demonstrable results proving that RHP’s customers receive great customer experience through a variety of channels and forums.” CI

The Customer Experience RHP are already achieving some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction and performance in its field, with 99% of repairs completed on time, 98% of calls answered and re-letting empty homes in 14 days or less, but there’s always more to do. The huge economic changes taking place across the country, present major challenges but also open up great opportunities. RHP wants to maximise these benefits for existing and future customers by constantly improving, innovating,

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Case Study

Interesting Results from Panel Research Surveys Darren Wake Business Development Manager The Leadership Factor 01484 467012 darrenwake@leadershipfactor.com

Made in Britain Campaign – Stoves ‘41% of UK adults wrongly believe HP sauce is manufactured in the UK’ Four decades after the “I’m backing Britain” campaign tried to revive the fortunes of UK companies, a contemporary counterpart spearheaded by cooker manufacturer Stoves has once again sought to boost patriotic enthusiasm for UK made products. Stoves commissioned YSP to conduct a survey of 1,000 UK adults to gather perceptions of UK manufactured products, and to find out people’s awareness and knowledge of where products are actually manufactured. The survey uncovered some shocking stats. For example, the majority of Brits mistakenly believe that brands including HP Sauce, Royal Doulton and Dyson are physically produced in the UK, whilst in

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fact they are all manufactured overseas. Results from the campaign have prompted Stoves to push for the introduction of an official logo demonstrating which products are made in the UK. They have teamed up with BuyBritish. co.uk and Shaun Woodward MP to campaign for the standardised “Made In Britain” marque to be used on British made products. The survey results and subsequent campaign have generated Stoves a huge amount of media exposure. They have featured in The Financial Times – both on and off line – and in many other national newspapers, plus a wide variety of trade publications.

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Stress free Holidays! easyJet ‘Over a third of us have found it difficult to find appropriate flights’ In Spring 2011 easyJet challenged their PR agency to promote their new route from Gatwick to Helsinki. Their PR agency appointed YSP to the campaign to boost PR coverage and exposure. The PR team organised a traffic-stopping stunt in London to promote the new route from Gatwick to Helsinki - the sauna capital of Europe! With only seven days to launch, the team quickly commissioned a bespoke Helsinki sauna to tour key locations across London. easyJet boys and girls were seen relaxing in the sauna on launch day by an estimated 10,000 people at sites including Trafalgar Square and Tower Bridge. They also actioned a preliminary teaser stunt to kick off the buzz on launch day which involved placing easyJet branded


Case Study We carry out a number of surveys to our online panel covering a wide variety of topics for a number of diverse clients. We often conduct surveys to generate statistics for PR purposes for clients. The media are constantly interested in quirky or interesting stories which include statistics to illustrate public opinion. Here we feature some interesting recent surveys that have generated significant media exposure.

The Ideal Bridesmaid! – confetti.co.uk ‘The perfect Bridesmaid? It’s gotta be Gok!’ Wedding planning website confetti.co.uk commissioned YSP to survey over 2,000 women regarding their ideal big day, and uncovered some surprising results! Pippa Middleton was pipped (no pun intended) to the post by Gok Wan at the top of the survey to find Britain’s favourite wish-list bridesmaid. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Angelina Jolie was voted the least likely celebrity to be chosen as maid of honour.

towels over the arms and around the torsos of famous statues across the capital - grabbing the attention of an estimated 30,000 further passing commuters and generating a flurry of media attention and internet speculation! At the same time easyJet inundated the key London, national and regional press with the results of a survey carried out by YSP of over 1,000 people regarding stressful holidays, booking flights and stressful destinations. Coverage was published in the key London titles including: The Metro, The London Lite and London newspaper. National coverage followed the next day in both The Sun and Daily Telegraph.

The survey closely followed the release of the movie Bridesmaids, taking a refreshing look at the role of chief bridesmaids and the tricky reality of friendships under pressure. The wedding website launched a campaign to find the ‘Ultimate Brides-

maid’, who would then be able to share a wealth of knowledge with those about to take on the role as well as brides gripped by wedding fever. The survey uncovered some interesting facts:

- Today’s bridesmaid can expect to be tasked with counselling the bride, organising a lavish hen party and finding the perfect wedding dress in addition to arranging flowers and arranging their own shoes, which nearly a quarter of brides expected their bridemaid to pay for themselves. - With a quarter of bridesmaids spending between 21 and 30 hours on preparing for the role, it is arguably one of Britain’s worst paid jobs, with the average bridesmaid (40%) receiving a thank you gift of just £20 in value! - Stealing the bride’s thunder on the big day was found to be the ultimate bridesmaid faux pas by a third of respondents, while nearly a quarter were primarily worried about their bridesmaid starting a fight! - Reliable and supportive personalities are favoured by 70% of brides while only one in ten were keen to hear the honest truth from their bridesmaids.

The survey for confetti.co.uk generated huge exposure in several wedding & bridal magazines and also featured in some tabloid newspapers. CI

Using online Panels for PR The above examples illustrate how online research panels can be used to generate stats and stories which can help businesses and brands with their PR. In our experience we have found that stories which are considered quirky, and statistics including celebrities to be more likely to secure media coverage. It seems that in today’s celebrity obsessed world, when stories include peoples’ perceptions of celebrities, they are simply more interesting!!

Examples include: - Helen Mirren and Stephen Fry were voted the ideal couple to be ambassadors for English Wine. - Most 18-24yr old women said they most admire Holly Willoughby’s style, whilst for women aged 35-44 it was Pippa Middleton. - Worst celebrity swimwear crime? Stringfellow by some distance!

Peter

- Which celebrities would inspire you to take up gardening? David Beckham and Kate Middleton lead the way!

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A few days after Metro Bank celebrated its first birthday, I walked into its Holborn branch to interview Chairman and co-founder Anthony Thompson. Outside, with its bright red and blue livery, and inside with smiling staff quickly walking over to greet me and offer assistance, it didn’t seem like a bank but more like a hotel reception or upmarket retailer. Close to where I was met was the Magic Money Machine, a child-friendly incentive that swallows up unwanted coins in exchange for notes. Staff were not behind bullet-proof glass but were accessible, friendly and customer-focused.

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For 10 years up to 1997, Anthony Thompson had built City Financial Marketing into Europe’s biggest financial services marketing agency prior to selling the business to Publicis. In 2000 he founded the Financial Services Forum, an independent, member-based community for senior executives involved in financial services marketing. Whilst running the Financial Services Forum, Anthony heard about Philadelphia-based Commerce Bank which, compared with the banking industry generally, had a unique customerfocused strategy. Commerce Bank had built its entire business model on delivering a great customer experience.

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Commerce Bank Commerce Bancorp was founded by Vernon Hill in 1973. He based its business model on the Burger King franchises that he already owned. Flippantly dubbed Mc-Bank by some, Vernon Hill used his knowledge of the highly competitive and customer-focused fast food industry to revolutionise retail banking. In effect he developed a completely new style of retail banking that would rely on service rather than interest rates to attract customers and deposits.


Case Study

Nigel Hill Founder of The Leadership Factor and Editor of Customer Insight Magazine.

info@customer-insight.co.uk

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Commerce Bank’s philosophy was that they were retailers, not bankers. They called their branches stores and its service proposition included such retail-style benefits as:

Metro Bank launched with retail convenience, transparent products that “do what they say on the tin”, and many of the features pioneered by Vernon Hill in the US. These included:

· Fast food opening hours – all day, 7 days. ·D  rive-thru banking. · Instant creation of ATM cards on the spot at the time of account opening. · No overdraft fees on debit card usage. · Free “Penny Arcade” coin counting machines for both customers and non-customers. · No-Fee Visa Gift Cards for customers. · Lollipops and dog biscuits in the lobby and drive-thru. · Foreign ATM fee reimbursement (if the customer maintained a daily balance of $2,500 through the statement cycle). · “No Stupid Fees, No Stupid Hours” pledge.

· A flat 10% rate of interest on all loans regardless of size or the type of customer. · A flat £500 arrangement fee for mortgages. · A flat 13% interest rate for all credit card customers. · Credit and debit cards provided within 15 minutes of successful application. · Retail-style opening hours – 8 till 8 on weekdays, 8-6 on Saturdays and 11-5 on Sundays. · A London based call centre. · Dog-friendly stores including water bowls and dog biscuits plus, on selected weekends, £20 for people who bring their dog into a store and open a new account. · Child-friendly stores including free pens and lollipops. · Free “Magic Money” coin counting machines. · Free email and text alerts on accounts and cards and weekly mini statements. · Credit card that is free to use abroad (for cash withdrawal as well as purchases) for current account holders. · “No stupid bank rules”.

Commerce Bank’s business model generated almost a cult following in the East Coast areas where they had stores. Commerce offered its customers merchandising giveaways such as coffee mugs, pens and pencils. In 2006 alone, its stores gave out 28 million free pens. It soon became one of the fastest-growing banks in the country. Having started with one store in 1973, the company had over 500 when it was bought by TD Financial for $8.5 billion in 2007.

