YORKSHIRE BUILDING SOCIETY CUTS ADMIN BY 50% BY OFFERING OMNICHANNEL ACCESS TO MORTGAGE APPOINMENTS

Yorkshire Building Society has used BookingBug to become the first truly omnichannel mortgage provider, enabling customers to book in branch and telephone appointments at any of its 200+locations or UK based Contact Centres, on a booking system accessible across every channel.

The results? YBS cut staff admin time in half, and are converting high value leads into mortgage applications.

Glenn Shoosmith speaking at Digital-Banking 2015
Glenn Shoosmith speaking at Digital-Banking 2015

What they hoped to do:

  • Become the first mortgage provider to let customers book in branch appointments online
  • Increase awareness of in branch services, identify and better understand high value customers
  • Increase face-to-face meetings and drive high value leads into branches

What they did:

  • Rolled out BookingBug to manage appointments in 200+ branches, starting with a 9 branch pilot
  • Integrated online bookings with existing systems like Microsoft Exchange
  • Implemented a short form alongside BookingBug to replace arduous qualifying phone calls

What they accomplished:

  • Significantly increased bookings for in branch mortgage appointments by increasing visibility, without additional marketing spend
  • Freed up staff to focus on customer service
  • Laid foundations to offer other revenue-generating services online with minimal effort

Challenge

Consumers increasingly expect banks and building societies to work on their terms — especially when it comes to buying a house, one of the most important decisions in their life. And yet, at the time of this project, no UK mortgage provider offered a way to conveniently book appointments for such meetings online.

Even at Yorkshire Building Society, appointments have always been available in branch and by phone but online bookings were relegated to a basic contact form. Every channel was managed manually, with employees sifting through hundreds of submissions to match each appointment request with suitable colleague availability.

Traditional methods of qualifying enquiries and offering customers an omni-channel experience were creating potential delay and YBS wanted to be at the forefront of utilising new technology to help colleagues deliver an even better service to new and existing members

The building society needed to strike a fine balance to increase appointments without flooding branches with customers unsuited to the Society’s offering. A qualifying call used to be the solution — but it was adding complexity, cost and slowing down the time between a customer requesting an appointment and it being confirmed. YBS wanted to find a smarter way of doing things.

Consumer banking is an increasingly competitive sector and YBS realised to stay ahead it needed an online platform that laid foundations to build real customer relationships in-branch and over the phone. It also recognised the importance of moving its entire marketing strategy toward the omnichannel ideal that would enable it to provide a clear, consistent and quality customer across every channel.

YBS aimed to;

  • Enhance market leading levels of customer experience across all channels
  • Improve customer choice
  • Build the first truly omni-channel mortgage appointment  journey in the UK

Solution

With a solid vision in place, YBS knew what it had to do. The next step was to find a partner with the knowledge, technology and experience to deliver a scalable system for the entire branch network and millions of customers.

Following a competitive RFP, BookingBug was selected for the project. Steve Finch, Senior Manager of Digital Development at YBS explains why:

“We encountered a lot of legacy vendors offering old tech with  a web front-end bolted on, but BookingBug’s platform offered a far richer user experience. The interface was modern, responsive and offered enough flexibility to integrate with our existing systems.”

Working closely with YBS, BookingBug delivered a booking system capable of screening applicants through a series of qualifying questions provided by YBS. The system then scheduled phone or face-to-face appointments with advisors in branches or contact centres, updating colleagues’ Outlook calendars automatically when a booking is made, amended or cancelled.

An initial trial was rolled out across nine popular branches to test effectiveness and ensure a smooth rollout.

Benefits

During the trial of BookingBug’s technology, results were already an improvement on the previous system. More bookings were being made and, crucially, the quality of these leads had improved too.

The platform was then rolled out to include all 200+ branches and displayed prominently on the Yorkshire Building Society and  Chelsea Building Society websites.

This is where the impact became even more apparent, as Steve explains:

“As well as seeing a significant increase in in-branch mortgage appointments, we’ve cut the admin time to book and qualify these appointments in half. This frees up our branch staff to focus on what matters most: delivering excellent customer service. “

By reducing the need for qualifying calls, YBS staff could focus more time on helping the customer and completing the most important component of a great customer experience: personal, friendly and knowledgeable service.

Another benefit of bridging the gap between contact centre, in-branch advisors and both websites is that YBS has gained a better understanding of its customers. This can be used to inform marketing spend and ensure the right information is being sent to the right people. By analysing successful applications across the entire branch network, YBS is also able to allocate staffing resource accordingly and better understand high-value leads.

Finally, the BookingBug platform helped YBS lay the foundations to roll out other revenue generating services online with minimal effort. Steve says:

“It doesn’t stop here, YBS has a transformative roadmap ahead of us. We’re already considering this technology for other areas like savings appointments. Working with leading tech providers like BookingBug is what helps us to keep ahead in such a competitive market.”