From its launch in 1998, Egg has always been a bit different from other banks. The launch itself epitomized the company’s brand values: be disruptive and innovative in the market, and focus on the customer. The latter value is integral to the business. Unlike many banks that treat customers simply as accounts, Egg seeks to act as its customers’ partner so that they understand and manage their money more effectively.
Today Egg is the world’s largest pure online bank, with over 3.6 million customers and products that include credit cards, savings accounts, loans, mortgages and insurance.
In the summer of 2005 Egg’s CEO, Paul Gratton, challenged his executive team to create a product that reinforced Egg’s brand values and to create a truly innovative consumer proposition.
Ordinarily this process would take 6 to 12 months, with the proposition team doing a detailed evaluation of 10-12 ideas. The process would cover several rounds of research, including qualitative to develop ideas, further research to refine them, and finally to generate the communications and advertising campaign.
Instead of research deadlines of 2 weeks, the Customer Experience team set deadlines at 2 days. “The executive team was very clear as to his expectation of our team, challenging us to achieve what he termed unrealistic objectives,” says Mark Pearson, Head of Consumer Insight.
“Egg has been using Confirmit for 3 years, managing customer experience across a range of products and touchpoints. Our usage has grown to the point that we now interview nearly 20,000 customers per month, driving valuable insight into our business. The team’s experience and familiarity with the product combined with the trust relationship we have with our customers gave us an expectation that we would achieve our goal.”
The initial task was to find the right product idea and the key hooks. Egg’s multi-disciplinary research team, with experts in consumer insight, CSAT, the call center, programming and reporting, met to discuss the project at 11am. Reviewing the interactive online report from their ongoing Customer Satisfaction Tracking study, they began to consider what they’d learned about consumer attitudes towards money.
The team agreed a set of survey questions by 3pm, programmed it by 5pm and launched at 7pm to 20,000 customers – an 8 hour turnaround.
Egg is the world’s largest pure online bank, with over 3.6 million customers.
Egg interviews nearly 20,000 customers per month, driving valuable insight into the business. The executive team was challenged to create a product that reinforced Egg’s brand values and to create a truly innovative consumer proposition.
The team agreed a set of survey questions, programmed it and launched to 20,000 customers - all within an 8-hour turnaround period. The basis of the Egg Money proposition was identified and delivered to Management the following morning, less than 24 hours after deciding to deploy the survey.
By first thing the following morning, they had received sufficient results to feed to the Executive team, Sales, Marketing, PR and their agencies. All told over 2000 customers participated in 2 days, by which time they had enough data to close the survey. This delivered the 3-4 nuggets that formed the basis of the value proposition that became Egg Money.
Egg Money is a revolutionary concept in retail banking. Not exactly a credit card, nor a standard bank account, it combines the best of both of those products while adding more compelling features on top. The account pays an attractive interest rate of 4% when the account has a positive balance, compared to the 0.1% interest rates that are common with current accounts in the United Kingdom. When the account is in the red, it acts like a credit card, providing a 50-day interest free period before a low interest rate of 6.9% is charged. Compare that to the 14% immediate overdraft charges that are applied in the UK. The card further adds a 1% cashback on all purchases until 2007. Egg even provides free account balance updates sent to customers’ mobile phones.
Given the revolutionary nature of the product, it was critical in the period leading to launch that Egg learn how best to communicate the nature of the product and its benefits to its customers.
Again, Egg turned to Confirmit for rapid insight. This time the deadline was a meeting with the creative agency the following morning to drive the launch campaign.
The team launched a study at 7:30pm, inviting 30,000 customers for input. They were asked about their understanding of the product and whether the key hooks made sense. They were further asked whether it was a product they would buy and their opinions on product naming. By 11:30 the following morning Egg had sufficient response to deliver the insights to the agency for launch.
Confirmit’s contribution to Egg Money hasn’t stopped at the launch. “We continue to use Confirmit to track Egg Money in our customer satisfaction surveys,” remarks Pearson. “We’re performing our post-launch evaluation using Confirmit in the call center, and have incorporated product evaluation into our Egg Research omnibus.”
“The Confirmit platform has proven to be valuable for a range of applications well beyond what we anticipated when we started working with it in 2002. This was a significant project for us, and the quick turnaround enabled by Confirmit accounted for a significant reduction in time to market.”
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