The Launch of Metro Bank By the time of Commerce Bank’s sale, Anthony had become very close to Vernon Hill and before the end of 2007 the two had reached a decision to launch a bank in London based on the same customer first philosophy. It took until March 2010 to secure all the necessary authorisation by the FSA but on 29th July 2010 the first new UK bank to be authorised for over 150 years opened its doors on Southampton Row in Holborn. With £75 million in capital invested by Vernon Hill and Fidelity amongst others, it was estimated that this would support the company for up to three years and 24 branches before breakeven would be achieved.

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Straight after the launch growth was extraordinary, with queues of people wanting to open an account. Branches in Earl’s Court, Fulham and Borehamwood opened in 2010 followed by Tottenham Court Road, Kensington High St, Bromley, Croydon and Uxbridge so far this year. Over 30,000 customers have opened accounts – the majority, interestingly, during evenings and weekends – and the number of account openings is now running at over 1,000 a week and has doubled every month. By value, the business is 50% retail and 50% B2B. Growth has not been driven by advertising, which is not seen as cost-effective, but by PR and, above all word of mouth. 80% of new account openings now come from recommendation by existing customers. The plan is to have 24 branches by the end of 2012, 40

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a year later and 200 by 2020, the majority in Greater London.

Localness Like O2 (See Customer Insight March 2011), Metro Bank places strong emphasis on being a local business with strong community links. Businesses particularly like localness. As well as the convenience of a local branch whose opening times suit someone who works long hours and may need to pay in cash in the evening or at weekends, they like dealing with a local bank manager who looks after all their business and personal banking needs and whose direct number they know. Just like the old days. Staff are encouraged to engage with the local community and each store adopts a local charity or cause. Events generate good local PR as well as supporting elements of the bank’s core strategy, as typified by the joint “adopt-a-thons” with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. As well as finding new homes for many dogs and cats, the most recent event, held in August at the Bromley store, featured a Kennel Club clinic for dog owners, with advice about other local dog friendly businesses plus a dog trainer clinic to advise on dogs with training issues. As Metro Bank and the Kennel Club are both keen to involve children as well as dogs, the Kennel Club also gave out free membership packs to children and teenagers interested in joining its Young Kennel Club. For every account opened by someone who brought their dog along with them, the new customer received a dog-themed goodie bag including a Kennel Club Puppy Handbook, Young Kennel Club colouring sheets and a dog toy. Metro Bank as a whole also supports a charity (currently Centrepoint) that attempts to find the homeless somewhere to live. In September, the bank launched an educational initiative where it will be going into local schools around its stores with six lessons about banking for 8 to 9 year olds. For the final lesson they will bring the kids into their stores, get them to sit behind the counter and have a look around the vaults.


Case Study

AMAZING THE CUSTOMER MEANS PROVIDING UNPARALLED CUSTOMER SERVICE, MAKING SURE EVRY TRANSACTION GOES QUICKLY AND SMOOTHLY The 3Rs As Harvard have been telling us for many years, the most successful companies tend to be built on high levels of the 3Rs – retention, related sales and referrals. Since most people switch banks very rarely, it’s too early to talk about retention, but Metro Bank is clearly succeeding already on referrals. The interesting one is ‘related sales’. Cross selling to maximise customers’ product holding has been an important part of banks’ strategy for many years. Metro Bank offers a range of products but does not cross sell. In fact, staff don’t engage in any kind of selling. The way it’s done is by delivering a superior customer experience rather than by incentivising staff to sell. Sales and profits are not seen as goals per se, but as by-products of having satisfied customers who, of course, will stay, buy more of your products and recommend you to others.

Culture Whilst other banks tend to remunerate front line staff on hitting sales targets, all staff at Metro Bank are rewarded on customer satisfaction, which is measured continuously (through research, customer panels and mystery shopping) and is monitored not just at branch level but right down to individual members of staff. Customer service is a prominent part of employees’ quarterly appraisals and a customer satisfaction-related bonus is paid annually.

Metro Bank also has a very young culture. Over 50 per cent of staff are under the age of 25. They have a policy of trying to recruit as many employees as possible from the 18-25 year old age band where unemployment levels are very high. When new stores are opened in Chiswick, Ealing and Hounslow, 15 out of the 25 people employed in each one are likely to be between the ages of 18 and 25. As well as providing an opportunity for young people to get a job, Metro Bank is prepared to promote them very fast if they are good.

sure every transaction goes quickly and smoothly. It means fulfilling Customer needs, even anticipating them. More than that, it means turning Customers into FANS. We want them to tell their family members, friends and business associates about the products and superior services we provide.” · Attend to every detail · Make every wrong right · Ask if you’re not sure - Bump it Up · Zest is contagious – Share it · Exceed expectations

Recruitment Recruitment as well as promotion from within is encouraged. Where possible, Metro Bank recruits from recommendations made by staff, giving the employee £500 if the person they recommend is appointed. This is reminiscent of best practice companies such as South-West Airlines featured in Harvard’s Service-Profit Chain, on the basis that if you want people like your current people (employees or customers), target the people they associate with. Whether friends or family, people tend to be closest to like-minded people. Whether it’s customers or employees, Metro Bank wants “fans” – people who engage with the business and enthuse about it. Another similarity with O2. Something else that’s straight out of the Service-Profit Chain is the recruitment mantra – “recruit for attitude, train for skills”. Metro Bank is very selective, with 3,500 people interviewed for its first 60 customerfacing posts. The majority of the one day assessment process is spent in role play designed to identify the candidates with the right people-focused personalities to fit the Metro Bank business model.

AMAZE Another key element of the business model is relentless execution – doing a thousand things a little bit better. This is encapsulated in their “amazing customer service” philosophy which is enshrined in the company’s vision: “Amazing the Customer means providing unparalleled Customer service, making

AMAZE features everywhere in Metro Bank job advertisements, internal training and quarterly appraisals.

The future Will Metro Bank succeed? With every element of its DNA aligning with the philosophy of this magazine, we obviously hope so. Apart from the great customer (and employee) experience they’re delivering, they’ve had a certain amount of luck with their timing. When plans for the new bank were hatched at the end of 2007, they couldn’t have predicted just how unpopular most big name UK banks were about to become. They didn’t know how much the Government was going to encourage new banks to open up on Britain’s high streets. They didn’t know that the publicity generated by customer complaints about banks and the mis-selling of PPI was going to become quite so prominent. But banking is a competitive industry with immensely powerful incumbents, who will not take any new competitive threat lying down, even if it is from a relative minnow like Metro Bank. Barclays has already launched its new friendly, open-plan bank layout, which it is currently rolling out across 1,600 branches. But whilst they can copy Metro Bank’s store layout, it will be much harder to replicate its culture and its genuine focus on delivering great customer experiences. As Anthony Thomson says: “Fortune favours the brave. To be honest, we didn’t know quite what to expect at first, but there is obviously a real demand from people for a different kind of bank.” Based on the company’s organic growth in its first year, he’s clearly right so far. CI

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Research

Online surveys have been the fastest growing segment of the market research industry in recent years, with speed and low cost being strong attractions. However, there are also disadvantages for the unwary, with unrepresentative samples and unreliable data being two of the biggest dangers.

This is a large group of people who have agreed to take part in online surveys in return for rewards. The rewards are usually monetary, varying according to the time/ difficulty of the task. There are two types of panel, independent and in-house.

Independent panels Web surveys There are several standardised online survey programmes such as SurveyMonkey that enable you to create an online survey, post live and invite individuals to complete. This is fine if you’re happy just to invite responses from people you know already or to post a link on the web and see who responds, but there are some key problems with this: • Existing customers will certainly tell you how satisfied or dissatisfied they are with what you’re doing and highlight areas where you can improve but there’s a lot of information you can’t find out just from your own database such as: - Why non-customers don’t use you - Awareness and attitudes about your company in the marketplace - Market trends - New product/concept testing. • Since response rates for online surveys are lower than for some other data collection methods (e.g. telephone interviews), you may struggle to get a statistically reliable response, especially for drilling down into sub-groups, unless you have a very large customer base and a lot of email addresses.

The best way to take full advantage of the benefits of online surveys is to use a panel.

YSP is a typical example of an independent panel. Its key advantages are that you can quickly and easily get a representative sample of the UK population or a representative sample of a targeted group e,g. people who live in London, are in full time employment and have a household income over £30,000. Since panel members’ demographic details are known, quotas for different sub-groups can be set ensuring that the final sample is always representative of the target group. In addition, panels such as YSP conduct regular omnibus surveys, enabling organisations to ask as little as 1 question if that’s all they need or they have a limited budget. (An omnibus survey is where the questionnaire is made up of questions from quite a few different organisations. The idea is that it’s like a bus that departs every Wednesday that you can just jump onto and occupy one seat.)

