What gets in the way of delivering stand-out customer experiences? A round up from the Financial Services Forum event led by Brand Learning

Today’s Financial Services Forum in London, led by Brand Learning, debated what it takes in practice to create better customer experiences. Panelists shared stories from Aviva, First Direct, British Airways and even the Royal Marines – showing that people’s inventiveness can have a huge impact.

The time-old issue of siloed ways of working and behaviours was seen by the audience as the biggest barrier to seamless customer experience. The customer cannot continue to fall foul of internal structures – their experience needs to be joined-up. Coming a close second were strategies that focus on solving today’s customer pain points rather than thinking creatively about the future experience everyone wants to create.

These issues were tackled in a presentation of Brand Learning’s latest research by Rich Bryson, Group Client and Propositions Director. Raj Kumar, Global Head of Marketing Strategy and Planning at Aviva and Louise Fowler, Marketing and Consumer Specialist at Davenport Strategy then shared their own tips – from how to get the board on board to how to access the ingenuity of everyone in the company to improve the details of the customer experience.

Did you know for instance that a regular Aviva hackathon (Hack24) overcame a long-standing and well-known irritant: the cumbersome process for a customer to change their address? A cross-functional team worked together and in less than 24 hours found an online solution. Calls to the customer service centre dropped by 260k per month.

A topic of some debate was that of measuring the impact of customer experience on overall business performance. NPS still rules, but there was a call to balance NPS alongside other sources of measurement.. Marketers can use these data to tell the story of the impact of improving the customer experience.

But the numbers aren’t everything. Perhaps the stories that really stuck in people’s minds were qualitative and human. A First Direct call operator, wearing her headset, interrupting a board meeting to get help to solve an issue for the customer that was currently on the line. Every Aviva board meeting opens with listening to and acting on a letter from a customer. A letter from a father, who, for the first time was able to get a mortgage and became a hero to his family – which is used at Nationwide to bring to life the purpose in delivering for customers. Perhaps this is of no surprise. After all people were acknowledged to be the key to unlocking the inventiveness, integration and ingenuity that great customer experiences require.

Find out more about Brand Learning’s latest research on joining-up for stand-out customer experiences: sign up to receive the white paper.