Service Excellence Awards 2006: Winner - Learning Organisation Award


Formerly a joint venture between Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, The One Account is now wholly owned by RBS. Its main product is a current-account mortgage - a combined mortgage and bank account that is tax-efficient and gives financial flexibility. It's part of the trend for mortgages to become broader tools for the ever-changing financial needs of consumers, rather than just a way of financing property purchases. The One Account's 'one day' branding, which urges consumers to live their dreams today, articulates the freedom that flexible mortgage structures can offer.

Having entered these awards several times before, The One Account staff have learned a thing or two, and among their latest service initiatives is Event Driven Satisfaction (EDS). Until recently, new customers were surveyed on their application experience. But, says service excellence programme manager Miles Bieber, the results were often misleading - too much time had elapsed for customers to give accurate answers. Under EDS, key stages of the customer journey from sales onwards are mapped out and customers are surveyed within 72 hours of each point. With the experience fresh in their minds, the results should be more accurate and the effect of process changes quickly gauged.

A substantial part of The One Account's business comes from mortgage brokers and other financial advisers, so these are also key customers. EDS lets the business see how these partners feel about The One Account's people, products and general service delivery as it happens and identify ways to improve things. A recent survey found that waiting time for calls to be answered was important: this has now been halved to 10 seconds. And a facility to make online mortgage applications is also being developed in response to market demand.

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