Q&A: Pete Markey, chief marketing officer, RSA Group

  • Why your customer is king: customer experience should be at the top of your priority list. Click here to read the cover feature
  • Case study: TGI Friday’s. Click here to find out how investment in staff training helped raised customer satisfaction for the brand
  • Case Study: Hilton Worldwide. Click here to read how the hotel brand successfully relaunched its HHonors loyalty programme.
  • Call centre experiences can have a big impact on customer experience, click here to see how brands compare

Marketing Week (MW): Is the marketing department responsible for the customer experience?

Pete Markey (PM): Marketers should not have to kick off every initiative around the customer, but we should be central to it, representing the brand and its values when we are designing the customer experience. In our business, marketing will play an increasing role in looking after the customer.

MW: In August 2010, More Than found only about half of its car insurance customers were satisfied with their experience. Did this prompt change in the brand?

PM: Yes. What is very clear is we are not getting it right all the time. Striving for perfection is a key driver in our business. The financial implications of not getting that right are significant. It’s basic stuff – if you do not sort the contact out first time, it generates more calls and more unhappy customers.

MW: What impact does customer experience have on RSA’s business objectives?

PM: We have done a lot of work that clearly links customer service and experience with people voting with their feet – either staying or going. Resolving a query the first time it is raised has a significant impact on retention. Customers that are satisfied with us are 50% more likely to renew with us than those that are dissatisfied.

MW: How has the business’s attitude towards customer experience developed, and how is this communicated between colleagues?

PM: We have a set of common metrics that are understood by the business, so that whether they are in the right place or not we understand the impact and what we need to do, right from our group board through the UK board and down. Saying that, there is a business case required. Get your metrics together, understand the measures that drive satisfaction for the customer, and keep track of these. Then use them to help drive change. Looking at the customer experience and delivering it consistently should be considered as sexy as the brand itself.

MW: How important is the call centre experience in keeping customers satisfied?

PM: As more service goes online, the nature of the calls are getting more complex. The customers who ring us from our website or from a price comparison site get a different sales journey from those who ring us through our call centre lines. We realise that those people are time-poor and in most cases just want to pay and answer a few simple questions. That has really improved satisfaction and retention rates.

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