Customer Engagement award entry

HSBC created the role of Universal Banker to revolutionize the front office of Retail Banking on the High Street. This brand new role brought together all the Bank Branch specialisms into one to provide a single point of contact and resolution for our customers. This change in our bank branches, and increased visibility of these banking specialists has shifted our first contact resolution from 30% to 50%, with more to come.

  • All training started with leaders so that they could help their team through the change programme
  • Boot camps were the first training intervention which focused exclusively on shifting mind-sets
  • Significant numbers of colleagues initially doubted their own ability to learn, grow and develop and a voluntary take up rate of 73% was achieved overall
  • A number of employees took forward their mind-set learning into their personal life
  • The ILT programme consisted of up to 5 days of training regardless followed a 9 week decision period to choose to become a UB
    • The ILT content was created with a customer at the centre and the extensive collaboration on the material from multiple business areas – including Business banking, potentially vulnerable customer, Step change management and all customer life events
    • A new professional capability framework scheme was introduced with specific toll gates and milestones to maintain the standard and consistency across this population
  • To make such a comprehensive change to the way we do things, multiple stakeholders internally (and externally) were engaged in creating a better customer experience through the Universal Banker.
  • 4,200 training days were delivered touching 3,500 people across the Branch Network.
  • Extensive Bootcamps and training days for existing clerical staff to transition to Universal Banker.
  • Increased collaboration across business areas from Mortgages, Premier and Business.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience of Branch Banking, with First Contact Resolution shifting from 30% to 50%.
  • Deployed to 100% of sites in the Branch Network, impacting 3,200 colleagues.
  • Significant uplift in Coaching Hours, up to 11,000 across the Network in one week.
    • NPS score of 70 based – industry average 46
    • 23% increase in productivity Q117 to Q118
    • Attrition overall @12 month low  / NJA – 3 year low

High Street banks have long believed that the best outcomes come from pigeon holes, measuring business priorities not through effectiveness but through representation of the specialism in the branch. A single point of contact for Business, Mortgage (non-regulated), Premier (non-regulated) and Retail queries provokes new thinking, and promotes new ways of assessing the success of our Branches.

Our Universal Bankers are:

  • Trusted Partners

Universal Bankers partner with other specialists to provide holistic and accurate information to the customer, and address their complex needs. Customers who hold multiple products with the bank now have a single point of contact to maintain and enhance their complex relationship. Universal Bankers are trusted partners with our colleagues, and our customers.

  • Digital Advocates

Universal Bankers thrive off speed and ease. They know the answer, and the fastest way of doing things. They have knowledge of the platforms, tools and apps that allow customers to better interact with the bank and its products on their terms. Through their relationships with customers, they encourage experimentation, participation and increase awareness of new technologies in a confident and non-contrived way.

  • Problem Solver

Universal Bankers solve problems, from simple to complex. They have the tools, support and network to focus on the goals of customers and open up new possibilities. They have no specific task, and are freed to deliver for our customer’s needs.

The whole delivery of Universal Banker was kept in house, project managed by colleagues who had experience of branch banking and embraced new thinking. Many of this working group had never managed a project, but their expertise was required to make the programme work.

Universal Bankers places trust on the first point of (human) contact for our customers, and for the first time has enabled that contact to deliver for our customers across businesses, specialisms and unique customer goals.

The human experience that consumer’s desire has heightened as the need for these has reduced. In a digital world, our human experience will count so much more. When our customers speak to us in the branch, we strive to give the right answer in the fastest way possible. Universal Banker enables us to do this.

For our people, they have re-engaged with the bank and our customers. Embracing new knowledge and expertise and rising into the challenge of a trusted partner, digital advocate and problem solver. Universal Banker’s expertise inform many front line initiatives, and their opinion is highly sought after for its impact and value.

HSBC used to use “trust” and “empowerment” as tokens. Universal Banker is a serious commitment to our front line colleagues. Our colleagues involved have taken this gesture and risen to the challenge to deliver for our customers in a more meaningful way.

    • Ownership of own development by colleagues rather than their manager
    • Greater acceptance of agile ways of working
    • Phase 2 of the programme currently in design
    • In terms of what we do differently – greater leader led ownership from day 1 (this took some adoption over time)
    • Project resource was always challenge (12 FTE at the peak) – we didn’t size the work to the extend it needed


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