How Skipton Building Society put Customers at the Heart of their Business

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 20, 20187min

Skipton Building Society is the fourth largest building society in the UK, with 95 branches located across the country and a contact centre based in Bury, Lancashire. With entries now open for the 2018 UK Customer Experience Awards, we look back at Skipton’s success at last year’s awards finals when they won their category with an outstanding entry…

Skipton Building Society provides a broad range of financial service products that support customers on their journey for the ‘Life Ahead’, while taking pride in offering outstanding customer service alongside quality products that make a difference.

Last year was their ever first entry into the UK Customer Experience Awards and they secured the top spot in the Customer at the Heart of Everything (Financial Services) category. Here, we take a look at Skipton’s Bury branch and its award-winning initiative focusing on improving services for people with dementia.

Context behind the initiative

As one of the largest threats to an ageing population, dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK. With symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with speech and understanding, the branch at Bury knew they could help customers facing this challenge and become role models throughout the company.

They wanted to help this core segment of customers and were passionate about acting as influencers and encouraging others within Skipton to do the same.

The initiative and great Customer Experience delivered

The Bury initiative focused heavily on tailoring an approach suited to vulnerable customers with dementia. This meant that colleagues had to be educated and confident in their role to provide service and be able to better deal with situations involving vulnerable customers.

For the Bury branch, it was also critical that they educate the wider community, support those with dementia, and create a physical environment which was supportive and empathetic to the customer needs of this segment.

In order to achieve this, the following solutions were identified:

  1. The branch was taken out into the community where volunteering played a key part. Doing this allowed the Bury branch to raise local awareness of how dementia affects lives while also building brand awareness and consideration.
  2. National focus days were identified that engaged branches regardless of geography or location.
  3. The Bury team built a strong influence outside of the branch and connected with the wider community, becoming a force for change.
  4. Digital technologies were implemented that amplified learning amongst colleagues as well as in the Head Office.
  5. Recommendations were made to enhance and improve the experience for customers when visiting a branch.
  6. External experts were consulted to help support the team’s understanding and capability to provide support.
  7. The Bury branch had to demonstrate leadership by acting as role models in building and driving dementia awareness.
  8. Customer feedback had to be actively collected, listened to, and acted upon, and in doing so demonstrate that every customer has a voice and that customer input is greatly valued.
  9. Colleague feedback also had to be collected in order to build training and guidance that would help others and get them engaged in supporting customers with dementia, while also encouraging ideas and solutions from other parts of the business to improve and drive dementia awareness.

The implementation of these solutions also included a layered approach. The Bury branch influenced people both internally and externally in their community.

Their cause was taken to the local Mayor’s Charity and was commended and recognised locally. The Bury branch also engaged with many other local organisations and institutions that supported their cause, even being invited to a national recognition event at the Tower of London.

Internally, workshops have been created to engage staff which included training videos that support over 500 colleagues and counting.

Business impact and results

Apart from being praised by the Skipton Building Society at large, the Bury branch, along with its branch manager Imran Najeeb, demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to delivering colleague support, community engagement, and exceptional customer service.

The Bury branch also created a wave of viral change across the Skipton Building Society, inspiring senior leaders across the organisation to become engaged in providing more support for people with dementia.

The entire organisation has become much more supportive of this vulnerable customer segment and it continues to inspire and deliver exceptional results in both Customer Experience and community support.

The UK Customer Experience Awards 2018

Is your organisation delivering great customer experience?

If your company has already put the customer at the heart of everything, then entering the UK Customer Experience Awards is a fantastic way to achieve recognition for your initiatives.

Entering the awards is a valuable opportunity to bring your team together and celebrate your success. Not only that, the finalists receive a benchmarked feedback form from an expert panel of independent and impartial judges, following a live presentation at the awards finals in London’s Wembley Stadium.

For more information on entering this year’s UK Customer Experience Awards, click here.

 

 


Paul Ainsworth

Paul Ainsworth

Experienced Irish journalist and former newspaper editor now helming executive editorial duties with Customer Experience Magazine, the UK's premier online source for Customer Experience news, features, and opinion, along with its sister site, CXM World.




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