The service challenge facing the retail banking operation of the massive Lloyds TSB group is daunting. How can an organisation with 35,000 employees deliver uniform high-quality service to 16 million customers across a network of 3,000 branches and offices? How can each individual customer feel valued when turnover tops the £7.2 billion mark and his or her transaction is just one of millions handled each month?
Lloyds TSB invited the Management Today/Unisys judging panel to visit one of its banks in Poole, Dorset to show how this challenge is met every day at branch level. Mike Collins, the manager, and his team provided strong evidence to back the comprehensive award entry submitted by senior managers based at the organisation's Bristol headquarters. A winning finalist last year, Lloyds TSB again impressed the judges with the energy it commits to service excellence and the strength of its performance in all four areas of the judging assessment: understanding customers, operational excellence, engaging people and vision, values and leadership.
Success in delivering excellent customer service while working to harmonise the operational procedures, culture, vision and best practices of Lloyds Bank and TSB Group is an enormous achievement. Moreover, in tandem with the merger integration process, Lloyds TSB has continued to pursue its policy of continuous improvement in addition to launching a number of exciting customer-focused initiatives throughout the past year.
The 30 initiatives introduced this year include a streamlined complaints procedure, a new staff suggestion scheme, revised operational standards, extended customer service training, new employee recognition and incentive schemes, and a new partnership with the Post Office that enables customers to do their banking at local post offices, in addition to the largest branch and ATM network in the UK. Lloyds TSB has also become a founder member of the Institute of Customer Services (ICS).
Lloyds TSB uses a variety of performance measures to assess the success of its initiatives. Each year 2.5 million customers' views are sought on their satisfaction with the service they receive (the largest market research study in the UK). These performance indicators are communicated to each branch and available to every member of staff.
Recent research suggests that Lloyds TSB is achieving its aim of recruiting and retaining profitable customers. The rate of customer attrition has fallen consistently over the past six years and now stands at only 1.5% (and 0.5% among high-value customers). The profitability of new customers has more than doubled and the bank enjoyed an 8% increase in its high-value customers over the past year. More than 90% of Lloyds TSB customers now state that they are likely to recommend the bank to others in future. And, at 98%, customer satisfaction stands at an all time high. Given the scale of its operation and the scale of the challenge facing Lloyds TSB such figures are particularly impressive.