How CX helps Starling Bank attract a new customer every 39 seconds

From escape room-style selection day challenges to recruiting from beyond banking, Starling Bank believes investing in customer service gives the brand the cutting edge.

Source: Starling Bank

Founded with a desire to make money management more intuitive, Starling Bank has been on a mission to outperform its rivals by connecting with consumers.

By 2021, 81% of Starling customers said they would recommend the bank, according to Ipsos Mori’s personal banking service quality survey, versus 53% of HSBC customers when asked the same. But while the business was on the right track, there was an ambition to do more.

A big part of this push comes from investing in the customer service team. Starling asks potential recruits to show how they problem-solve in a creative way, looking for talent from beyond the banking sector. The selection day even includes an escape room-style exercise.

Once selected, new team members take part in a two-week face-to-face induction, followed by a four-week academy to hone their skills. Last year, Starling hired more than 320 customer service staff to ensure a consistent standard of support.

In a break from the wider industry, the customer service team are not measured on their average handling time as the goal is to own an issue through to resolution. The team attend regular meetings with the software engineers to collaborate on improving the tech. Of the 144 customer suggestions shared with engineers in January 2022, 88 are being taken forward.

This investment in service is paying off. A customer joins Starling every 39 seconds, while 40% hear about the bank through word of mouth. Indeed, the brand’s positive sentiment on social media tracks between 65%-70% in any given month, all contributing factors to the brand winning the Marketing Week Award for Customer Experience Excellence.