Boosting CSat 12%
with behavioural change

Boosting CSat 12% with behavioural change


Aimia is the company behind the well-known Nectar card — the UK’s leading coalition loyalty programme. Their clients include famous brands such as American Express, BP, eBay and Sainsbury’s.

Nectar started back in 2002. Ten years later, with 19 million members, they had returned over 2 billion in rewards to customers across the UK.

To provide service for customers they work with an outsource partner and have over 140 advisors split between centres in Newcastle (UK), Mumbai and Gurgaon (India).

The challenge

Customer satisfaction (CSat) is vital for Nectar because of its proven link to business success. They also report it to their clients so they can see the quality of service their customers are getting.

With many businesses choosing to use their own loyalty cards, Nectar is in a very competitive market. Providing excellent customer service is essential if they’re to maintain their position as a leading loyalty management provider.

However, improving service that’s already good isn’t easy. Jacqui Hails, Customer Service Director at Nectar, says: “We’ve always provided good service. Boosting this is costly because of the law of diminishing returns. But, the expectations of our clients and their customers are always rising.”

When it comes to helping their team to make changes Nectar had also found that consistently good results can be difficult to achieve as they have several locations with separate training teams.

An opportunity to engage and improve

Analysis of service surveys frequently shows that advisor attitude and communication skills are key drivers for CSat scores.

The link between engaged employees and CSat is also clear. A recent study by the Institute of Customer Service showed a 1 point rise in Employee Satisfaction (ESat) accounted for a 0.41% rise in CSat.

Nectar felt that the right behavioural change programme would increase CSat by improving communication as well as what customers felt about their ‘attitude’. They also wanted it to motivate and engage — inspiring advisors and demonstrating a commitment to investing in their skills and capabilities.

A different approach

Working with Nectar, we developed ‘3 Service Communication Pillars’ with rules that are proven to improve service. They’re also easy to understand and remember.

The 3 Pillars and rules are used to change Nectar’s service communication behaviours through a range of initiatives:

• New online answers to FAQs
• Core training — interactive webchat and phone communication workshops to inform and motivate
• Engagement — project based-learning, gamification, posters, desktop reminders etc.
• Coaching — development of support needed by advisors
• Guides — easy-to-use guidelines for advisors
• Webchat response guidelines - copy-paste examples Trainer training - upskilling to ensure sustainable benefits
• QA — new scorecards, calibration workshops and reference interactions

Boosting engagement and motivation

Surveys were used throughout the programme to assess training. These gave valuable qualitative feedback that could be used to refine workshops. And, a leading-edge quantitative measure of effectiveness as well as its ability to motivate and engage:

Advocacy (NPS) 80 — To put that in perspective, 80% of attendees rated the training ‘9’ or ‘10’ out of 10. B2B market research experts Circle Research say that a B2B NPS score over 35 is within the top 25% of UK companies. The highest score they’ve seen is 53. B2C NPS leaders Amazon scored 73 at the beginning of 2017.

Enjoyment — 100% of participants rated the training ‘Enjoyable’: ‘Very Enjoyable’ (66%), ‘Enjoyable’ (34%)

Usefulness — 100% of participants rated the training ‘Useful for their role’: ‘Very Useful’ (82%), ‘Useful’ (18%)

Understanding — 99% of participants rated the training ‘Easy to understand’: ‘Very easy to understand’ (74%), ‘Easy to understand’ (25%)

Lasting CSat improvements

Webchat was the first of the channels to be tackled. Since the start of the project the 3-month average has increased from 80% to 92% — a 12% rise so far.

The second phase concentrated on the phone channel. The 3-month average for this has increased from 77% to 89% — also 12% increase to date.

Value for money

With a rise in CSat of 12% for both webchat and the phone channels — as well engaged advisors giving NPS scores of 80 — the results have been exceptional. But the bottom line is, did the programme provide bang for Nectar’s buck? And, would the money have been better spent elsewhere?

Talking about the effectiveness of our work Jacqui says: “The programme’s performance ranks amongst the best of any kind — people, process or technology — that we’ve implemented.”

Perhaps the last word on the subject is best left for James Moir, Managing Director at Nectar: “Hard ROI for behavioural change initiatives can be difficult to achieve. The results for this programme speak for themselves. It’s one of the most effective things we’ve done to increase our key CSat measure.”