In-house panels Some organisations prefer to have their own panel. The reasons vary but include: 1. Consultation

of exactly the same people over a period of time. 3. Branding

They may want everything about panellists’ online experience to feature their own branding. 4. 2-Way Communication

They may want to use the panel for two way communications to build relationships with their target audience (rather like a social networking site) or to send out promotional or informative messages.

Panel Recruitment & Management Recruiting a panel of relevant people who are willing to take part in surveys and other consultation activities can be very time consuming and costly. Managing the panel to minimise defections and maintain panellists’ enthusiasm for participating in consultation or surveys can be even more challenging. This is why organisations are increasingly turning to online panel providers with experience and expertise to recruit and manage their own branded panel of relevant people. This helps avoid costly mistakes and enables their staff to focus on their core tasks. YSP can build a bespoke panel by drawing relevant panellists from the YSP panel and/or invite individuals from an organisation’s contact database. If required, surveys can be administered and additional services provided such as help with questionnaire design, analysis and reporting and other tasks. CI

They may want to be seen to be consulting their residents, council tax payers, donors or supporters. 2. Tracking

They may want to track the evolving views

www.customer-insight.co.uk

For further information on panel management or online surveys, please contact Mark Forde at markforde@yoursaypays.co.uk or telephone 01484 467050.

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November 2011 customerINSIGHT

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Conference

Conference 2011 This year’s conference was held at the Sofitel Hotel at Heathrow and, as usual, featured a large array of interesting and varied speakers. This article highlights some of the most interesting speakers who made the strongest points about how to improve business performance through a strong focus on customer experience. Amongst the most enlightening was Anthony Thompson, founder and Chairman of Metrobank, which is featured in a separate article in this issue of Customer Insight on page 12.

the most common questions at Disney is “What time is the 3 o’clock parade?”. Of course, there is an obvious answer, but a little wow answer would go something like this............

Disney Institute: Nicola Lauria Disney, of course, is long renowned for its focus on customer experience but the Disney Institute is a fairly recent innovation designed to spread the gospel to other organisations. Courses are offered at the Institute in Florida or they will send trainers into other companies to deliver the message on site.

Little Wows One of Nicola’s strongest messages, and one that we have long preached at The Leadership Factor, is that you should focus on ‘little wows’. Everyone wants to ‘wow the customer’ but ‘big wows’ are not sustainable, you just can’t come up with enough of them, and for most businesses, operating on narrow margins, they’re not an economic proposition on any everyday basis. But ‘little wows’ can be delivered day in day out to huge numbers of customers. For example, one of

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customerINSIGHT November 2011

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where you’re standing right now it will be passing at around 3.25 but I think you’d get a better view if you went to (explain exactly), where it will be better for photos / better for your children to see, and it will be passing through there around 3.15. Is there anything else I can help you with?

www.customer-insight.co.uk

Another very common customer query/ problem is where they have left their car. Hardly surprising in view of the acres of car parks. Disney solved the problem by parking customers strictly by time of arrival and recording that information. So if you ask an employee (sorry, cast member), all they have to do is ask what time you arrived then they can direct you to exactly the right place. It also means that car parks can be labelled by time of arrival rather than by instantly forgettable letters of the alphabet.


Conference

Leadership commitment Linking MOD and Commercial customers

Leadership incentive scheme Blending qualitative and quantitative

Base around project plans

Link to management reporting structure

Share with customers

QuinetiQ: Driving action

As Nicola said,

Are we responsible for that? Strictly no, but of course the real answer is yes because it’s all part of the customer experience. And you really don’t want their last experience to be a bad one. Above all, never forget that it’s all the little experiences that make up the big one.

QinetiQ: Shane Slater Shane Slater is Sales and Marketing Director of QinetiQ, a company that was originally a spin-off from the Ministry of Defence. The company tests weapons for the MoD and for other organisations such as arms manufacturers. The customer base is worldwide and tends to be very high value accounts. In his presentation Shane emphasised some fundamental principles that are absolutely essential to a successful customer satisfaction measurement and improvement programme.

The lens of the customer There’s no point measuring and improving things that don’t matter to customers. Not if you want to satisfy them anyway. Shane stressed the importance of allowing “long term, high value customers to determine what is important to them in

the customer relationship”. This is typically done through exploratory research at the outset of the programme and with high value B2B customers this would usually be implemented through face to face depth interviews of approximately 1 hour in duration. This enables the interviewer to fully draw out (without leading the respondent) everything that is important in the relationship with the supplier prior to ranking all the factors for their relative importance. The most important customer requirements (typically 20 in B2B surveys) would then go forward to the main survey questionnaire. Depending on the size and value of the customer base, and how many different segments are involved, 12 to 20 depth interviews will usually be sufficient for this purpose. When the main survey is conducted, the 20 requirements would be scored for importance across a larger sample to generate a more statistically reliable measure of relative importance. Since exploratory research is normally updated only once every three years, scoring importance as well as satisfaction in the main survey also enables the company to monitor whether there are any significant changes happening in what’s important to customers.

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November 2011 customerINSIGHT

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Conference

The DMU In complex, high value customer-supplier relationships of this type, it is very unusual for only one individual in the customer’s organisation to be evaluating the supplier’s performance. Companies conducting customer satisfaction surveys therefore need to ensure that they cover all the roles in the DMU (decision making unit). As well as the main contact (often in Purchasing), companies should ensure that they also survey, where relevant, individuals in Technical/Engineering, Production, Quality, Sales/Marketing and R&D/Design roles as well as respondents from Senior Management. Don’t forget, even if you have little or no contact with some of these people they may be affected by your product or service, evaluating it and influencing colleagues’ view of your performance. Another useful purpose of the exploratory depth interviews is to gather feedback on the kind of individuals that are involved in the DMU. Even for the main survey, QuinetiQ conducts face to face interviews with key accounts right across the DMU.

to know about the survey and telling customers about what you’ve learned and what actions you’re taking to address their concerns. In fact, evidence shows that merely telling customers these things will improve their satisfaction. Shane also pointed out that to get the maximum benefit, especially in high value B2B markets, customer feedback should be personal, relevant to the individual concerned and using the right channels. For example, some individuals will be happy with an email whilst others, perhaps because they are very high value customers, or perhaps because you have a very close relationship with them, may prefer face to face feedback.

Customer feedback Shane made a very strong point about many organisations wasting their investment in customer satisfaction programmes. He pointed out that following customer satisfaction surveys: • 50% explain the findings to employees • 30% make decisions about things to change as a result of the survey • 10% actually implement those changes • 5% make the changes and tell customers they’ve done it. What a waste. QuinetiQ, of course, is one of the 5%! Our research and observations over the years have found that following these four steps after a customer satisfaction survey is what will really make it pay for organisations. And the best returns, because they are so easy to do, will be derived from the two communications steps – telling employees what they need

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Frank Capek: Customer Innovations Inc. Frank is founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of Customer Innovations Inc. He has spent 25 years helping organisations to deliver more effective customer experiences based on his own research into

the cognitive and neurological foundations of how people experience the world.

www.customer-insight.co.uk

Frank’s starting point is that companies need customers who: • Return more frequently. • Are willing to pay more. • Are willing to pay a premium. • Adopt new service offerings. He says that it doesn’t matter how much companies listen to the voice of the customer, how satisfied they are, how much they are willing to recommend you or how easy you are to do business with if your investments in customer experience aren’t focused on influencing customers’ profitable behaviour. He maintains that many companies just try to improve things, often in an unfocused way, and that this just leads to “better sameness”. Frank’s advice to organisations is “don’t try to boil the ocean”. Instead, he says that organisations should “major in the majors”. This is what we would call identifying and focusing on a small number of PFIs (priorities for improvement). And we agree with Frank that it’s crucial to select PFIs that will bring the best return on investment – i.e. the biggest increase in profitable customer behaviours at the least cost. Frank’s four points above provide a good guide to profitable customer behaviours, or more simply, focus on Harvard’s 3Rs: • Retention • Related sales • Referrals. A good example from Frank’s work was an exercise he did to improve customer satisfaction with the crowded lifts in a New York skyscraper. There were plenty of multi-million dollar solutions such as installing more lifts, but after talking in depth with users, Frank came up with a solution that was very effective in improving customer satisfaction at a fraction of the cost. He installed mirrors in the lifts, giving the impression of more space and engaging customers (e.g. scrutinising and sprucing up their appearance, or people watching), which took their minds off the previously negative aspects of the lift experience.


Conference

His example of

telling users what we majoring on the majors intend to do as a result was Fairfield Inns – a low cost hotel that focuses everything on delivering a great customer experience on two key points of differentiation. Cleanliness and friendliness of staff. And if these ‘majors’ are things that are very important to your target customers, it doesn’t matter if you are not so good at something less important, such as room service in their case.

Nick says that all of this makes his huge and diverse collection of employees feel part of the big Unilever brand, and contributes significantly to improving employee satisfaction and employee productivity which, together, drive up customer satisfaction and profits. Improvements are further re-inforced by the fact that the managers of the internal services have their bonuses linked to the relevant internal customer satisfaction scores.

behaviours were added to employees’ appraisals and into employees’ and supervisors’ bonus model.

