£500 award from the Society's Community Support Scheme fund.
You said; we did
In March 2017, the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) carried out its first independent customer satisfaction survey of Newbury Building Society. We were extremely pleased with the positive results and with the member feedback the survey provided. This feedback we considered and acted upon.
The three most common subjects raised were:
- Increasing savings interest rates
This is always an emotive subject. Our approach, in this unusual low interest rate environment, has been to protect and prioritise the interests of our existing members. This has been achieved by restricting new customers from accessing our higher-paying savings accounts, enabling us to maintain interest rates ahead of the market average for our existing members. Following the recent Bank of England Base Rate change we increased our savings interest rates when others have not. It is not an easy balance, but we believe we act in the best interests of both borrowing and saving members, whilst continuing to grow to preserve the Society’s long term future.
- Updating and refreshing our branches
During 2018, we engaged with design experts, in retail and banking, to explore how our branches could look and what services they should offer. In 2019 we will update at least one of our branches with a fresh, modern look and feel, whilst retaining and improving our customer interactions face-to-face. Don’t worry, we have taken on board your desire to retain the chairs at the counter, which was common positive feedback mentioned in the last survey!
- Improving technology
The branch refurbishment will also introduce technology to enhance our personal interactions with customers. One example will be to trial a video advice service. This service will enable customers to talk to a mortgage or savings expert via a video link from the comfort of their own home. We are conscious of the speed that digitalisation is moving and we are using specialists to help us with the direction the Newbury should take. We expect to be able to share more with you in 2019.
As a direct result of the 2017 survey, we introduced a ‘continuous improvement program’. This provides our staff with the opportunity to suggest ideas to improve your service experience. We have also updated our employee induction process and our training programmes with a customer service focus. There is a strong correlation between employee engagement and customer service, and so we will continue to support our people to enable them to continue to provide an excellent service to you.
Your feedback is important!
Your assistance in providing us with constructive feedback helps us move the Society forward. We hope you will complete the ICS survey in November to this end.
In between surveys (which will be undertaken every 2-3 years) we welcome your feedback through the independent review service, ‘Smart Money People’ here or by completing our own feedback form on our website.