Top Tips to Optimise Your Voice of the Customer Programme From Riyad Bank's VP Head of Customer Insight

Financial Customer Experience Strategy

Interview with the Vice President – Head of Customer Insight at Riyad Bank, about the importance of a customer insight team and optimisation of a Voice of the Customer programme as part of a wider customer experience strategy.

Ahmed El Badawi is a customer insight professional with over 15 years of experience in multiple roles on the agency and client sides, spanning from strategic planning, consumer research and insight, and finally customer experience.

He joined Riyad Bank in May 2014 as the Vice President –Head of Customer Insight to help build the customer insight team within the newly established CX Department, and now works on multiple initiatives to enhance how Riyad Bank receives and acts upon customer insights.

Prior to Riyad Bank, he worked for Bupa and The Nielsen Company in Saudi Arabia and Egypt to train and mentor future research executives and customer insight professionals.

Financial Customer Experience Strategy

Hi Ahmed, thanks for joining me today at CX Network. First of all, can you tell me what your role as Vice President – Head of Customer Insight entails, and how your job impacts on Riyad Bank’s wider customer experience management strategy?

My role is to lead, manage and promote the Customer Experience Insight team and set the customer insight strategy for Riyad Bank. I am responsible for providing the bank with a deep understanding of its customers’ needs and behaviours, and to enable the bank to provide world-class customer experience.

My team is considered the first pillar of the overall customer experience team mandate (listening to and understanding the voice of the customer). I am also responsible for developing and implementing the CX measurement framework, directing qualitative research and quantitative analysis and supporting the activities of the "Customer Testing" team in Riyad Bank CX Innovation Labs.

Additionally, my role can be summarised in three working streams:

1) Internal surveys and research projects – NPS being our biggest project along with the internal ad-hoc qualitative projects
2) external customer insight projects – working with research agencies to benchmark our NPS with other banks in KSA, develop our personas, and mystery audit our branches
3) data analytics using the bank internal Big Data to understand customers’ profile, behaviour and trends.

In what innovative ways is Riyad Bank utilising customer insights to enhance the customer experience across all contact channels?

The Customer Insight team is a vital function within the newly established Customer Experience Department. My team’s work is considered to be the first step in any project aiming to enhance our customers’ experience. The Customer Experience Department is based on three working groups: CX Insight & Reporting, CX Design & Innovation, and CX Testing.

Customer insights are utilised in designing new experiences to our customers, helping in drawing their journeys throughout the different channels and touch points.

Our VOC programme helps the business capture what our customers feel about the experiences we are providing at all touch points. The insights also enable us to decide what needs improving, and provide metrics that allow us to measure the effectiveness of customer experience improvement activities.

You mentioned your Voice of the Customer programme, as this is a major buzzword in the industry right now what advice can you give your peers on optimising their VOC strategy?

I have a couple of advices on this front for fellow CX practitioners. First you need to start the programme in phases, don’t try to monitor all the touch points/channels at the same time. You should monitor one touch point/channel to start with. This will give you the opportunity to drive-test the VOC programme, introduce amendments and modifications easily and early in the process. Once you stabilize your measurement framework you can start monitoring other channels using learnings you acquired from the previous phase. It is needless to say that it’s much easier to change and modify one survey rather than multiple ones.

SEE ALSO: Key Points to Developing a Successful Voice of the Customer Strategy

Another advice would be to make your survey sample as representative as possible to the nature of the channel you are measuring. This will ensure that the results you are getting are closer to reality and reflects your real issues and challenges. Automation is another aspect you might want to consider. This will allow more time to spend on insights generation instead of the operational task of running the surveys manually.

Finally, my recommendation would be not to depend on one measure only (NPS for example), but I recommend combining NPS with other measures like Customer Satisfaction or Customer Effort Score. This will enable you to correlate the results and making sure you’re not misled by one score only.

Click here to read the second part of this interview, covering tips to overcoming industry challenges and highlighting the importance of leveraging customer insights to deliver the ultimate WOW experience.