In the course of 2015, Intesa Sanpaolo embarked on a path of innovation of services, products and processes that will lead to a radical change in the relationship with its customers with the adoption of a new way of "design thinking" that starts from listening in order to draw a consistent experience in line with customer needs.

The activity is divided into four phases which are retraced through a Test & Learn approach until the achievement of the best customer experience for customers:

  • Need analysis: interviewing customers in order to identify their needs;
  • Service design: creation of new products and services based on research evidence;
  • Detail design: design alignment with business requirements;
  • Prototyping: repeat process to be in line with customer expectations.

After the launch, the listening continues at a stage of fine-tuning and measuring the customer experience in all of the customer contact and customer relations areas (touchpoint).

2015 was the first year of application of this approach both for the design of new products and services and for the review of all processes and touchpoints comprising the bank- customer interaction.

Colleagues who work in direct contact with customers were also involved in this new process. Previously these measurements were sporadic and on specific aspects of the products offered or focused on internal services: during 2015 a dozen surveys were carried out which primarily involved the managers (in 90% of cases); a total of 77,597 interviews were proposed and 47,460 responses were collected (61%).

As from 2016, the surveys will become regular and closely connected with the processes under review, so as to enable the collection of actual pre-review critical issues, as well as the continuous monitoring of the effectiveness of the review itself.

Examples of application of the new way of working include the design of the new branch layout, the thorough review of internet banking and the new mobile app, the definition of the new mortgage loan process and the development of the proximity payment solution.

The approach we have adopted for the development of the new Internet Banking

Intervention areas starting from everyday banking

The process review has been activated starting from everyday banking, i.e. the services offered by the Bank to meet the customer needs, whether banking or non-banking, in managing "every day" operations. The aim was to facilitate a quick and simple relationship between the customer and the Bank, also through new digital channels and regardless of the originating Branch but always in complete safety and to ensure continuous support including through new customised business proposals tailored to customer needs. During 2015, 29 macro intervention areas were identified, related to debit/ credit cards and current accounts, with over 40 project themes submitted to the attention of working groups that involved many of the bank's functions.

Around two-thirds of these initiatives were already launched in 2015 and will result, among other things, in a comprehensive review of the process associated with the shipping and delivery of the cards, innovative methods for their activation, the implementation of new messages via sms/app notifications for the transactions carried out and an improvement of the experience in cases of fraud. Over half of these have already seen a definition of the plan for the release of concrete solutions and 12 additional initiatives will be launched during 2016.

Needs analysis

The needs and expectations analysis was conducted through surveys involving the Bank's customers and prospects belonging to different customer segments. Innovative survey techniques were used such as individual interviews, ethnographic, telephone and online interviews, usability tests, focus groups and creative workshops with the collaboration of the leading players in the market research industry. The purpose was to:

  • identify unmet needs and perceptions on the financial world of foreign ethnic groups present in Italy, upper affluent customers and non-customers, small entrepreneurs and professionals, young and very young (12-35 years);
  • identify patterns of behaviour useful to address, among other things, the design of the new advisory model;
  • assess the level of appreciation and understanding of new products and services or their positioning in terms of pricing;
  • identify critical issues and opportunities within the complex user interaction scenario with different channels, both physical (such as the new branch model) and virtual (e.g. usability on new internet banking platforms and apps);
  • analyse customer experience on some processes such as the disbursement of mortgage loans or succession management.

The survey activities also included the results of the "mystery shopping", which provided feedback on the behavioural areas of "Together for growth" relating in particular to reception, development, relationship and transactional areas. 2,754 mystery shopping surveys were conducted, 2,331 on Retail Branches and 423 on Personal Branches. The evaluations provided on the experience had by potential customers provided important insights for the adoption of common and standardised tools and approaches at Group level, which can be useful to best support the Network and offer a service that can be our hallmark.

Customer satisfaction surveys and benchmark observers

Intesa Sanpaolo has launched structured projects for survey of Customer Satisfaction which, by adopting internationally recognised methodologies, offer a true picture of customer perception in every interaction with the Bank, thus making it possible to identify the critical areas on which to intervene with priority. As regards the retail segment, almost 5 million emails or sms were sent in 2015 and over 450 thousand evaluations were received following interactions with the Bank The survey aimed at identifying the satisfaction of business customers involved about 45,000 contacts and the sample size made it possible to read the results up to the individual Corporate branch level.

Benchmark survey on retail customers

For the Retail and Personal Benchmark survey, more than 14,000 telephone interviews were conducted with a representative sample of Italian banking customers thereby measuring the level of satisfaction of customers of the banks that make up the Italian competitive landscape.

The analysis, conducted anonymously, shows a gap in the evaluations of Intesa Sanpaolo Retail and Personal customers compared to the system:

  • the Net Promoter Score1 is therefore equal to 8 compared to a System average of 16;
  • the Net Satisfaction Index2 on the relationship with the Branch stands at 24 compared to a market average of 26;
  • the Net Product and Service Satisfaction Index is equal to 8 compared to a System figure equal to 13;

which confirms the opportunities for the major investments that our Bank has started and will continue to put in place in order to strengthen the relationship.

