When you bank with Coutts, you get more than a bank account; you become part of an institution. The bank has a history stretching back more than three centuries and it has always supported exceptional people to do and achieve more.
But the routes to success have changed in recent years – and so has the profile of Coutts customers.
As part of a wider communications programme we were conducting across the whole of the bank, Coutts asked us to develop a training approach for their 24/7 contact centre, Coutts 24.
Coutts 24 teams are hugely protective of their clients and understand their role in helping them to get things done. They also understand that their remit goes beyond the service a high street retail bank might deliver. Coutts clients know that if they face any kind of difficulty or challenge, the bank will always be there to help out.
Coutts 24 is unusual in other ways too. It has a very low attrition rate. AHT does not form part of individual appraisal. And all Coutts 24 team members work in-house.
In other words, the team has super-high tenure of service, is utterly client loyal and focussed and has all the time in the world to help clients with whatever they need. What could be wrong with this situation?
Broadly, the service delivered by Coutts 24 was fantastic – and broadly, clients were happy with it.
The only thing was that processes, approaches and communications were perhaps still a little more aligned to the bank’s clientele of some years ago. Modern customers don’t have time to spare. They’re also unlikely to be landed gentry.
What we did
Our objective was to get Coutts 24 to communicate differently with clients. And to achieve this, we had to get them to think differently about who their clients were and how they could offer them the best and most appropriate service.
We started by filming Coutts 24 clients at home and at work, interviewing them about their lives, their schedules, what they valued from Coutts, and anything they thought could improve.
This gave us a superb introduction to training sessions, which showed teams how to adapt their approach, as well as written communications to give Coutts clients exactly what they needed.
We provided a safe space, along with calm and expert training to help team members get to grips with the new approach to communications. We made sure that each team’s exercises were tailored to feature examples from their own workplace – and we reassured people who were at first a little doubtful.
The training sessions were designed to be held in half-hour segments, to make sure there was minimum interruption to coverage.
We also rewrote a number of templated communications to help Coutts 24 teams get off to a flying start.
The teams at Coutts 24 are hard-working and conscientious. Above all else, they want to do what is right for their clients. They took to the new approach with enthusiasm and within a very short space of time, conversations and communications with clients transformed.
AHT measurements went down, while at the same time, client satisfaction nudged upwards.
Coutts 24 teams managed to retain all that was special about their communications, while speeding and freshening them up.