Iain O’Connor, Aegon UK

Iain O'Connor

Iain O'Connor

Senior Manager, Customer Experience & Insight
Aegon 

UK

For Iain and his team at Aegon UK, the launch of a new NPS programme, alongside a training and improvement hub, have been instrumental to improving the organisation's customer experience.  

Early in his tenure, Iain set up an online research community, consisting of 9,000 members (4,000 customers, 4,000 consumers, 600 financial advisers and 500 staff), enabling his team to gather customer insight and opinion via surveys, polls and focus groups. The creation and development of this panel led to a shift in mindset from an inside-out approach, to one of testing and building experiences based on feedback - and keeping customers informed of how their feedback had been used.  

This shift in mindset has led to a host of intitiaves designed to improve customer experiences, including the CX Lab, which is a hub within the organisation’s Edinburgh headquarters, that provides a physical space for CX improvement and employee engagement, allowing staff to get away from their desks to work on activities such as customer journey mapping and focus groups. Iain’s team have also created the CX Academy – a programme of events that anyone in Aegon can sign up to and attend. In one quarter alone, the CX Academy sessions received over 500 staff sign-ups to attend at least one session, reflecting the level of buy-in that is being achieved. 

To measure how this activity and other projects aimed at improving the customer-centricity of the company culture are impacting CX performance, Aegon UK rolled out a large scale transactional NPS programme across all telephony, back office and digital touchpoints, setting targets across the entire organisation. 

The NPS programme involves a new closed loop system of feedback – Aegon Cares – which started as callbacks to NPS detractors and is now in place across the business with its remit extended to cover social media service with its own Aegon Cares Twitter page. Relational NPS studies across three core customer groups (customer, adviser and employer) have also been put in place to measure the impact on a wider scale than just transactional NPS. NPS champions have also been introduced in each part of the business to be made responsible for progress against their NPS improvement plan.

Since measurement of NPS has began, the organisation has reported huge rises in scores across its contact centres, back office and digital presence. Reflecting this, customer retention rates have also improved. 

“We are a global brand and although each country unit sets their own strategy, the work we've done in the UK is viewed as leading and many of the initiatives I've launched here have now been rolled out in the other Aegon country units. I’m proud that our CX capability is seen as a selling point, and I am now often asked to be part of new business pitches and industry events to talk about the latest work my team are doing."

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