Every once in a while, we like to shed our little spotlight on companies that, in spite of their great initiative, haven’t made it to the podium at Customer Experience Awards organized by our partner, Awards International. Sometimes it so happens that there are more customer experience initiatives that deserve recognition, besides those that won the awards.
Virgin Money has participated and won in one (or a few) of the Customer Experience Categories more than once in the last few years, and in 2016 their new Voice of Customer programme took them to the Customer Experience Awards finals.
When it comes to customer experience, listening to your customers comes first, but it’s of little use if that data isn’t interpreted and action isn’t taken based on that interpretation.
There’s Money… and there’s Virgin Money
Virgin Money’s philosophy is to always try to do things a bit differently, and upon launch they set out to disrupt the UK banking market and bring some much needed competition, with one overriding vision: to make everyone better off, and, in doing so, build a bank customers love.
Their newest goals were to drive loyalty and advocacy, and with that in mind they set out to increase:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer retention and numbers
- Overall business revenue
The insight that they had before was useful, but didn’t provide them with a true holistic view of the customer experience their clients had, which meant that they weren’t able to precisely pinpoint areas that need to be improved.
Revamping Their Approach
To realise their objective Virgin Money decided to build a new Voice of Customer programme around 4 key areas:
Their new approach was to collect and connect feedback across a variety of listening posts including new regular CX surveys across ALL products. They extended real-time feedback across more customer facing areas, created new web surveys, refreshed mystery shop approach and started tracking social media comments. This sort of initiative enabled them to benchmark both internally and externally, respond quickly and in a flexible manner to different business needs and distribute insight at all levels.
Armed with more info than ever before, they moved on to analysing the data and pulling together key trends and themes at product and channel levels.
They challenged themselves to quantify the value of higher NPS. They have been able to successfully prove that when compared to customers scoring their company 8 or less out of 10 for likelihood to recommend, those scoring 9 or 10 have a much higher retention rate, a more than 10% higher average product holding and higher average account balances.
The primary objective of this step was to ensure all colleagues have access to VoC insight and organize a structure to work through the data in detail and agree which improvement actions to explore. Key features of this objective include that all colleagues must have access to VoC data, that everything is communicated regularly and that it’s supported by structured and embedded governance and business routines.
All steps 1-3 are of little value if they don’t lead to this final step and the improvement of customer experiences. Virgin Money functions on a 90-day cycle, with the first 30 days focused on the cascade of data and the following 60 days progressing improvement activities. By restarting the cycle every quarter, they can continually report on new developments and trends and add weight to existing improvement plans.
Thanks to this seemingly simple 4-step process, as a direct result, Virgin Money’s customer satisfaction level raised to an amazing 95%!
Their customer retention rate kept a steady 84% and Transactional NPS was now at its highest-ever level of +65 in the first quarter of 2016, up from +51 in 2014.
In turn, this has helped them drive high levels of customer growth with over 640.000 new customers being attracted to the VM brand.
This is an excellent example how listening to customers brings outstanding results when a company implements what they hear, the right way. This kind of initiative, as well as many others, is something that can regularly be seen at CXA, and judges recognise such initiatives as remarkable.
Simply attending the biggest and most compelling CX event in the world is a great opportunity to get inspired to improve your company.
Nurturing customer experience still is, and will continue to be, the best way to build stronger customer relationships, increase customer referrals and bring more revenue and sales.