Customer Centricity Drives Brand and Experience Strategies

Eliminating internal silos increases employee engagement, drives greater cross-sell and revenue, and boosts  customer loyalty by more than 200 percent for this consumer finance leader.

Challenge: Disconnected brands across three divisions reflect siloed businesses, impeding value creation

This NASDAQ-traded financial services company had significant unrealized potential for cross-sell and product development opportunities between its more than two million auto loan customers and its $2 billion bank. While new management was focused on capturing this potential value, a long history of operating under different brands with siloed management, customer service, and operations impeded success. To effectively leverage this opportunity, they needed to define and implement a revitalized brand, bringing employee beliefs and behaviors and customer perceptions into alignment with leadership’s vision.

Approach: Map brand perception and customer decision drivers across divisions and segments

Working with the executive leadership team, MCorpCX conducted a series of workshops, as well as more than 100 one-on-one internal (management and line staff) and external (prospects, partners and customers) interviews. This helped to quickly define qualitative perceptions of values, market opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, and competitive position. Statistically projectable research was then conducted with the organization’s massive customer base–across business units, customer segments and all regions–to confirm key issues and opportunities identified in the qualitative phase.

Through MCorpCX’s combined approach of Brand MappingSM and strategic consulting, our client gained a clear understanding of current perceptions of its brand. In addition to prioritizing and validating perceived organizational brand attributes and values, the research was conducted to quantify performance gaps, articulate internal and external perceptions of brand in the market, and identify drivers of brand loyalty. This approach drove specific, defensible recommendations for a research-based brand platform that would drive opportunity creation, business growth, and resulting financial performance.

Findings: Isolated market segments without unity or connection still shared common values

Analysis revealed several issues, as well as potential areas of commonality. Three major findings formed the basis for brand recommendations, pointing the way towards internal adoption and a strategically appropriate brand launch. First, research showed that the company represented different, conflicting values to key external audiences. On the one hand, it was viewed as a source for hands-on, customized solutions for banking and dealer partners, and on the other, a purely transactional entity–and necessary evil–to loan customers.  Second, market “whitespace” analysis indicated significant opportunity for a differentiated brand supported by market perceptions–provided the company could deliver on the promise of the brand. Third and most important were internal issues. Across the business, employees felt frustrated and isolated. They had low loyalty and satisfaction, and were skeptical that leadership supported the organization’s publicized values.

Crossing the Brand Commitment Threshold

Brands are delivered and experienced in three ways; management vision, culture, (as experienced by employees) and as experienced by customers. To align these perspectives, the brand needed to be defined and codified, and supported throughout the organization. Employee “ownership” leads to delivery of a branded  customer experience.

Recommendations: Codify areas of commonality and strengthen from the inside out

Recognizing that the potential for brand adoption and delivery was impeded by internal attitudes, McorpCX recommended an internal year-one launch, with an external launch based on hitting internal adoption and loyalty targets. In addition to unifying the different groups with a common set of believable values, we recommended restructuring around common customer service and experience delivery. This resulted in actions such as moving the call center from operations to marketing, and implementing ongoing employee and voiceof- the-customer research.

Results: Internal loyalty grew more than 200% and brand adoption unites audiences around a shared vision

By identifying brand gaps and prescribing a clear path to close them, this financial services firm was able to leverage brand to boost employee loyalty from an initial NPS metric of around 20% to a pre-launch score of close to 80%. A year of improving organizational delivery on the brand promise paved the way for a successful external launch. As a result, the organization moved from internal to external brand control, succeeding financially by consistently delivering on a believable, internally supported and highly relevant brand experience.

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