1 Net Promoter Score (NPS): difference between the percentage of promoter customers and the share of detractor customers.
2 Net Satisfaction Index (NSI): difference between the percentage of Satisfied customers and the percentage of Dissatisfied customers.

Benchmark survey on Corporate customers

The Corporate Benchmark survey was conducted through 8,000 telephone interviews with entrepreneurs, administrative and financial managers, thereby measuring the degree of satisfaction compared to their main Bank.

The results of the research, conducted anonymously, show a leadership position of Intesa Sanpaolo in the marketplace in terms of willingness to recommend the Bank and the satisfaction of business customers:

  • the Net Promoter Score1 for Intesa Sanpaolo is equal to 3.4 compared to a System average of 0.5;
  • the Net Satisfaction Index2 in terms of the Relationship with the Branch of Intesa Sanpaolo customers is equal to 13.1 compared to a system average of 9.6;
  • the Net Satisfaction Index on the last contact Experience with the Branch stands at 28.1 for Intesa Sanpaolo compared to a market average of 24.3.
1 Net Promoter Score (NPS): difference between the percentage of promoter customers and the share of detractor customers.
2 Net Satisfaction Index (NSI): difference between the percentage of Satisfied customers and the percentage of Dissatisfied customers.

As confirmation of the increasing importance given to the satisfaction with the experiences had by the customer with the Bank, as from 2015 the customer feedback results will help determine the outcome of the Branches' incentive system.

NPS (Net Promoter Score): new ways of listening to customers

NPS stands for Net Promoter Score and is an indicator used internationally to measure the propensity to recommend a company by customers and is based on customer loyalty and business results.

This indicator is simple, it allows comparison with other companies and is predictive.

For these reasons, the NPS, after being measured through the above-mentioned benchmark surveys, as from 2016 will be used as the main indicator to measure the quality perceived by Intesa Sanpaolo customers and will be included among the KPIs on which the Performance Assessment System of the Branch Network employees is based.

Customer Satisfaction survey on Large Corporate Customers

During 2015, the Corporate and Investment Banking Division structured and conducted a new research on large corporate customers who use or have used the Transaction Banking products and services with focus on the Cash Management and Trade Finance area.

The analysis, which involved 1,126 customers, was submitted online and is part of a line of surveys on the transactional world thus allowing constant monitoring of satisfaction trends over time and guidance for future strategic choices. The response rate was 22% with 135 customers agreeing to disclose the feedback and 53 available to be contacted again. The Net Promoter Score (NPS3) index is equal to 11.21% and the overall satisfaction index (CSI4 – Customer Satisfaction Index) is equal to 76 out of 100.

The customer satisfaction was evaluated compared to the products/services, the relationship, the evolution in the quality of the offer and service, any disservices and the related solution. Indications on the competitive scenario were obtained and areas for improvement were identified on the basis of the suggestions and feedback received.

3 Percentage of promoters (rating 9-10) less percentage of detractors (rating 1-6).

4 The index was calculated using a structural equation model with latent variables, specifically the "Partial Least Squares – Path modelling" (in literature, PLS-PM). The outputs of the model include the measurement, through a synthetic index, of the overall satisfaction level (CSI – Customer Satisfaction Index).

Management of complaints

A careful and timely management of complaints, which may come from customers or people who get closer to the bank's services, is important to promptly detect the cause responsible for the dissatisfaction. From this corrective actions can stem actions designed to reduce operational, reputational and legal risks and to enhance the bank-customer relationship. The project "Evolvere la gestione reclami" (Developing complaint handling) continued in 2015 with the aim to optimise the process of managing complaints and improve the quality of customer response in terms of content and timeliness, by intervening on the application system used.

As for the number of complaints, petitions and appeals received in 2015, 50.106 were received in Italy while 50,059 written complaints and 434 petitions and appeals were received abroad [i].

The service quality monitoring system: SEIok

SElok is the tool that allows the Network and Department to monitor the Service Quality index on a monthly basis, investigating all the different items that make it up and making it possible to intervene effectively to solve critical issues. SEIok provides a synthetic indicator that measures service quality and three families of indices to facilitate the identification of areas for improvement: the compliance index which provides an indication of compliance with the relevant rules on the conduct of the banking and brokerage business, management of conflicts of interest, transparency and consumer protection regulations; the Customer Service synthetic index indicating the efficiency and quality of the service provided and the Customer Satisfaction synthetic index, which allows to evaluate customer satisfaction (perceived quality), detected through feedback requests at specific times of contact with the Branch.

For 2016 SEIok renews and grows to become an aggregator for branches around the objective of excellence: service excellence alone allows to have such happy customers as to become the bank's promoters. For this reason, the Net Promoter Score, the index that represents the intensity of the relationship between the customer and the brand, plays a very important role in the Branch Excellence (weighing between 30% and 40%).