How Bendigo and Adelaide Bank is responding to voice of customer data

Banking group's head of customer voice shares the latest technology and analytics approach helping lift its customer experience game

Gaining insight into why customers are opening a new account or purchasing a product has become a reality for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank thanks to the latest advancements in its customer analytics toolkit.

Head of customer voice, Ian Jackman, told CMO the banking group has spent the last two years restructuring, investing in new technologies and building a single view of customers for frontline staff in order to support its corporate vision of being Australia’s most customer connected bank.

Jackman oversees the tools, technologies and staff responsible for customer help and feedback, insights and data analytics, operational and reporting functions, and group marketing. He reports to chief customer officer, Marnie Baker, who was appointed to the newly created role last November.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank also maintains a customer-led innovation team. And as part of the restructure, the wider organisation has been realigned into four go-to-market streams: Local, partner, online and call connection.

While the group has had voice of customer (VOC) programs around advocacy and satisfaction for some time, including Net Promoter Score (NPS), there were a number of gaps, Jackman said.

“One of these was being able to go proactively to customers and ask them questions about what they think of the group, or why they chose a certain product or solution, then drive those insights back into the organisation using metrics that also guide us as to what we do in response to that,” he said.

While NPS and customer efforts are important for episodic measurement, they both only become valuable when you’re able to follow up with a consumer on why they’re giving you that score in the first place, Jackman said.

“We track very well on NPS score, so we’re strong as a bank and we continue to watch that, and segment it out,” he said. “But I’m more and mostly interested in when customers give us a score and the reasons for that.”

A holistic view on customers

To help, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank brought on Qualtrics’ cloud-based VOC technology platform 12 months ago. Jackman said having a modular solution in-house connected directly to its single customer view and insights engine allows it to engage customers in feedback initiatives in a more agile, timely way.

“The difference now is we can ask our customers directly, which allows us to iterate and evolve how we ask questions, as well as ask things based on different circumstances,” he explained. “We can then overlay the responses we get back with all of our customer analytics and people platforms. That means we get greater depth and richness of insight, because we can drill into results, segment through multiple lenses, and add in other information we know about them.”

One of the earliest use cases has been to engage with customers when they open a new product or account. Jackman said quick surveys include questions on why they chose Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, key drivers and motivators, and how well the group delivered on expectations. Jackman said the team then breaks results out to glean insights on specific locations, demographics and relationship types.

Initially, implementation focused on a couple of use cases to prove the benefits of the investment, he continued.

“Our whole approach is based on iteration in the way we evolve,” he said. “It’s fundamental in the current climate to progressively grow with technology and start in a simple way that delivers rich value very quickly, then grow that over time.”

Thanks to the work Bendigo and Adelaide Bank had already done to build a single customer view across the group and product sets, integrating Qualtrics via API connectors with other customer data and self-service analytics systems was relatively painless.

The group maintains a customer insights dashboard, which has been in place for 12-18 months, and which is accessible to a large number of people on the frontline. Jackman said this exposes much of the analytics and insights around customers and movement from its database.

“The data we are getting back, such as the metrics from surveys, reasoning and drivers, are progressively being added in to create more of a voice of customer dashboard,”
he said. “It’s the combination of customer-initiated with the stuff we’ve proactively sourced, combined with other analytics and insights about demographics, behaviours and so forth, that come into that self-service dashboard.”

Business benefits

The next priority for Jackman is to better correlate insights to business and financial growth outcomes, which will in turn feed into more tangible benefits. In the meantime, the intangible but very real value of putting information into the hands of staff to create better awareness of what customers say goes back to the bank’s purpose, he said. It’s also helping better position the brand, make improvements to product set, prioritise new product developments, and drive more relevancy in communications.

“We can highlight strengths and weaknesses in our product set and that’s fed into product design,” Jackman said. “We’ve used it to do adhoc surveys on what customers are looking for around platforms such as ebanking, which can influence what we build in that space. It’s about how we act and what we listen to.

“It’s also given us a self-service capability to ask things and get a quick response from our customers. That’s important – that timeliness and agility allows us to respond and get that [customer insight] on the table when we make decisions.”

Any organisation can fall into the trap of being anecdotal or internally focused on what its customers want, Jackman said. Having data insight has helped his team “bust some myths” on what matters most to which customers.

“It has changed some of our thinking in the way we position ourselves, even at a high level around different needs and perspectives from customers in Western Australia versus NSW,” he said. “This helps us better position ourselves in those states as we’re getting a better read on those customers.

“We’ve built a lot of data in transactional, interactions and so forth, and the data analytics is exceptionally valuable, as it gives us the how, what, when and where, but it doesn’t necessarily give us the why. Tapping into the customer voice and having them as a seat at the table is fundamental to getting that.”

Jackman is also adding new episodes and triggers, such as different types of post-interactions.

“Online, we’re looking at how we get in the moment, immediate feedback, then build out the amount we publish and put in front of organisation with our VOC dashboard to expose trends and information,” Jackman said. “We need to build our volume as well – as we get more granular in how we dissect, the volume coming in underpins the integrity of those insights as well.”

Thanks to the work to date, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank gained the top ranking in the Forrester Australian Customer Experience Index for 2015. The result takes into account the three ‘Es’ of CX: Effectiveness, ease and emotion.

Qualtrics managing director for Asia-Pacific and Japan, Bill McMurray, noted having a comprehensive VOC program requires a mix of NPS, customer satisfaction, effort, market research and digital experiences insight, along with real-time feedback from customers themselves.

“It even blends into employment engagement – the better employees are engaged, the better the customer support,” he said. “Bendigo Bank already had program, what it needed was to enhance parts of that.

“Customer experience is a journey and there’s no end point.”

For organisations that aren’t as far advanced, McMurray advised looking at what you are trying to achieve right now and what you want to fix. He also noted there’s no point in capturing data if you don’t do something with it.

“Company commitment to these programs is key,” he added. “It’s more than just technology, but from a technical point of view, you need to have a platform that people can grow into.”

Read more of our coverage on managing customer listening programs:

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