Empathy behaviours The goal is to move from processing the customer in a transactional way to a greater emotional involvement which is achieved through improved listening skills, understanding and empathising with the customer’s emotional state, showing interest and being supportive and friendly. Tele2 compiled the empathy behaviours into an eight step model for complaint handling: 1. Listen carefully. 2. Say ‘thank you’. 3. Get to the heart of the problem. 4. Get the necessary details. 5. Say when the problem will be solved. 6. Apologise for inconvenience and compensate. 7. Make sure the customer is satisfied. 8. Be open. Welcome complaints.

Unilever: Nick Iles

Tele2: Nina Gyubbenet

Nick Iles is Global User Experience Director at Unilever. He’s strongly of the view that happy employees make happy customers and that to achieve this you should treat employees as customers. Sounds familiar. Where have we heard that before? Harvard’s Service Profit Chain of course – see diagram below. Even though Unilever has 165,000 employees across 180 countries and over 100 brands, the company measures internal customer satisfaction with the users of all its internal services such as HR, IT, Finance, Travel and Facilities. Like Frank, Nick emphasised that it’s necessary to major on the majors after the survey and like QuinetiQ he stressed the importance of closing the loop -

Tele2 is one of Russia’s leading telecommunication companies, providing mobile services to more than 19 million customers in 37 Russian regions. One of its differentiators is providing high class customer care and Nina, as Customer Operations Director, is responsible for delivering it.

Employee Satisfaction

Customer Value Package

The theme of Nina’s talk was how they train their call centre operators to use empathy to reduce customer complaints and to increase customer satisfaction with complaint handling. The first step was to define key empathy behaviours and then thoroughly train all staff to understand and adopt them. Empathy levels were then measured at the beginning of the project and again a year later. Empathy

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Commitment

According to Tele2, their extensive focus on empathy behaviours has resulted in customer satisfaction with complaint handling increasing from 40% prior to the improvement programme to 90% now. CI

Greg Roche Director The Leadership Factor 01484 517575 gregroche@leadershipfactor.com

Customer Retention

PROFIT

The service-profit chain

www.customer-insight.co.uk

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November 2011 customerINSIGHT

21


Complaints

British Gas has been fined £2.5m by the regulator Ofgem for the way in which it deals with customer complaints. Ofgem ruled that the company had failed to reopen complaints when customers said they had not been resolved. It also added that British Gas had not provided customers with key details about help they could get from the energy ombudsman. Ofgem also said the energy provider had failed to put in place proper complaint procedures for small businesses. Ofgem said it was also investigating Npower and EDF Energy for the way they handle customer complaints.

Interestingly, British Gas said the breach was minor considering that it had 16 million accounts, although it did acknowledge that for small businesses “our service fell short of what they should expect from British Gas, for which we apologise”. Is having 16 million accounts a valid excuse? You either have good complaints processes or you don’t. Some of the organisations that perform exceptionally well on the UKCSI for complaint handling also have lots of customers. And it pays to get better at handling complaints. See pages 25 & 26 for details. What the UKCSI results and many other research studies tell us is that the key drivers of delivering a good complaints experience are: Welcoming complaints. This isn’t just making it easy for customers to complain (though this is extremely important) but not making them feel bad about. Harvard’s Service-Profit Chain tells us that customers of the companies with the highest levels of satisfaction and loyalty “think like owners”. In other words,

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customerINSIGHT November 2011

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they tell the company about any problems because they want to help the company to avoid giving other customers a bad experience and damaging its business as a consequence. Resolving the issue quickly. If you know how much it costs you to handle a complaint (and the best companies know exactly how much it costs), it is often cheaper to agree with customers and immediately provide the recompense they are seeking even if you think they are wrong. Many surveys conducted by The Leadership Factor prove that first time resolution has the strongest correlation with subsequent customer satisfaction and loyalty. Keeping people informed. If your staff are not empowered to resolve a complaint on the spot, it’s essential to keep customers informed once the matter has been escalated. The thing that annoys customers the most is having to chase the matter, especially when salt is often rubbed into the wound when they have to explain everything again (and again and again) to a different person.

www.customer-insight.co.uk

Greg Roche Director The Leadership Factor 01484 517575 gregroche@leadershipfactor.com

Following up. As the Ofgem criticism of British Gas highlights, even when organisations think they have resolved a complaint, they often haven’t. It is therefore essential to follow up all customers after the complaint has been ‘resolved’ to check if the customer thinks it has and is happy with the outcome. Evidence from Leadership Factor complaints surveys shows that such follow-up also correlates very strongly with subsequent customer satisfaction, re-purchasing and loyalty. It is human nature to avoid unpleasant things. That’s why many organisations don’t follow-up complaints or monitor customer satisfaction with the complaints experience. But measuring something is the crucial first step to improving it. Without that you don’t know if you have improved it and, crucially, people in the organisation focus on it less than indicators which are regularly measured and reported. If you would like any more information about how to use complaints surveys to improve customer loyalty as well as satisfaction with the complaints experience please contact me. CI


UKCSI

Public services:

satisfying customers in tough times

In July 2011 a representative sample of 26,000 UK adults was surveyed over the internet by The Leadership Factor on behalf of the Institute of Customer Service. This article outlines the key highlights and presents the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) which is the national measure of customer satisfaction for UK organisations. Customer satisfaction The UKCSI has maintained its upward trend, improving from 76.7 in January of this year to 77.3 in July. Customer satisfaction has remained essentially static for most sectors. The biggest increase has been for Public Services (local), up by a very good margin of 2.2 to 75.5. Telecommunications has also seen a good improvement, driven mostly by

improved scores for all mobile providers, up from 73.4 to 74.8, although landline and broadband providers have not fared so well. Other improving sectors include Automotive, up 1.1 to 79.5, Transport, up 0.9 to 74 and Leisure, up 0.8 to 79. Although they have more or less flat-lined, the top four sectors from January are still delivering the best customer experience as far as the UK public is concerned.

www.customer-insight.co.uk

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November 2011 customerINSIGHT

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UKCSI

Sectors with higher CSI create fewer problems for customers

The top 10 52 named organisations achieved a CSI over 80; six are over 85. The 10 highest scoring organisations are:

- John Lewis (87) - Marks & Spencer (food) (87) - Waitrose (87)

Retail (food)

81.0

Services

80.9

Tourism

80.8

79.5

Automotive

- Marriott (86)

79.0

Leisure

- First Direct (85)

78.2

Finance (insurance)

- Aldi (84)

77.0

Finance (banks)

- Virgin Holidays (84)

Public Services (local)

- Marks & Spencer (non-food) (84)

Telecommunications

75.5 74.8 74.0

Transport

- Boots (84)

Utilities Public Services (national)

Movers and shakers Whilst most of the sectors, particularly those near the top of the league table, have shown relatively little movement between January and July 2011, there have been some significant movers when we look at the level of individual companies. We’ll pick out some of the key movements within some sectors. Retail—food Aldi is the most improved food retailer, with its CSI of 84 three points up on January’s score of 81. This puts it third behind Marks & Spencer and Waitrose in the sector, and also gains the company a place in the exclusive list of the top 10 companies scored in UKCSI. Looking back to July 2010, a year of improved satisfaction has seen the company overtake competitors like ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco to reach that third spot. By focusing on the things that matter to its customers, Aldi is performing well in a tough economy. Retail—non-food In the non-food retail sector, WH Smith has shown a very significant movement

customerINSIGHT November 2011

80.4

Retail (non-food)

- Virgin Atlantic (86)

24

77.3

UKCSI

|

from January, with a CSI of 80 that is 8 points up on last time. That places it in 9th place in the sector (a very tough one from the point of view of customer satisfaction). Telecommunications 3 has made the biggest improvement of any organisation since January, improving its CSI by 9 points to 76. Although it still lags competitors O2, Orange, and T-Mobile it has overtaken Vodafone. This also means that the mobile networks are more tightly bunched, with only 8 points separating the highest in the market from the lowest scoring. Among landline providers, BT is the most improved (up 2 points), while Talk Talk is the only telecoms provider to show a significant decrease in satisfaction. Finance—insurance The insurance market has been largely stable. Although BUPA has lost some ground it remains firmly at the top of the league table. This is another very competitive market in terms of customer satisfaction, with the top 12 suppliers scoring between 77 and 82.

www.customer-insight.co.uk

72.4 72.4

Jul-11 Jan-11

Finance—banks and building societies First Direct and the Bank of Scotland have extended their lead at the head of the league table. Other banks that have improved since January include Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC (both up 2). The only bank listed in our top 10 to have decreased since January is The Cooperative Bank, which has slipped back 3 points to 76.

Automotive A number of car manufacturers have seen their scores improve this time, particularly Volvo and Toyota who are both up 3 points. This is another very competitive sector, with 8 companies achieving a score over 80.

