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Supporting Britannia Building Society with the successful acquisition and transition of Bristol and West customers into the building society family

Britannia Building Society announced that it would acquire the savings business and branch network of Bristol & West from the Bank of Ireland for £150m.  The deal included the transfer of £4.5bn of savings balances, 800,000 customers and 97 branches.  The impact of the acquisition and subsequent integration (a major change programme in itself) of the new business, branches and customers into the Building Society was likely to create a series of different engagement challenges for the customers and staff of both brands. Success of the acquisition required Britannia to actively manage and support customers and staff effectively through this transition, reducing the risk of customer defection or the loss of key staff.

The Challenge

Britannia engaged Impact Innovation to provide expertise and to support the “Customer” work-stream.  Our role - to act as the “customer conscience” throughout the programme - putting the customer at the heart of all decisions during the integration, with a programme on a tight transition deadline, with specific milestones and deadlines to meet in order to comply with regulations.

The programme

Embedded in the Britannia programme team, our role extended from understanding through to development and implementation of a new engagement strategy. This included:

  • Gathering insight from customers and staff to understand their emotional and rational loyalties to both brands. This work  uncovered a “golden nugget” of insight which we used as a creative platform to fuel the development process

  • Creating a motivational engagement strategy for both customers and staff

  • Developing new transition customer journeys by channel (branch, telephone, online, ATM) for all customer groups and bringing them to life through illustrations

  • Assessing, managing and minimising the impact of the change on customers and refining their service experience at all times for all touchpoints

  • Defining the transition states (what we wanted the customers to see, hear and feel and touch at any point in time)

  • Defining a set of new service propositions for each step of the journey

  • Defining a set of service principles for both staff and customers

  • Supporting the development of the communication and engagement messages and materials

Successful retention and integration of 700,000 Bristol & West savers with more than a million savings accounts were completed three months ahead of target

“We were delighted with the results and the quality of the outcome.  The work Impact delivered added real value to our programme and firmly kept our view of the customer at the heart of all our activities.”

Program Manager

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