The case for streamlining customer journeys at Santander

Published on 22 September 2010 by in Customer Service, Latest News

Santander website The case for streamlining customer journeys at Santander

Fraud has to be one of the top priorities in the word of banking, so it’s little surprise that Santander provides customers with the assurance that:

“We confirm the identity of customers through the use of multiple security credentials that have been designed in accordance with financial industry standards and best practice.”

Yet the experience of our CEO this month clearly demonstrates how easily things go wrong in this world of multi-channel communication. As the following scenario confirms:

  • Guy received two bank statements to a private address – one that’s only used for his personal matters and isn’t a public postal address
  • Both statements were addressed to a foreign sounding name he’d never come across before and certainly not a previous occupier
  • The statements related to separate accounts, both opened on the same date in August

Concerned about possible identify fraud, Guy went straight online, only to determine after many frustrating minutes browsing that there was no facility to report the problem via the website. As the statements had arrived at the weekend, the lack of such a facility seemed a significant oversight given the importance of acting quickly to prevent fraud.

Undeterred, Guy stuck to the task and called a contact centre to report the issue. The agent’s first language didn’t appear to be English and a frustrating 10 minute call failed to progress the matter any further. Despite highlighting the concerns about identity fraud the agent:

  • Did not take any contact details for Guy – not even a name, phone number or address
  • Refused to pass the call to a supervisor
  • Brushed aside concerns raised in relation to Santander’s FSA compliance procedures
  • Would not provide a call ID so that Guy could prove he’d reported the matter
  • Refused to register a complaint once it was clear that the matter could not be addressed with the agent
  • Only suggested resolution was to put the statements back in the post

By this stage, Guy (as would be the case with customers with profiles similar to Anne, Mike or Gordon) was getting increasingly concerned and evermore determined to make himself heard. So the whole matter was documented in an email to the CEO, the response to which came well over a week after it was sent.

Anyone involved in large customer services business such as Santander will appreciate that such a poor experience can be commonplace, as they struggle to adapt to the 24×7 multi-channel world of communication in which we now live. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, as numero has proven with solutions for many leading brands.

Just consider how different matters would have been with numero technology underpinning the customer journey:

  • At the first stage, intelligent self service functionality would have allowed Guy to resolve the matter, without putting extra burden on the Call Centre
  • At the second stage, intelligent call handling would have routed Guy to an appropriate team and ensured the agent’s desktop was primed with all the relevant information needed to take care of the matter
  • At the third stage, Guy’s email would have been intelligently captured, interpreted and responded to in an instant
  • At any stage, Guy’s status as a premium customer, would have been highlighted and appropriate action taken
  • The entire journey could have been further enhanced using the modular functionality of numero’s proven solutions platform

Instead, Guy is just getting to the stage of resolving the problem, having been contacted after more than a week by a representative from the CEO’s office. The CEO would undoubtedly find it interesting to know that the numero alternative is a fast to deploy solution that has a typical payback period of a few months and brings benefits for years to come. A strong case for consideration, for anyone wrestling with the multi-channel challenge.

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