Transport The stand-out success story in the transport sector is the Virgin brand, topping the league table with Virgin Atlantic at 86 (up 2 points, and one of the best organisations measured) and Virgin Trains at 79.


UKCSI

The impact of complaints

14%

Finance - banks and building societies Public Services (local)

Utilities 12%

% customers with a problem

Transport

10%

R Retail - non-food Leisure Retail - food Services Finance - insurance

8%

Automotive 6%

Tourism

4%

2%

0%

70

72

74

76

78

80

95%

Telecommunications

85%

Finance - insurance

Utilities

Finance - banks and Retail - food Tourism building societies Retail - non-food

80%

% customers with a problem complaining 75%

Automotive Services

70%

Public Services (local) 65%

60% 70

Leisure

Public Services (national) Transport 72

74

78

76

80

82

84

CSI 16%

Sectors with higher CSI have fewer complaints to deal with (even though they hear about more)

Telecommunications 14%

12%

10%

% customers complaining

8%

Finance - banks and Utilities building societies Public Servicess (national) Public Services (local) Retail - non-food Retail - food Finance - insurance Leisure

Transport

6%

4%

Services Automotive Tourism

2%

0%

70

72

74

78

76

80

82

84

CSI Resolution time is crucial 10 9 8 7 6

Satisfaction 5 4 3

Complaint handling The outcome of your complaint

2

www.customer-insight.co.uk

Still unresolved

1-2 weeks

4-7 days

2-3 days

Within 24 hours

1

Immediately

Resolution time is crucial Resolution time has a big impact on customers’ satisfaction with complaint handling, although there are many other important factors. In particular there is a noticeable exception to the trend (stronger for the outcome than handling) at 3-4 weeks, suggesting that customers are sometimes happy to wait for their complaint to be resolved if it is resolved to their satisfaction.

84

Sectors with higher CSI are more likely to hear about problems

90%

Sectors with higher CSI have fewer complaints to deal with (even though they hear about more) When we put these two effects together, it is clear that the total number of complaints that an organisation will have to deal with is larger in sectors with lower satisfaction, even though they tend to hear about a smaller proportion of the problems they create. The combined figure, shown on the vertical axis in the chart right, represents the percentage of the total customer base of organisations in each sector who say that they have complained in the last 3 months. This is likely to be a far higher number than is captured in formal complaint systems because a “complaint” is defined here as a customer telling any member of staff about their problem. However, it does illustrate one of the main reasons why customer satisfaction pays – satisfied customers cost less to service. This financial benefit applies just as much in non-profit sectors as it does for commercial companies.

82

CSI

Over1 month

Sectors with higher CSI are more likely to hear about problems We also know that customers in sectors with higher satisfaction are slightly more likely to complain if they have a problem, giving organisations a chance to put things right. This effect is less pronounced and more varied, depending on the nature of the sector. Telecommunications, for example, is a clear exception to the trend.

Telecommunications Public Services (national)

16%

3-4 weeks

Sectors with higher CSI create fewer problems for customers We’ve shown before that the level of customer satisfaction in each sector feeds through to the number of customers who say they have had a problem in the last 3 months. Sectors with higher satisfaction have fewer customers who say they have experienced a problem.

Sectors with higher CSI create fewer problems for customers 18%

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November 2011 customerINSIGHT

25


UKCSI

Complaint resolution times vary widely by sector For something that makes such a difference, the time taken to resolve complaints varies greatly from sector to sector. In particular it’s notable how many problems are resolved within 24 hours by organisations in the Retail sectors and, especially, in Leisure. By contrast, Public Services take the longest to resolve complaints, although worryingly, Tourism isn’t much better, which surely offers an opportunity for competitive advantage to any switched on tour operators. Sectors with higher CSI deal with more complaints very quickly That ability to deal with problems immediately is strongly linked to good customer service across the board. The best sectors overall are also those which resolve most complaints within 24 hours. The cost of complaints If we make some assumptions about the cost of handling complaints, we can start to see the financial impact that customer service failure has on organisations working in these sectors. Organisations often estimate that a complaint which is handled at the first point of contact costs between £2.50 and £5. That cost rises as complaints take longer to resolve and involve more points of contact. As shown in the table below, we have worked on the basis of representative cost estimates which we believe to be conservative. Resolved

Cost

Immediately Within 24 hours 2-3 days 4-7 days 1-2 weeks 3-4 weeks Over 1 month Still unresolved

£3 £3 £5 £5 £10 £10 £15 £15

Complaint resolution times vary widely by sector 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

Automotive Finance - banks and building societies Finance - insurance Leisure Public Services (local) Public Services (national) Retail - non-food Retail - food Services Telecommunications Tourism Transport Utilities Immediately

Within 24 hours

1-2 weeks

3-4 weeks

2-3 days Over 1 month

4-7 days Still unresolved

Based on these estimates, we can work out this year. 40% of customers across the UK Sectors with higher CSI deal with more complaints very quickly how much an organisation in70% each sector is said they were. Fortunately this proportion likely to be spending per quarter on handling was identical among men and women, but Leisure 60% complaints for every 100 of its customers. there were noticeable differences by age. Retail - food

50%

Retail all- non-food customers about the factors To get the full picture, we would need to We asked gross up to the total size of40% the customer influencing their choice of holiday destina% complaints Services Transport (Note that customers could select base. For instance a mobile pro-Financetion. resolved within telecoms - banks and Finance - insurance building societies 24 hours Tourism reason). 30% Telecommunications vider with 18 million customers would, on more than one Automotive Utilities this basis, be spending over £23 million per Public Services (local) 20% quarter on handling complaints, nearly £100 There’s good news for the UK tourist industry Public Services in that good experiences in the past are the million per year (18 million/100 x £128). (national) 10% main reason for people to choose a “staycation”. Cost savings, unsurprisingly, are Holidaying in the UK 0% 70 72 74 76 78 80 82 84 another CSI major reason at the moment, but As well as the crucial CSI questions, we it’s good to see that price perceptions are The cost of complaints take the opportunity of the £140 UKCSI survey more likely to lead people to stay at home Telecommunications to take the temperature of the nation on a (48%) rather than drive them away (18%). £120 The desire to “get away from it all” and the topical issue. This time we explored peo- Finance Public Services - banks and (national) building societies weather are the main drivers of people planple’s attitudes about their holidays. £100 Utilities ning to holiday outside the UK. To begin with, we wondered£80what proporPublic Services (local) of complaints tion of people Cost were planning a UK holiday We also asked people to indicate how much per 100 customers

£60

£40

£140

70%

Finance - insurance Retail - non-food Retail - food Automotive Proportion of customers Servicesplanning to holiday in the UK, by age Tourism 100% Leisure

Transport

The cost of complaints

Telecommunications Leisure

£120

Retail - food

50%

Cost of complaints per 100 customers

% complaints resolved within 24 hours

60%

Retail - non-food

40%

30%

Services Transport Finance - banks and Finance - insurance building societies Tourism Telecommunications Automotive Public Services (local) Utilities

20%

Public Services (national)

10%

0%

70

72

74

76

CSI

78

80

82

84

90%

£20

Public Services Finance - banks and (national) building societies £0

£100

Utilities

70

72

74

Public Services (local)

£80

100% £60

90% Finance - insurance Retail - non-food Retail - food 80% Services Automotive Tourism 70% Leisure

£20

£0

% planning a holiday in the UK 70

72

74

76

CSI

78

80%

76 70%

CSI

78

80

82

60%

40%

39%

80

82

39% 84

customerINSIGHT November 2011

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www.customer-insight.co.uk

55 to 64

56%

36%

0%

45% 18 to 24

42% 25 to 34

35 to 44

10% 0% 25 to 34

45 to 54

26%

26%

18 to 24

42%

20%

20%

26

45% 36%

30%

10%

50%

30%

56%

50%

60%

40%

84

Proportion of customers planning to holiday in the UK, by age

Transport £40

% planning a holiday in the UK

Sectors with higher CSI deal with more complaints very quickly

35 to 44

45 to 54

55 to 64

65+

65+


UKCSI

they agreed or disagreed with a number of statements about the UK tourist industry on a scale of 1 to 5. The average scores in the chart middle right show the extent to which people agreed or disagreed with each, broadly a positive picture. We asked people which region they think offers the best customer service to holidaymakers. The results (shown below right) seem to show a significant lead for the South West and Scotland. Which region offers the best customer service to holidaymakers? It might be suspected that there is an element of regional pride at work here, though, as respondents tended to favour their own region when answering this question! In particular, 73% of Scots and 74% of people from the South West of England thought that their own region offers the best customer service to holidaymakers.

