An innovative engagement and development programme to support the transformation of Tesco Bank, co-created and co-delivered by Cirrus in partnership with Tesco Banks’s internal L&D specialists.

Spectacular results include increases in engagement and customer satisfaction and a dramatic decrease in complaints.

The Background

Since 2008, Tesco Bank has been wholly owned by Tesco plc. 3,000 staff based in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle serve 7 million customer accounts.

Tesco Bank’s aim is to be the financial services provider of choice for Tesco shoppers by giving them great service and good value while rewarding their loyalty for shopping at Tesco.

Tesco bank offers current accounts, mortgages, credit cards, personal loans and savings. Its credit card, savings and loans consistently top ‘best buy’ tables.

The Challenge

In 2014, Tesco Bank restructured as part of a major transformation programme with the aim of becoming less product-focused and more customer-centred. Its strategic goal was to increase levels of customer satisfaction and improve performance in line with Tesco Group’s overall purpose and values.

As a ‘challenger’ bank, Tesco Bank was keen to take an innovative approach to engaging its people with this strategic goal. Tesco Bank worked closely in partnership with Cirrus to co-create and co-deliver ‘The Customer Engagement Programme’, a highly interactive, collaborative engagement programme, aligned to the overall transformation, in line with Tesco Group’s overall purpose of “Serving Britain’s shoppers a little better every day” and its values:

  • No one tries harder for customers
  • Treat people how we like to be treated ourselves
  • Every little helps makes a big difference.

The bank decided to focus on long-term, sustainable behavioural change rather than short-term goals and financial incentives. The programme’s main aim was to support colleagues to ‘delight’ customers consistently.

The Solution

Cirrus demonstrated an excellent understanding and impressed Tesco with a fresh and innovative approach to working together to achieve results. Tesco Bank felt that the Cirrus ‘disruptive’ approach to shifting mindsets could help create long-term behavioural change. Cirrus also demonstrated a commitment to joint design and delivery, and to ensuring ownership of the programme was ultimately handed over to Tesco Bank.

Tesco Bank and Cirrus worked seamlessly together as one extended team. Cirrus brought deep expertise and experience of developing major engagement programmes. Tesco Bank brought relevant business insight and specific customer understanding.

Cirrus began by facilitating a series of ‘disruption’ sessions with Tesco Bank colleagues who were challenged to co-create the course of a successful customer call. Previously, calls had been process-driven and lacked empathy. The ‘disruptive’ approach changed the ‘because we’ve always done it like that’ mindset. During these sessions, colleagues deepened their understanding of what really mattered to Tesco Bank customers. As a result, the newly-defined ‘customer journey’ was flexible in structure to accommodate customer needs.

A series of workshops for banking teams was co-created and co-facilitated by Cirrus consultants and Tesco Bank L&D professionals. Each workshop was introduced by at least one Tesco Bank senior leader.

Cirrus creative designers developed interactive learning materials including floor-based board games and posters to annotate during workshops which reinforced key messages. Additional materials were displayed in the workplace.

The greatest challenge was changing the mindset of the business. Through the initial consultation process, the disruption sessions and the programme itself, Cirrus and Tesco Bank worked together to create a shift away from a short-term focus on process-driven communication towards a more sustainable, long-term, customer-focused approach. As a result, CSRs developed greater empathty with customers and enhanced understanding of customer needs. This enabled them to offer superior levels of service.

Consistent communication helped to reinforce that this programme was about deeply engaging employees with this new style of service, centering on customer needs rather than transactional processes. The facilitative style and experiential approach introduced by Cirrus enabled participants to make discoveries for themselves.

By increasing participants’ understanding of customer needs and building the capability to meet these needs more effectively, this programme helped colleagues to understand how great customer service could differentiate Tesco Bank in the marketplace. It also developed leaders to drive change and support their teams.

By March 2016 all 1,500 Tesco Bank CSRs and the entire banking leadership population had experienced the programme.

To ensure sustained success, elements of the programme are embedded in recruitment, assessment, induction and performance management processes.

“It was great to see the enthusiasm for adopting the new way we want to talk to customers, treating them as individuals, delivering the right outcome and promoting products and services which are relevant to their needs.”

James Devlin, Head of Transactional Banking, Tesco Bank

 

“The partnership with Cirrus has worked well because they have an intimate understanding of our business. They have been very inclusive, interviewing employees across the organisation from board members to CSRs. We had a clear view of what we wanted. Cirrus nurtured that and helped us to understand it more than we did at first.”

Riona McLean, Capability, Training & Competence Manager, Tesco Bank

 

“We worked with Tesco Bank to really understand what a great customer experience would look like within the unique context of Tesco. It was a truly collaborative process. We worked together to define the experience Tesco Bank wanted to give customers, to design the programme and then to co-deliver. We worked with the board, operations, team leaders and CSRs. That level of engagement across the organisation has helped to get wholehearted buy-in and create a real sense of ownership.”

Jenny Perkins, Head of Engagement, Cirrus

The Results

This programme won a prestigious HR Network Award for Employee Engagement and is a finalist in the Employee Engagement Awards.

Tremendous results include:

  • 21% decrease in complaints from November to March
  • 40% decrease in re-opened complaints from November to March
  • 26% decrease in compensation from November to March
  • Complaint comebacks from customers reduced by 3%

‘What Matters to You’ employee engagement survey results:

  • 74% of colleagues feel ‘proud to work for Tesco Bank’
  • 74% would recommend Tesco Bank as ‘great place to work’

Scores for the following have significantly increased:

  • Responsiveness 87% (+13%)
  • Empathy 89% (+8%)
  • Collaboration 84% (+6%)

Additional evaluation demonstrates:

  • An improvement in net promoter scores showing increased customer loyalty
  • CSRs more skilled and confident to have richer conversations
  • Improved collaboration across the leadership, management and CSR teams
  • CSRs engaged with the concept of ‘Delight’, taking pride in many ‘Delight’ stories
  • CSRs learn from each individual customer and ensure that they offer tailored solutions.

Watch Cirrus and Tesco Bank leaders talk about the Customer Engagement Programme

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