It’s an old saying isn’t it? Shoot for the stars and you might just reach the moon. There was a time when, if you’d told me that it was possible to shift a brand’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) by +86 in a year, I would have probably laughed at you. But these things can happen.

Key take outs from this post:

  • DO SOMETHING! If you know that your customers are not happy about something, don’t just sit there, do something about it. Create a team, focus, and for that team, de-prioritise everything else that’s going on.
  • Know who your customers are. It might sound obvious, but in this situation, there were two different types of customer, and the one that was the MOST important was the LEAST happy.
  • Make sure you really know what your customers want. Find out what makes them tick, what they really want from you and what they really like and don’t like about your service.
  • Use your research findings and create an integrated campaign that signals, and then delivers change that is VISIBLE to both customers, and your colleagues. A programme of engagement is vital.

We achieved just such a shift in NPS when I was Head of Customer Experience at Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) and it was all about transforming the service being provided to mortgage brokers. The brokers weren’t happy and they hadn’t been for some time: Illustrated very clearly by a steady decline in Net Promoter Score, to a low point of -11.

Mortgage brokers – help people buy their home, not simply obtain a mortgage

So we set about putting the broker at the heart of the strategy, and finding out what they really wanted. After all, the brokers were customers in their own right. They had customers of their own who became YBS mortgage customers, but the strategy at that time saw the broker very much as an intermediary and not necessarily a customer.

The research confirmed what we already knew about the service, but it also gave us great insights into what the Brokers REALLY wanted and, and how they wanted us to make them feel – of all the components of a brilliant customer experience, what really MATTERS, is how you make people feel.

Brokers wanted to feel very differently about the service we gave. They wanted to feel like we were on their side. They wanted to feel that YBS was their trusted partner, who understood their business, helped them to be successful and deliver a brilliant experience for their customers. They wanted to be able to recommend us with confidence.

To do this required a business transformation for YBS’s intermediary service. We constructed a series of core broker needs and then set about making sure the business development and operational teams could deliver against them. The core needs started with “brilliant basics”: Being there for brokers when they really needed help, clear communications, tools to help with the job and, very important, LISTEN to me. Basics were built on with help to make the Broker’s customers happy, get to know and value their business proposition, building a sense of “we’re in it together” and support and help the brokers grow their business.

We also sprinkled some magic fairy dust on the proposition to brokers with a “welcome to your new home” hamper for their clients. This had been done before, but we flipped the idea so the hamper was sent from the broker, not from YBS. This went down brilliantly with customers, and the brokers were delighted we weren’t taking any of the credit!

Operational teams changed the way they did things. Direct dial contact for brokers with underwriters was one of the basics we implemented to demonstrate we could be there when they needed us and help to become the trusted partner the brokers wanted.

We completed the changes with an updated website, look and feel, above and below the line marketing and development for the sales and operational teams to really make sure everyone was on board with the new ways of working.

The results spoke for themselves: NPS shifted from -11 to +75 during 2017.

If you’re liking the blog so far – please let me know! Feel free to comment or get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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