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Listening to the Customer – Barclays CI

The well recognised Barclays brand shares a common purpose amongst its people: to help people achieve their ambitions, in the right way. The bank’s recent advancements were focused heavily on this ambition, one that sits at the core of their business, underpinning everything they do. Barclays believes in a strong set of values that drive positive outcomes and deliver strong and sustainable results. Their values – Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellent and Stewardship (R.I.S.E.S.) – are all encompassed in their most recent initiative that was presented at the 2017 UK Customer Experience Awards.

Barclay’s initiative delivered revolutionary new processes, created for the identification, review, and instant set-up of new Delegated Authority arrangements, resulting in positive outcomes for both customers and employees. We look at Barclays’ innovative approach to simplifying this complicated service and improving their offer, which led them to win the Customer at the Heart of Everything (Listening to the Customer) category at the UK Customer Experience Awards 2017.

Context Behind the Changes

The validation process and set-up of Delegated Authority requests (which include Powers of Attorney or Court of Protection Orders) are very complex. Requiring users to check information held on multiple different systems, this process involved the reviewing and validation of many types of documents, and manual reviewing and updating of numerous elements of the customer record. Due to the complexity of the task, all but the most straightforward Delegate Authorities were set up by a back office operational team. The previous process for a branch was to take copies of all documentation, complete forms by hand, and post them to the Operations team. Branch staff lacked opportunities to provide great service to customers and they didn’t feel empowered and confident when dealing with Delegated Authorities. Time also played a big factor in Barclays’ decision to overhaul this process. Hand-offs between the branch and Operations teams resulted in significant delays from submission to the customers getting their requested access. Even though this is quite a standard process across the industry, Barclays felt there was an opportunity here to significantly reduce the time it takes to process these requests and provide a much better solution to customers and employees.

The Initiative and Customer Experience Delivered

In order to make the Delegated Authority set-up a positive experience for clients and staff, Barclays had to replace the hand-offs between teams with a seemingly-faceless operational team and ensure that branch staff completed the end-to-end process in real-time with the customer present. However, the nature of Delegated Authority requests and a huge number of potential variants they come with presented a number of challenges in the streamlining process. To overcome them, Barclays created an application which ensured that branch staff could confidently replicate the checks and updates completed by the operational team, with the customer present in-branch. While significantly reducing the time taken to review documentation and provide access, the automation of the set-up process ensured that no conflict occurred between the instructions taken in branch and their interpretation elsewhere. With fewer errors as a result of these changes, employees have gained the confidence when dealing with Delegated Authority requests, and are able to take ownership of cases, talking customers through the process every step of the way. The newly formed interactions between branch staff and customers also created better opportunities for great customer experiences. Contrary to customers leaving the branch and waiting for a postal response as they would have previously, they are now more engaged in the process and aware of the status of their request immediately.

Business Impact and Results

Including postal timings, customers often had to wait over three weeks to hear back in regard to their Delegated Authorities request. However, since the implementation of Barclays' new process, requests for most customers are completed immediately and delegates are set up to act instantly. Other cases requiring review by the operational team are completed the day paperwork is received and are usually ready on day two – a significant improvement. Furthermore, by removing the complexity associated with the process, employees with no prior knowledge of Delegated Authority requests have been enabled to confidently submit them by answering simple questions and following clear in-app instructions. Through this automation of the set-up stage, error rates of Delegated Authorities have improved, and error-related complaints have been dramatically reduced.

The UK Customer Experience Awards 2018

Do you have a fantastic strategy to celebrate? If your company is putting 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 our panel of independent and impartial judges, and you have the opportunity to present your entry live to them at the awards finals in front of other industry leaders.

This year we have 22 categories aimed at organisations who love their customer and want to increase their engagement, reputation, and turnover. Entries can be from individuals and/or organisations, as well as those companies who have partnered with other businesses to ensure an effective customer experience. To see which categories you could enter this year click here.