3rd May 2017
High-street disruptor Metro Bank has released its latest results. The bank is on course to report its first full-year profit, has received more than £1bn in deposits in the first quarter on 2017, and was poised to smash through the 1 million customer barrier at the beginning of May.
It’s great news for a company that set out to be different: opening branches when other banks were closing them; offering a while-you-wait cheque-book printing service; even helping customers with the cost of adopting a dog or cat from an animal rescue.
Of course, it could be argued that because “challenger brands” like Metro don’t have the baggage of legacy systems constraining them, it’s easy to stand out from the financial services crowd. But what really differentiates Metro Bank from its competitors is its outspoken passion for delivering superior customer service. Underlying its strategy is the idea of converting customers into “fans” and taking their interaction with the bank to a level deeper than just transaction.
Metro Bank chief executive Craig Donaldson explains: “We found new customers through our fans. They told their friends that they should be customers – and that’s how we build the bank. I would far rather we focused on creating fans, and continue to keep them by doing great stuff for them, than spend money on advertising.”
This philosophy chimes with the findings of The Institute of Customer Service’s The Customer of the Future report. Our research found that customers have become more individualistic in their attitudes and expect personalised experiences. At the same time, they look for organisations that share their values and ethics.
By turning his back on the one-size-fits-all approach that defines traditional banking, Donaldson has shaped Metro bank into an organization that meets these changing expectations. “Customer service means different things to everybody,” he says. “You have to be able to adapt to what the customers want by listening and then taking action. Service is all about the individual and understanding how you deliver to them.”