ING NPS Case Study: 2011 Satmetrix Conference

ING turned to NPS in the wake of the financial crisis for three reasons: lack of trust in the industry; customers no longer believe advertising messages; and that friends and family are now the most trusted source of information.

NPS case studies

The Satmetrix conference also featured a range of individual case studies from companies of various sizes and from various product categories that have previously implemented some form of NPS initiative.

ING

ING is a global financial services provider, with 105,000 employees in 40 countries. Though it was hit hard by the financial crisis, the firm returned to profit in 2010, with net earnings reaching €3.2bn. It currently retains roughly €1tr in customer assets overall.

In her presentation to delegates, Isabelle Connor, ING’s global head of marketing, highlighted the difficulties companies such as hers were having with the general scepticism the post-crisis consumer has towards financial services firms. ING’s own research suggests that people are most likely to get financial advice from people they know, which indicates that marketing messages from banks are not getting through.

Connor said NPS is used within the company as a way of allowing ING to track how it was doing with customers. It turned to NPS in the wake of the financial crisis for three reasons: lack of trust in the industry; customers no longer believe advertising messages; and that friends and family are now the most trusted source of information.

ING started using NPS two years ago by setting up two pilots for the scheme, a bank in Belgium, and an insurance firm in Poland. Today, 29 businesses are involved, sending out 950,000 surveys between them, and achieving a response rate of over 20%. All 35 of the ING retail businesses will be involved in NPS schemes of their own by the end of July 2011. As befitting the international nature of the business, there are some adjustments made to local versions of the form. “Each team discusses journeys and touchpoints and then helps to develop the survey,” Connor explained.

Generally, ING’s NPS scores for customers at various points of their relationship with the company have risen over time.

For example, NPS scores from customers at point of purchase rose from 46.2 in late 2009 to 58.7 a year later. For those making a policy change request, sentiment shifted from -9.9 to 5.7 over the same period.

Taken as a whole, the results contain clear guidance for how ING should strengthen its service. 75% of customer comments from the NPS forms are to do with the “clarity of information” provided by the bank. This suggests that ING should make reducing bureaucratic language in branded communications a priority.

Within the business, Connor also highlighted the need to secure “top down” commitment to NPS schemes. “The CEO drives NPS,” she said. “What’s important to your boss is important to you.”

Long-term, Connor recommended that there should also be a dedicated NPS project manager, supported by a team spanning a broad range of departments, such as HR, IT, Legal and so on.

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