Love the Customer - Skipton Building Society
Skipton Building Society is the fourth largest building society in the UK, with 95 branches located across the country and a contact centre based in Bury, Lancashire. They provide a broad range of financial service products that support customers on their journey for the ‘Life Ahead’ while taking pride in offering outstanding customer service alongside quality products that make a difference. Last year was their first entry into the UK Customer Experience Awards and they secured the top spot in the Customer at the Heart of Everything (Financial Services) category. We take a look at Skipton Building Society’s Bury branch and its award-winning initiatives focused on improving services for people with dementia.
Context Behind the Initiative
As one of the largest threats to an ageing population, dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK. With symptoms such as memory loss, confusion, and problems with speech and understanding, the branch at Bury knew they could help customers facing this challenge and become role models throughout the company. They wanted to help this core segment of customers and were passionate about acting as influencers and encouraging others in Skipton to do the same.
The Initiative and Great Customer Experience Delivered
The Bury initiative focused heavily on tailoring an approach suited to vulnerable customers with dementia. This meant that colleagues had to be educated and confident in their role to provide service and be able to better deal with situations involving vulnerable customers. For the Bury branch, it was also critical that they educate the wider community, support those with dementia, and create a physical environment which was supportive and empathetic to the customer needs of this segment. In order to achieve this, the following solutions were identified:
- The branch was taken out into the community where volunteering played a key part. Doing this allowed the Bury branch to raise local awareness of how dementia affects lives while also building brand awareness and consideration.
- National focus days were identified that engaged branches regardless of geography or location.
- The Bury team built a strong influence outside of the branch and connected with the wider community, becoming a force for change.
- Digital technologies were implemented that amplified learning amongst colleagues as well as in the Head Office.
- Recommendations were made to enhance and improve the experience for customers when visiting a branch.
- External experts were consulted to help support the team’s understanding and capability to provide support.
- The Bury branch had to demonstrate leadership by acting as role models in building and driving dementia awareness.
- Customer feedback had to be actively collected, listened to, and acted upon and in doing so demonstrate that every customer has a voice and that customer input is greatly valued.
- Colleague feedback also had to be collected in order to build training and guidance that would help others and get them engaged in supporting customers with dementia, while also encouraging ideas and solutions from other parts of the business to improve and drive dementia awareness.
Business Impact and Results
Apart from being praised by the Skipton Building Society at large, the Bury branch, along with its branch manager Imran Najeeb, demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to delivering colleague support, community engagement, and exceptional customer service. The Bury branch also created a wave of viral change across the Skipton Building Society, inspiring Senior Leaders across the organisation to become engaged in providing more support for people with dementia. The entire organisation has become much more supportive of this vulnerable customer segment and it continues to inspire and deliver exceptional results in both customer experience and community support.
The UK Customer Experience Awards 2018
Is your organisation delivering great customer experience? If your company has already put 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.