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Improved conversion rates and seamless customer experience for savvy savers at ING Direct

Improved conversion rates and seamless customer experience for savvy savers at ING Direct

ING Direct prides itself on its very strong product offering and a total commitment to customer service. That's why, when Robin Middleton, Head of Digital Marketing and Des McDaid, Savings Director at ING Direct realised that it was possible to improve the online savings account application process, they decided to act.

"At ING Direct, we are constantly trying to do things better for our discerning - and increasingly savvy - client base," explains Robin. "In June 2011, we realised that one of our international sister companies had improved its online savings account application process and that the changes were both being well received by customers and increasing conversion rates. However, we also realised that changing our process was a data management challenge, not just a question of shortening the form and providing call centre capability."

To help with the initiative, ING Direct brought in specialist customer contact company ContactPartners. "The reason for ContactPartners' selection was threefold. Firstly, data security is our top priority - we needed a partner that met our exacting standards and that would stand up to our scrupulous due diligence.  Secondly, we required a robust track record in financial services - our industry is challenging and complex and we wanted experienced specialists that know how to navigate the complexities and opportunities created by the initiative. Last but not least, our roll-out timelines were extremely challenging - we needed to 'go live' in early September, within less than 2 months! I'm pleased to report that ContactPartners met our stringent requirements with flying colours and that the initiative was soon underway," shares Robin.

A robust multi-channel solution

Immediately after selection, ContactPartners worked with ING Direct to understand historical saving accounts application data and to set objectives for the initiative.  ContactPartners then helped ING Direct to design a much shorter and more intuitive online savings account application form and create a call back capability to both support customers with specific questions and confirm customer details before officially opening the savings account. In parallel, ING Direct created a specialist, dedicated team of customer service executives who were fully trained on the organisation's products and best practice customer service techniques.

ING can now instantly control the percentage of web visitors that see the short form (vs. existing long form) in order to optimise the supply of leads to the telephony team. In addition, the ability to recoup partially completed forms provides ING Direct with a good flow of warm leads to follow up.

"In addition to a really straightforward and less time-consuming application form, our customers can request a call back if they have a question or require support. As we know where they are in the application process and because the data integration with our CRM is really slick, our customer service executives are able to deal with the specific question quickly and efficiently, which is having a great impact on client satisfaction and net promoter scores," says Robin.

The project's challenging timescales were met. From project approval, it took under 2 months to design, build, test and implement the new solution and 'go live' was successfully achieved in early September.

"ContactPartners delivered to our requirements brilliantly and on time. Our customer services team is amazingly motivated, mainly because they are empowered to truly help our customers and have the tools at their disposal to do this well. The close working relationship between this team and marketing is a vital link between what goes on the web and what happens over the phone which benefits the entire organisation," continues Robin.

Rapid and compelling ROI

ING Direct realised significant benefits, above and beyond initial expectations:

  • The customer experience was improved. Externally conducted customer satisfaction and net promoter research has revealed good improvements for the short application form vs. the long application form
  • Online savings account application conversions have improved
  • The level of initial savings account funding has increased
  • It is now possible to recoup lost and incomplete forms and proactively contact potential customers - further increasing conversion prospects
  • The dedicated customer service team is highly motivated and engaged
  • There are none of the traditional 'silos': marketing and customer services are fully integrated and committed to creating a profitable customer experience

About ING Direct

ING Direct is a UK based company with head offices and telephone banking services based in Reading and Cardiff. ING Direct is wholly owned by ING Group, one of the biggest financial institutions in the world. ING Direct is built on the idea of bringing everyday decency to banking; treating customers in ways we'd like to be treated ourselves.