Listening to our customers helps us talk their language

Written By:

In November 2015, Catherine Borrie spoke at the MRS Financial Service Research conference. It was a bold and brave new step in her career and provided an interesting insight for the rest of the industry into how Capital One is working to ‘Reimagine Money, Inspire Life’.

“This was my idea. I’ve been along to a few industry conferences now and I’ve always felt that speaking at one would be something I’d love to do. It didn’t, however, make it any less terrifying. There were around 120 delegates in the audience, from both research agencies and financial firms, such as SunLife, Lloyds and MBNA. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was there too and there were loads of great topics being covered.

“I’d chosen to speak about my absolute favourite topic – our collections & arrears research. The project was completed over eight months ago now but it’s still something that’s hugely topical within the industry, particularly as the FCA elevates in on the issue of vulnerable customers in financial difficulty. Fortunately, I had a great story to tell around our own approach to being customer centric and our engagement with research and insight, of which this project was a great example.

“As a business, ‘Reimagine Money, Inspire Life’ is our core objective. In this instance it means we want to help our customers succeed. If they fall behind with payments, being there to help them is a key part of this approach. So we decided to do some research with customers in Collection to develop a deeper understanding of the impact this was having. We had to overcome some interesting research challenges around sampling and contact as part of the process but, in the end, it was worth all the effort as we discovered some hard-hitting and hugely insightful stuff.

“We got some great videos which we’re sharing with as many people as possible across the business, either through a Customer Film Club or in team meetings. The project also underlined our belief in the power of being close to the consumer. Listening to customers helps us to talk their language. First-hand fieldwork, video, audio and photos are now all the norm for our research.

“The agency we worked with, Ipsos, covered off the methodology we used and how we addressed the research challenges – and I did the rest. We got some very positive feedback too. The research industry is very active on Twitter and through word of mouth, so it was great to see our session talked about and for it to reach a wider audience.

“All in all, it was a fantastic experience; a great developmental step for me, and the perfect opportunity to share our consumer-centric practices with the rest of the industry. Now I just need to get myself on the schedule again next year.”