In the highly competitive financial services sector, online bank Egg has always set out to differentiate itself from the herd. Its brand values are consciously disruptive in nature with a stated purpose to "revolutionise the customers experience of financial services driven through unleashing the power of people."
"Strategically Egg has set out since 1998 to be a bit different," says John Jennick, head of customer experience and action at Egg. "We try to have our customers art the heart of everything that we do."
There was a clear need for a fast-turnaround tracking and monitoring system.
"With any information that you got out of a tracking system or service, if the levels of satisfaction dropped or increased then you had to go away and investigate further," recalls Jennick. "That would then be a two week process, which just wasn’t quick enough. You need to have a really clear picture of a customer – how many customers do you have, how much contact have you had with them, what products do they buy and so on."
To that end Egg has been continually measuring and monitoring customer attitude since 2002 in order to identify the key moments of truth in the customer lifecycle. It has deployed commercially available software as part of an event driven system that interviews customers at key moments in their relationship with Egg.
It also has in place a customer experience team, armed with expertise in survey research, through which business users can push requests for data. This in turn enables Egg to control communications to customers and ensure that they are not over-surveyed. The end result is a high response rate and high quality data.
Egg has deployed the Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) software Confirmit, developed by FIRM. This provides an online reporting platform that delivers high level results to business users as well as a rules based escalation that delivers email alerts to those business users when specified criteria have been met.
Egg prepopulates surveys with data contained in its CRM systems, such as personal information and transactional data. It can also handle information about the classifications Egg uses to aggregate customer profiles and characteristics. Such prepopultation means that customers are not asked to provide information that has already been delivered.
The Confirmit EFM software provides an event-driven system that interviews customers at key moments of truth during their relationship with Egg. Gartner says that, "The most important aspect of feedback is timing. Gartner has determined that feedback collected immediately after an event is 40 percent more accurate than feedback collected 24 hours after the event."
Surveys are taken of customers immediately following the process of application for Egg products, one-month pulse check surveys shortly after opening an account to ensure that expectations are met, and surveys upon completion of calls to Egg's contact centres.
Monthly satisfaction surveys are also carried out. Egg pre-populates surveys with data contained in its CRM systems to increase personalisation and reduce survey length, by not having to ask customers for information they have already given.
"We don't want to over survey our customers, so they have an opt-out on the survey themselves," says Jennick. "So, you might get a survey when you buy a product or service, but then you won’t get surveyed again for nine months."
Deliverables have included an enhanced set of customer relationships and increased loyalty with an intitiative launched in 2005 to target those customers who are at risk of losing control of their debt.
Improved customer insight meant that Egg could refocus its collections team into a Borrowing Management Team which could work to help customers take control of their money. Egg works on the principle that the more it can help its customers, the more likely it is that it will see some repayment of arrears.
The team proactively contract at risk customers through email, phone calls and direct mailing and help them to manage their debts and obligations. This involves a series of survey questions to help them to better understand underlying issues and offer solutions. The survey information is shared with the Borrowing Management Team via the Customer and People Voice operational team who work with the Customer Insight team.
Egg took advantage of the ease of use of the authoring tool and the close relationship it has with its customers to reduce the product development lifecycle of its Egg Money product by turning around research requests delivered against a customer in 24 hour.
Results to date have seen response rates to the survey approach 10 per cent as nearly 1000 customers per month share their views. Meanwhile, implementation of Confirmit at Egg's Dudley call centre to proactively drive customer satisfaction has not only resulted in a 25 – 125 per cent increase in sales across all products but a 40 per cent decrease in staff absenteeism and a general increase in morale.
By Stuart Lauchlan