27 April 2016

Customer Service in the future

3 minute read


  • We now live in a world where customers can compare, review and research products and services in just a few clicks and just as easily show their dissatisfaction in a very visible way
  • Customers now complete 2.9 billion transactions each year with Nationwide
  • We have an ambitious investment plan with innovation at its centre, harnessing technology to provide greater levels of personalisation, whilst absolutely maintaining security and ease of use.

I was recently asked to speak at the Institute of Customer Service’s annual conference about how organisations will have to continue to evolve to meet the changing needs and expectations of consumers.

Customer service is critical - indeed the Institute of Customer Service’s research suggests that there is an annual cost of up to £2.4 billion to UK companies within three years due to poor customer service and increased competition. We now live in a world where customers can compare, review and research products and services in just a few clicks and just as easily show their dissatisfaction in a very visible way.

When thinking about what’s ahead in terms of customer service, I reflect on the change I have seen since becoming the Society’s COO in 2010.

“In the last six years there have been major shifts in the way people interact with brands and manage their money. It’s easy to forget that the iPad, something millions of us use each and every day, was only launched six years ago.”

In this time we have continued to develop our own services, like the launch of our mobile banking app (which now has 19 million logins each month) the roll out of contactless payments, wearable banking, Apple Pay and in branch technology such as Nationwide NOW which gives customers even greater access to our products and services.

Customers now complete 2.9 billion transactions each year with Nationwide - providing us with billions of opportunities to exceed expectations and with change happening at a faster pace than ever before; I believe we are living through a second industrial revolution.

So the real challenge facing organisations is how to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction in an environment of rapid technological change and evolving customer expectations. I feel that the success of any organisation pivots on two things; culture and core values - for Nationwide, as a mutual, we are owned by and run for the benefit of our members. This has given me the freedom to make substantial investment each year, with the aim of delivering market leading levels of customer satisfaction - as I’m directly answerable to the millions of members who rely on the Society on a daily basis.

When the starting point of any investment decision is focused around customer needs, the outcome will always have a longer lasting positive impact. Looking forward, we have an ambitious investment plan with innovation at its centre, harnessing technology to provide greater levels of personalisation, whilst absolutely maintaining security and ease of use. This investment will be in both digital services and our branch network as I believe the key to great service is providing customers with real choice in how they interact with organisations - so they can do business on their terms.

Great customer service is at the heart of everything we do and by continuing to respond directly to our members’ needs we will continue to deliver market leading levels of customer service for many years to come.

About the author

Tony Prestedge

Tony Prestedge is Nationwide Building Society’s Chief Operating Officer.

Most popular

Your Black Friday survival guide

11.11.16

Black Friday tips and tricks to take the stress out of your Christmas shopping so that you can concentrate on finding the perfect presents.

You may also be interested in...

Our helpful guides

We've created a range of helpful guides to help you make better financial decisions regardless of your circumstances. Find out more about owning property, growing wealth and planning for life events.

Our products

Whether you are after a current account, a savings account or even looking for a mortgage, Nationwide has a range of great products that could help you, no matter the situation.