Reasons to holiday in the UK 52%

Good past experience (within the last two years)

26%

Good past experience (more than two years ago)

48%

For a higher quality overall experience

11% 8%

Other

Holidaying in the UK is not value for money

18% 32%

The UK offers a poorer holiday experience

9%

The UK offers poorer qualty customer service

5%

5%

For a higher quality customer service

4%

Because I want to ‘get away from it all’

37%

To reduce my environmental impact

2%

Poor past experience (within the last two years)

Poor past experience (more than two year ago)

Cost saving

Less hassle / stress than travelling abroad

Reasons to holiday abroad

25%

Weather

10%

33%

Other

Strongly disagree

Strongly agree

The UK is a world class tourist destination

The UK has significantly improved as a tourist destination in recent years

There are some excellent tourist destinations in the UK

UK tourism is still stuck in the past

UK tourism needs a facelift

UK tourism is not geared up to cope with the 2012 Olympics

When we did the same analysis, but removed customers who had voted for their own region, the results were even more compelling.

The 2012 Olympics will be a massive boost to UK tourism

UK tourism has not responded well to the surge in ‘staycationers’ during the recession

Which region offers the best customer service (excluding those who said their own region)? And the data allows us to identify some trends: - Scotland is more highly rated by those in the North of England, Northern Ireland, and Wales than by those in the South of England. - The South West of England is seen as very good for customer service across the board, except for Northern Ireland, but is particularly popular in the South East. - Scots rate the service in London more highly than people from other regions, with 38% of those who didn’t choose Scotland stating that London was the best region for customer service. CI

The UK tourism industry has benefited from the recession

It does not feel like a holiday staying in the UK

I lower my expectations when holidaying in the UK

I expect the same levels of service when holidaying in the UK as I would anywhere

Which region offers the best customer service to holidaymakers?

17%

20%

4%

4% 9% 9%

Stephen Hampshire Client Manager The Leadership Factor If you have any thoughts about this article you can contact Stephen at stephenhampshire@leadershipfactor.com

Which region offers the best customer service (excluding those who said their own region)?

7% 6%

6% 12% 24%

5% 14%

10% 8%

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7% 5%

November 2011 customerINSIGHT

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Case Study

As we all know, Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 145,000 people. Barclays Wealth is the UK’s largest wealth manager, with total client assets of £169.5bn, as at 30 June 2011. With offices in over 20 countries, Barclays Wealth provides international and private banking, investment management, fiduciary services and brokerage. For individuals living in the UK and Ireland Barclays Wealth offers bespoke banking and investment services to clients with over £500,000 of investible assets. Needless to say, such customers are demanding, and Barclays Wealth provides a service that is completely bespoke for each individual. This covers attitudinal investment profiling and personalised wealth management as well as one-to-one banking services and a dedicated Investment Servicing Manager. In light of economic and political challenges that have impacted the financial sector in recent times, Barclays Wealth has increased its focus on client experience and its proactive contact for clients, launching a ‘Client Experience Programme’ which encompasses, Client Events, Client 121s, real-time client feedback and quarterly client magazines. The programme and other client experience initiatives, which have already achieved considerable success in terms of awards and business performance, are described in this article.

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Case Study

The Service - Profit Chain

Internal Service Quality

Employee Satisfaction

Commitment

External Service Quality

Customer Satisfaction

UK Customer Experience Awards.

The Service – Profit Chain

Earlier this year, Barclays Wealth won ‘Best Customer Experience Award in Financial Services 2011’ at the UK Customer Experience Awards. In the opinion of the judges, the business won the award due to:

The driving force behind the 4Cs, and indeed the whole business philosophy is Harvard’s Service-Profit Chain model (as Unilever, see page 21). Shown in the diagram, the model has been thoroughly communicated to all staff. Managed through a carefully developed system of internal and external service measures, Barclays Wealth achieves high levels of employee engagement and satisfaction, which results in exceptional client service. This enables the business to retain and grow its client base for enhanced profitability. The key metrics used to monitor Service-Profit Chain performance feed into each individual’s performance plan.

- its innovate customer commitment programme - its extensive employee engagement programme - the passion that its people had for their clients.

Barclays Wealth business priorities The company’s business priorities have been segmented in to four clear areas, which are evidenced through from leadership communications and budgeting to individuals’ development plans: 1) Client: Providing an exceptional client experience for all of our clients in order to exceed their expectations and be known as ‘world class’ in terms of the service we provide 2) Colleague: Engage our teams so that we are seen as a great place to work, sharing a common goal for our clients 3) Company: Deliver on our promises, achieve outstanding results and grow our business for the benefit of our shareholders 4) Control: Ensure that we are compliant and provide a safe environment in which to operate for our clients The ‘4 Cs’ are promoted throughout the business, forming a key element of the company’s strategic management in terms of our targets, appraisal system and all communications through from Leadership to team ‘Buzz’ sessions. In short, the ‘client’ is embedded into the organisational culture.

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New initiatives To continually improve both the Client and Colleague experience, Barclays Wealth has launched the following new initiatives in 2010/11: - Real-time client feedback. Using a blend of written and telephony feedback tools, Barclays now captures client opinion on a business, team and individual level so that all teams have direct and relevant feedback from their clients on the service they have provided. This looks at key satisfaction drivers such as knowledge, attitude and professionalism of team members as well as a customer effort score. Feedback tools are based on research from the Institute of Customer Service, research partners and the views of clients to ensure that the right areas for clients are covered. - Quality assessment tool. This is split into two key performance measures, to gauge both technical accuracy to identify learning gaps and also softer skills, which enhance the client experience. Team members are then able to develop

www.customer-insight.co.uk

Customer Retention

Profitability & Growth

their knowledge in terms of product and process, as well as understanding how they can enhance their service skills to build great relationships with clients. - Coaching and development. A new training programme for coaching has been designed for all team members, using the client feedback and quality assessment to tailor the content. It incorporates real examples of calls, best practice and interactive sessions. - Recruitment, induction and training. Identifying the skills that are most important has enabled Barclays Wealth to set out role profiles, skill sets and learning requirements to use for recruitment and training. The business wants employees to be ‘fans’ so the training team is tasked with ‘inspiring’ new starts to deliver exceptional client experience from their first point of contact with clients. - Employee Engagement. A multi-channel communication strategy ensures that all stakeholders are engaged with the customer experience. The calendar of events includes Great Place to Work Days, Client Experience Days, National Customer Service Day, Control and Company Days, which are all designed, to reward and recognise people and build employee engagement. Examples of employee engagement activities include: - Altitude Awards (internal R&R) – to reward and recognise core behaviours - Training and Development – colleagues have the opportunity to attend internal training courses, e.g. induction, blue sky coaching, people management, presentation skills, along with professional qualifications such as the Chartered Institute of Banking. - Great Place to Work Days – highlight benefits that are available to colleagues,


Case Study

which include discounts for gym memberships, ‘you at work’ schemes, bonuses, share saves and share purchase schemes. - National Customer Service Week – colleagues organise activities to celebrate and promote excellence in customer service e.g. speed training, client experience quizzes etc. - 121s, coaching, six monthly appraisals

Delivering the client experience To consistently deliver a seamless client experience it is vital to encompass all stakeholders. This is how Barclays Wealth does it: - Client Experience Team: Often provide a key link between the Operational teams and the central functions who will support with initiatives, supplying the required plans of work and measurements for success. Client Experience is included in all Leadership Meetings to not only share the various initiatives and plans of action, but to ensure full understanding of the business and challenges or resourcing scenarios which may impact. - Operational Architecture: This team is responsible for facilitating change within the teams and wider business, so is included in planning and implementation meetings, inputting on decisions and helping to schedule work. They ensure that other projects happening across the business are aligned with the customer experience, helping to encourage best practice and in many cases ‘save effort’ if work has already been completed. This team also recommends and implements new innovative technology such as email response management systems, intelligent call routing (where they get the client to the most relevant person in

time), which ultimately improve the client experience. - Resourcing & Planning: This team is responsible for managing time allocation across the business and so is involved in bi-weekly update meetings to ensure appropriate resourcing of new initiatives and allow the correct time out of business where needed, e.g. for coaching. They are key to ensuring that clients’ calls are answered in a timely fashion. - Quality: Quality teams have been leading in designing the new framework and moving forwards will have a key role in running it. - Skills and Development: The training team uses the output from other teams to design and deliver training according to client and colleague need, attending planning sessions and receiving working documents to help schedule training. For example, they will direct teams to the Client Experience page, where they can find client feedback comments and client experience toolkits providing hints and tips to improve the client experience. They will also ask individuals to provide examples of good and bad client experience, and will add this to the client experience media library, which all the teams can view through the Intranet. - HR: As well as offering guidance on colleague engagement and support and the implementation of new initiatives with teams, HR teams recruit individuals based on their passion for customers. - Product Office: This team is vital in the investment space as they manage the products clients hold. New forums were established in 2010 to create a two-way communication channel so that client contact staff receive key information and updates that they can share with clients.

- Client Experience Team: Barclays Wealth continually promotes the importance of client experience through dedicated communication forums which include roadshows from leadership teams, Buzz sessions with Managers, Client Experience workshops and supporting portals on the intranet and telephony systems. These are scheduled well in advance so that all teams are able to hear about and feed into ideas and upcoming events. There are also stands and client experience merchandise to highlight the company’s commitment to “Client, Colleague, Company and Control”. - Leadership teams: The culture is client focused from the top down and leadership teams attend regular external client experience workshops and internal client experience director sessions. - External networking: Barclays Wealth shares best practice externally through industry bodies such as the Institute of Customer Service and Call Centre Association.

