"I've always been obsessed with customers and customer experience" - The CYBG Story

Ben and I interviewed David Judic, Head of Retail Banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banking Group, about the huge transformation journey the bank has been on in the last 5 years. When David first came to the role, he hadn’t worked in customer innovation before, so he engaged Market Gravity to provide him the support he needed.

David’s a straight-talking, super smart, no nonsense visionary who started out with an ambition to leap ahead of the competition by putting the customer at the heart of the bank.

“I felt the business was ripe for change…it had been steady going for 175 years, but had been on the fringes of being a challenger.”

David Judic

This sounds like a huge task, right?

Here’s how David approached it:

  • The core team moved to a secure site where they could co-locate
  • Far from being a fully kitted out space, this was an ex-job centre where the team had to do their own DIY to make it work
  • This created a real ‘start-up’ feeling inside the bank
  • Engaged Market Gravity to support the journey
  • The core team shared their fears, working through key questions and working out how to manage stakeholders together

How did they bring the customer into the heart of everything?

  • Every day and month, CYBG constantly tested and re-tested with customers; testing with 10,500 all in all
  • Each time they ran a session with the bank colleagues, they also ran a mirror session with customers. This gave fresh opinion to every session
  • The team ran different types of sessions with customers, including 1-1 interviews, user experience design, focus groups, workshops and co-creation sessions.
  • The bank acknowledged that customer insight provides direction, but not the complete answer.  Having created a product with a price point that was developed with customers, it launched and became apparent that customers were not wiling to pay. The bank had to pivot quickly based on the fresh evidence.

What part did Studio B play in this?

  • Studio B is CYBG’s innovation studio on Kensington High Street – a physical space in the bank that customers can walk into and work on real problems with the team, to co-create solutions
  • The idea for Studio B came from the acknowledgement that the bank wanted to create an ideas factory – one that came from customers and not bankers
  • The ‘Labbers’ working in Studio B were from a mixture of backgrounds, united in being uninterested in pursuing a career in banking.
  • Studio B also showcased the outputs they created within the core banking space. This served to break the taboo of walking into a bank that you don’t bank with, in order to find out what’s going on.
  • Studio B also played a commercial role:

 

“Whether customers want to buy products and services and experience today, or are inspired by what we’re talking about so they come back to us later…this builds awareness and brand. Hopefully over time that translates into commercial performance. “

  • David acknowledged that every facet of running Studio B was – in his words – scary, but it has delivered results. They recently won an FS Tech Award for their augmented reality currency conversion app – a concept which came out of Studio B.

What’s next for the bank?

  • A recent launch by CYBG is B Works with the tagline: “Learn, work, bank”
  • B Works is the new creative hub for small businesses in Manchester and demonstrates the future of banking in action
  • It’s a mixture of free co-working space, a coffee shop and a business hub. There’s on-hand access to experts, a social studio (where you can even record a podcast) and the ability for businesses to showcase their content
  • Untraditionally, there are no banking counters. It’s all about conversations with the customer, rather than a transactional banking experience
  • CYBG have also acquired Virgin Money; it is still the early stages of the transition programme but the acquisition demonstrates the journey that CYBG have been on, to get them to this point

A huge thank you to David for giving us his time and so much rich insight and perspective on this transformational journey. 

If you’d like to listen to the podcast, you can find it here (also available on Spotify) 

If you’ve been inspired by David’s story and CYBG’s journey, and think that Market Gravity could help you, then get in touch with us, at launchbreak@marketgravity.com