How Kent Reliance used ServiceTick’s ‘listening framework’ to transform the company
Kent Reliance is a one-time building society that now specialises in offering a safe place to grow their money to customers across the UK. Their products feature regularly in industry award ceremonies. With 150 years of heritage they seek to build strong relationships with their customers by providing long-term value, top-flight customer service and rewarding loyalty.
However in 2013 the picture was not so rosy. Customer feedback was consistently unflattering and rising complaints were matched by the departure of loyal customers. The company reacted immediately. It undertook extensive research, then launched a real-time customer feedback strategy, which shaped an innovative multi-channel customer experience, placing the customer at the heart of the solution.
ServiceTick created a ‘listening framework’ for Kent Reliance that allowed them to get real-time feedback from transactions with branch and contact centre. The programme is able to measure performance at different hierarchical levels, different locations and across different products. Responses are reported in real-time and a series of alerts have been set up that allow Kent Reliance to respond to dissatisfied customers before they become complainants.
Kent Reliance also produce detailed journey maps, into which they put customer sentiment, scores measured at various touch points and data from the complaints team. These maps are used to explore key journeys with operational managers, highlight the pain points for customers and identify how they can be made better. Sometimes this is as simple as making a letter clearer but sometimes the whole process is re-engineered.
Return on investment
A key part of the success of the Kent Reliance feedback programme was ensuring that all employees were involved from the top down.
- CEO, Andy Golding feels passionately about delivering great customer service and his sponsorship of and enthusiasm for the project fed down through the whole organisation and helped convince everyone it was important
- The crucial part was getting the customer facing functions on-board. All customer facing unit needed to be engaged in the process of understanding what customers were saying. To do so a heavy emphasis is placed by Kent Reliance on driving insight out of customers’ verbatim comments. Stephen Plimmer, Head of Customer Strategy & Insight, recognised the value of the insight left by customers as opposed to the scoring of numbers.
- Demonstrating quick wins also helped Kent Reliance put customer at the heart of their strategy. Pockets of initial mistrust of the CX Strategy were quickly overcome by demonstrating how effective it can be. For Kent Reliance these quick wins were not in the form of a profit measure or a traditional CX metric, but evidence that resonated more strongly with front-line staff such as reduced call wait times or complaints about a specific process.
Kent Reliance’s achievements have led to industry recognition:
- “Most Effective Customer Experience” award at the Financial Services Forum Marketing Effectiveness Awards 2015
- “Best Savings Account Provider for Customer Service” in the Which satisfaction survey 2014
- Finalist at the Institute of Customer Service awards earlier the same year