Business success Their strong focus on client experience has enabled Barclays Wealth to achieve some excellent results. As well as external awards, business successes include: - Over 90% client satisfaction month on month. - Less than 8% client attrition against market averages of 15%. - Over 95% of client priorities met through the proactive contact strategy. - Good staff retention. - Over 2,000 positive client feedback comments logged. - Increase in new business. CI

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Latest Thinking

THE CUSTOMER CENTRIC

YOU

STEPHEN HEWETT outlines some key ideas from his recently published book ‘The Customer-Centric You’ 32

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www.customer-insight.co.uk

About the author Stephen Hewett began his career as a pilot and then worked as an aviation company executive before joining The John Lewis Partnership, where he rose to become Development Manager, Research and Expansion. After 15 years at John Lewis, Stephen joined the business and information technology consultancy Charteris plc, where he is now Head of Business Consulting. ‘The Customer-Centric You’ is Stephen’s first book. It is available from Management Books 2000, www.mb2000. com, from amazon.co.uk and from bookshops. Stephen can be contacted on 020 7600 9199 or through www.charteris.com


Latest Thinking

More than thirty years of earning my living from trying to help people forge better relationships with their customers has convinced me that if we’re to get better at dealing with customers in our professional lives, we need to improve how we communicate with and relate to people in all areas of our lives. The approach simply has to be holistic as well as sincere. We must continually refine our people interaction skills both in our personal lives and in our professional careers. That great eighteenth-century literary gentleman and practical philosopher, the legendary Dr Samuel Johnson, pithily observed:

If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man... should keep his friendship in constant repair. The use of ‘friendship’ in the singular is important. Johnson regards the man’s own, outwardly-projected friendship as being what needs to be kept in constant repair rather than the friendships he enjoys. Johnson’s aphorism is truly customercentric. What applies to the friendship we extend to our friends also applies to our customer relationships.

A customer is any person, anywhere and in any capacity, whom you want to influence to want what you are offering him or her.

organisations that specialised in selling typewriters failed to make the transition to word-processors because these organisations had not fully grasped what they were selling. They thought they were selling typewriters, but in fact they were selling machines that allowed customers to create, produce and print out documents. If the typewriter manufacturers had understood this, they would have jumped at the chance to sell word-processors.

This definition encompasses the people you care about in your personal life as well as your commercial customers. You offer the people in your personal life your friendship and affection, and you want them to want it and to offer you the same. As for the customers in your professional life, whatever you’re supplying to them, you want them to want the very best iteration of what you can supply to them... until you can supply something even better.

Again, I’d emphasise that the new, broader definition I offer above of the customer is about you wanting to influence someone to want what you’re offering them. Merely influencing someone to like what you are offering them isn’t enough.

This last point is particularly important: it’s vital to know what benefit your customers are really getting from you, which is another way of saying that you need to know what business you are really in. If you do know that, it will be easier for you to make continual iterative improvements in your products and services, because you’ll be making the improvements in the right direction.

Liking or loving? Extensive experience in the market research industry indicates that asking respondents whether they like a sample of a new product fails - or at least almost always fails - to predict whether a new product will succeed in the marketplace. The reason appears to be that just because we like something, it doesn’t mean that we feel we simply must have it as a vital part of our lives. Likewise, when we fall in love, we feel so strongly about the person that we regard our lives as being in some deep, vitally important and glorious way incomplete without them.

What business are you really in?

What is a customer?

André Heiniger, the former chairman of Rolex, was quoted in Mark McCormack’s What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School as saying that Rolex was not in the watch business, but in the luxury business. Yet you don’t need to be heading a major global brand like Rolex to be obliged to do some hard thinking and research about what benefits your customers are really getting from you. Many businesses don’t entirely understand this.

In order to think about all our customers in the way we should be thinking about them, we need a broader definition of ‘customer’ than the usual one found in the dictionary and employed in everyday speech. A suggestion for an alternative definition would be:

For instance, we might consider typewriter companies in the years before the 1980s, when word-processors began to make a dent in the typewriter market before taking it over almost completely. The only typewriter manufacturer that survived to be big in selling word-processors was IBM. Most

Falling in love, and loving some particular product or service, may seem very different types of expressions of emotion, and while of course at one level they are, there are meaningful similarities. The difference between the affection we have for, say, our favourite food and drink brands, and for the holiday destinations we love, or for the restaurants where we most like to be... the difference between the affection we have for all those things and the affection we have for someone we love, is perhaps more a question of degree rather than the fundamental nature of what our affection’s actually like. An organisation that is truly customer-centric is doing everything it can to focus on the agenda of its customers. If an organisation wants to be customer-centric, it

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Latest Thinking

needs to induce people to want what it has to offer them by correspondingly seeking to win their love, or at the very least their genuine affection, for what it’s offering.

Customer-centricity If customer-centricity was something you could just install by loading a program or following a set procedure, everyone would have it. But the very fact many customers are frequently dissatisfied with the quality of the products they obtain and the levels of service they receive, proves that customer-centricity is very far from being something that everyone has. Ultimately, customer-centricity is delivered not by an organisation but by the people who work for it. And if those people are not passionate about wanting customers to love what the organisation is offering, the organisation is not going to be customer-centric. The secret of customer-centricity is that everyone within any organisation must find within themselves the energy, discipline and imagination to see the world from their customers’ point of view, and if necessary to adjust their behaviour towards their customers accordingly.

On the face of it, the secret of being customer-centric is straightforward. Putting it into practice, however, requires energy, discipline, imagination... and smart and incisive hard work. In short, putting the secret into action requires the right attitude. You have to want to care about your customers’ agenda as if it was your own agenda, or your family’s. This is not easy. We seem to be programmed by evolution to care mostly about our own agenda and that of our immediate family. In my book, I quote The Independent columnist Christina Patterson’s remark that I think summarises why customer-centricity is so important not only for the business world, but also for all of the human world.

A society can’t function, or at least it can’t function very well, without the realisation that people outside your family are as real as the people in it. There has, in recent years, been a growing emphasis on the ‘hard-working family’ as the seat of all that’s good: parents battling for their darlings’ rights and now, God help us, even clubbing together to start schools. There’s a name for a community that puts family first. It’s called the Mafia.

Inward or outward looking? How right Christina is. As for organisations, whether they operate in the private or public sector, research that Charteris has carried out suggests that in many large organisations, only about 30 percent of activity is devoted to customers’ interests. The other 70 percent? Well, it consists of the organisation’s agenda - often simply internal stuff - rather than

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activities that add value to the customer’s agenda. The problem is that, as organisations grow, they tend to focus excessively on their own agenda. Many of us have at some point in our careers helped to run a small business, or a semi-autonomous department of a larger business. Don’t you remember the buzz you had when you went to work then (or now, if you still do)? Don’t you recall the excitement on Sunday evenings of looking forward to getting to work on Monday morning and making a difference to your customers’ lives? How often do these people ignore the customer’s agenda? Not often, because quite apart from the inevitable pressing financial incentive to meet customers’ needs, the physical and emotional proximity of the customer makes it much easier to generate customer-centricity than when one is working within a large organisation. But unfortunately, as an organisation grows in size, its customers become increasingly remote physically and emotionally from the people who work at the organisation. This has been a problem since the earliest days of industrialisation. Also, when an organisation is becoming larger and more complex, it accumulates more and more of its own internal ‘stuff’ that it wants to focus on. In our professional lives, if we take the trouble to reverse the usual percentage and to devote 70 percent of our energies to meeting our customers’ agenda and only 30 percent to our own internal stuff, we will be customer-centric. That insight is extremely useful in a practical sense, because if we are truly customer-centric, we will succeed in our professional lives, and very likely succeed to a tremendous extent. This being so, don’t we all want, ideally, to be customercentric? And shouldn’t we also apply the same thinking to our personal lives... at least if we aren’t already? Well, that depends on just how great you want other people to think you are! CI


Give customers or relevant target groups the ability to record and send you their views, comments or opinions. We can ask your customers and / or YourSayPays panellists to record and upload an audio or video file of their views or an answer to a question. Obtaining the views from customers or target groups through video uploads following a web survey can provide you with.

n Case Study contacts for PR

n Views that can aid internal training programmes

n Vox-pops for Marketing n Evidence for R&D projects n Real life comments to reinforce research statistics

n Insights that can be shown to internal stakeholders

n Another channel to encourage customers to get their message to you

To find out more contact Darren Wake darrenwake@yoursaypays.co.uk or call 01484 467012

online research

www.onlineresearchuk.co.uk


Technology

Bringing the voice of the customer

into the boardroom One of the biggest frustrations of customer insight and customer contact staff is how to convey customers’ views to senior management in a way that makes them sit up and take notice. It’s difficult with statistics, almost impossible with reports – and please don’t show me another PowerPoint presentation!! Of course, for some time it’s been possible to video customers. This can be done covertly, e.g. with hidden cameras in store or overtly in situations such as focus groups. The former are good for observing functional behaviours but not for gathering opinions or emotional insights and whilst the latter will gather plenty of opinions they do so in an artificial environment. Both are expensive to collect and need a huge amount of editing time to extract a few highlights from hours of mundane footage.

