RBS & Contentsquare – Reinventing a business model to provide world-class customer experience

Royal Bank of Scotland

September 6, 2017 | 2 min read

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2021

Getting your digital experience right matters. Research by Aberdeen Group has shown that delivering a good digital experience results in up to 15% uplift in customer retention rates, up to 7x improvement in annual company revenue and up to 6x improvement in customer satisfaction rates.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is a prime example of how putting customer experience first can truly pay off. RBS serves over 15 million customers in the UK. The bank aims to be number one in the country for customer advocacy, service, and trust, and has undergone a process of transformation to make customer experience the focus of its business model.

Before the digital transformation project, my team at RBS used to make changes to the website and communication channels by ‘gut feel’. We just made a decision based on what we thought would work, and then implemented it. Although we had plenty of data, there was no way of gathering insights from it. We knew that we needed to understand the ‘whats’ and ‘whys’ behind the results in order to improve the customer experience, so we turned to Adobe and Contentsquare for help.

One of the first things we discovered was that our customers rarely behave in the way we all thought they did. In fact, 80% of the changes we introduced provoked a customer response that was totally different to what we were expecting.

My team used to think that RBS customers behaved in a ‘linear’ way. Something like this:

RBS Customer Behavior

But the reality is that customers behave with a bit more complexity than that. RBS customers, and most businesses’ customers, have journeys that look like the graph below:

RBS Actual Customer Behavior

We realised that our customers were jumping around, from channel to channel. For example, a customer may start their journey on social media, then visit a branch, and close the deal online. Some people made these changes of their own volition, but sometimes the changes were forced on the customers by the bank. It was crucial for us to understand why customers were behaving like this, what was causing the jumps, and all the possible journeys people could take.

We focused on analysing friction, force out and failure. Friction being difficult journeys, force out being changes in channel that were not the customer’s choice and failure being the loss of a customer. RBS has huge amounts of data to analyse and adding the ‘why’ to the ‘what’ was crucial to help us understand how to improve the experience for all customers. Being able to put numbers and names to interactions and reactions was immensely useful, but understanding the behaviours of people on RBS’s digital channels made all the difference.

In the first week of using Contentsquare’s technology, we saw a significant increase in click- through-rate, and the agreement in principle (AIP) completion rate went up by 10%.

RBS defines itself as an experience business within the financial services sector, and as such we are constantly looking for ways to improve the customers experience. So far, we have improved over one million journeys, but the job isn’t done. Using Contentsquare and Adobe’s tools, my team is working to train everyone at RBS so they can use the tools themselves and make changes to their specific areas or sections in real time. The goal is to make sure that every time a customer has an interaction with RBS, it is 100 percent satisfactory, and Contentsquare is helping RBS get there.