By Carl Lyon, Managing Director of The QoE

The QoE was delighted to be asked to judge at the UK Financial Services Experience Awards again this year. Having done so on four previous occasions we see how aligned these particular awards are with our mission to continually push the boundaries of customer experience delivery. Our approach is all about inspiring collaboration – individually people have good ideas, collectively they can be brilliant. We couldn’t find a better example than this year’s winners in the innovation category, Virgin Money.

This was the third time we have seen their entry and it gave us all real pleasure to see how the proposition has gone from good to great. In many ways their journey represents the developments organisations have had to undergo in order to meet the demands of an increasingly knowledgeable and connected customer who still has a desire for good face-to-face service. This year’s entry highlighted how the principles of customer centricity drive key metrics around growth and sustainability.

One of the main challenges we continue to see as we talk to organisations, not only in the UK but also around Europe, is how they can inspire their own people to think beyond business as usual.

A vital step if they are truly able to grow and retain the most profitable customers. Experience focused organisations become agile and effective as they focus on the needs of employees as well as their customers. The energy, enthusiasm and goodwill generated cannot fail to choose a more efficient and productive company and truly loyal customers.

Timing of course is everything as we move into a truly digitally connected environment where knowledge and opinion, both positive and negative, are freely shared.

The experiences we generate will continue to have a growing influence on acquiring new customers and retaining loyalty.

And it was great to see the financial services district really starting to mature in their thinking and delivery, not only of customer, but also people experience. Perhaps some other industries have been quicker to appreciate the role of employees in the design of a great customer experience, rather than just its delivery. It is a shift that helps businesses to understand the true return on investment.

More good news witnessed at the awards is that the financial service industry is continuing to innovate with real pace and enthusiasm. We are seeing an increasing number of experienced focused people in key roles who have the influence to permanently change even the largest organisation.

Talking to contestants, both winners and finalists expressed their desire to come back stronger next year inspired by what they had seen and heard others had been able to achieve so congratulations on the running of the awards and the quality of the participants. Together we can continue to push the boundaries of what is possible and reap the rewards.

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