Luckily, technology has now moved on a long way from recording focus groups. The rapid adoption of smart phones plus the growing habit of uploading videos to Youtube, Facebook and other sites means that more and more customers have the ability to make a video and upload it to a website.

YSP videos Already, over 20% of YSP panel members have flagged themselves as willing and able to record and upload videos, and the number is growing all the time. Panellists can be asked to express their views about a specific question from a survey, about the theme of a consultation exercise or about any subject at all. Organisations can specify exactly who they want to

record a video, either based on specific demographics or respondents who have answered a particular question a certain way. Videos tend to work best when there is a tight brief or question for the panellist to respond to. They are usually between 30 seconds and 3 minutes in length. A further advantage is that the customers are in their own environment, usually at home (although they can be asked to shoot a video ‘on location’), so you get cues from their environment and people tend to be more relaxed. And of course, the whole thing costs a tiny fraction of previous methods of producing customer videos or ‘vox-pops’. CI For further information on customer videos, please contact Mark Forde at markforde@ yoursaypays.co.uk or telephone 01484 467050.

Uses of customer videos Staff Training Customers giving their opinions of things like service, products, their relationship with the organisation, in the form of voxpops can be extremely powerful when used in staff training, to reinforce points and bring elements to life. This is particularly useful with audiences that have very little customer contact or with customer facing staff such as call centre advisors who do have customer contact but typically on a more functional basis. The videos can highlight how customers feel, thus enhancing advisors’ empathy with customers. Marketing People’s opinions in video format can be used for marketing purposes, in terms of perceptions of products, brands, advertising, etc. Whilst the statistics from a survey provide the results, the videos bring the results to life. Testimonials What’s more powerful than a real customer talking about how fantastic your organisation is? In terms of advocacy, it certainly beats a few lines of text in inverted commas! Videos can feature on your website and you can create your own channel on Youtube.

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Book Review

Designing with Data

Five Simple steps

Brian Suda

Review in a nutshell Excellent primer on the key principles of accurate and effective data presentation. It’s a useful summary of the graphical toolkit available to designers, but lacks focus on the importance of getting the right data in the first place.

Introduction Data visualisation (dataviz), information design, and infographics are a big trend at the moment. But how many of these “infographics” really add to our understanding of the data that lies behind them? The best bring insights that were invisible without them; or communicate a message in a clear, powerful, way. Many do nothing but ornament a simple factoid with unnecessary graphical embellishment. The worst get in the way, and distort or conceal the truth.

Brian Suda’s book is in many ways a modern, graphic-focused, version of Darrel Huff’s classic ‘How to lie with statistics’. As much a “what not to do” as a “how to”. Reviewing it was a slightly surreal experience. I read with an uncanny sense that I had somehow got hold of a copy of my own, as yet unwritten, book. Somehow Suda had managed to plagiarise my future self. On reflection, this probably owes more to a shared reading list than to timetravelling.

In many ways, the key strength of Suda’s book is not that it offers much that is new (it doesn’t); but that it provides a very clear, layperson-friendly, review of key recommendations from the likes of Tufte and Few. That doesn’t mean it’s only for people new to thinking hard about presenting data - it’s a useful book for all of us - but it definitely has more to offer those who are not already familiar with the literature. It’s also worth saying that the book itself is very nicely produced. Mark Boulton’s ‘Five Simple Steps’ publishing house now offers a small range of books focused on different aspects of design, all of which are themselves designed to a very high standard. But what about the content? For full image visit: www.flickr.com/photos/philgyford www.customer-insight.co.uk

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Book Review

Although it’s divided into 5 parts, to my mind the book splits into 3 sections: - The principles - How to lie with charts - Chart gazetteer

the strongest part of the book, with excellent coverage and useful advice on when to use (or avoid) each chart type. Suda also brings good practical advice on some additions and tweaks that add value to each chart type in certain situations.

The principles

The missing section: what to chart

The overview of principles contains little that will be new to anyone who has done their reading on information design. The influence of Tufte and Few is obvious. That’s no criticism though, the principles are sound and it’s useful to have them collected and summarised. For anyone not familiar with the works of Tufte and others, this offers a clear and accessible introduction...ideal for leaving on your boss’s desk, perhaps? For the rest of us, it offers a nice summary and some new thoughts - for instance on using MD5 hashes to create unique colours programmatically.

One of the relative weaknesses of the book is that it concentrates on how to chart at the expense of what to chart. In his introduction, Suda says “The main purpose of this book is to visualize and design for data in such a way that it engages the reader and tells a story rather than just being flashy, cluttered and confusing.” This is an excellent goal, but by deliberately ignoring the data itself, Suda has missed at least 50% of information design as a discipline.

How to lie with charts

The main purpose of this book is to visualize and design for data in such a way that it engages the reader and tells a story rather than just being flashy, cluttered and confusing

Suda offers a good summary of wellestablished tricks like using implicitly 3D bags instead of bars, or fiddling with axes.

He also covers some more subtle cheats, like the difficulty of balancing false negative and false positive errors. Anyone wanting an informed opinion on the debate over breast cancer screening would do well to read that section.

When he talks about “Sins of omission”, for instance, I would expect a discussion of the importance of correcting for inflation when showing the long-term trend of anything to do with money. Charting bare financial data without accounting for the fact that £10 in 1970 bought you more than £10 in 2011 is far more misleading, in my view, than using silly 3D pictures of bags of money or chopping the axis.

1) Get good raw data 2) Treat and analyse it to tell the right story 3) D  isplay the story in the most compelling way Suda has deliberately avoided any discussion of this, but the book ends up feeling unbalanced as a result. Nonetheless, this remains one of the better summaries of the toolkit available to information designers in the 21st century. I’ll definitely keep it as a desktop quick reference for whenever I can’t quite find the chart I want to tell my story. CI

Further reading Books Edward Tufte, “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” Recently revised and updated, this is an uncompromising classic. Stephen Few, “Show Me the Numbers” Elegant and to the point, with a greater focus on business. David McCandless, “Information is Beautiful” Flirting with the “decoration above insight” end of the dataviz spectrum, but helps you to think beyond charts. Darrell Huff, “How to Lie with Statistics” A classic, but still very relevant. The charts may look prettier now, but the tricks are mostly the same!

Web Edward Tufte: edwardtufte.com Stephen Few: perceptualedge.com David McCandless: informationisbeautiful.net Nathan Yau: flowingdata.com Kaiser Fung: junkcharts.typepad.com

Chart gazetteer Two sections of the book are dedicated to discussing the features and uses of a range of common and not-so-common charts, from line and bar charts to “sound charts” and Chernoff faces. I found this

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Good information design starts with robust, interesting data. It’s about releasing the story in the data, not embellishment. In my view there are three stages to producing a good infographic, and Suda only considers the last in detail:

www.customer-insight.co.uk

Stephen Hampshire Client Manager The Leadership Factor If you have any thoughts about this article you can contact Stephen at stephenhampshire@leadershipfactor.com


European Customer Experience World 2012 22nd & 23rd May · London

At ECEW 2012, you’ll hear from the most forward-thinking authorities in the field, representing leading companies from across the globe like the Disney Institute, Starbuck’s, Virgin Holidays, Fiat, Zappos, Bank of America, Metro Bank, Cadbury’s, BT and many others.

THE ECEW 2012 CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

ECEW 2012 is professional yet informal, organised yet comfortable - a program you can tailor to your needs. The ECEW structure encourages substantive conversations among colleagues, led by facilitators who keep the discussion on target and on goal. It’s a hands-on process of experiential learning that engages you in a constant exchange of ideas and insights.

Executives who are, or who want to champion customer experience, such as, Members of Board, Vice President, Directors, Head and Senior Managers involved in:

LEARNING, NOT JUST LISTENING ECEW 2012 is not just listening but learning in a way that brings it to life by hearing from the people who lived the story. They will tell you how to move your customer experience from idea through strategy to selling it and implementation and measurement.

Customer Lifecycle Strategy Customer Experience Client Relationship Development CRM & Loyalty Customer Care and Service Quality Marketing/Sales Retention and Loyalty Programs Customer Insight and Satisfaction

THE FOCUS GROUP LTD

Contact Maggie Wheeler

01993 844466 www.thefocusgroup.org.uk


Customer Insight Vol1 Iss2  

Customer Insight is the magazine for managers who are interested in using customer insight (i.e. really understanding what their customers t...

Customer Insight Vol1 Iss2  

Customer Insight is the magazine for managers who are interested in using customer insight (i.e. really understanding what their customers t...