Mark Evans Mark Evans Marketing Director, Direct Line Group
How to bring your brand promise alive through your customer experience

How to bring your brand promise alive through your customer experience

Exclusive to the Network, Mark Evans, Marketing Director at Direct Line, tells us how the company are addressing industry commoditisation with a focus on the customer experience. Direct Line are aiming to differentiate themselves with a service-led proposition that plays across all of the customer touch points - social, digital and contact centres - helping to breathe life into their brand promise and ensuring it goes deeper than just a clever creative campaign.

Brand promise can only be bought to life through a holistic approach across all customer touch points.

Like many other industries, the insurance sector has been commoditised with an exaggerated focus on price and the point of purchase, which has lead to a distinct lack of trust in the sector. Direct Line, however, is seeing this as an opportunity to differentiate itself with a service-led proposition to lead the category and change customer perceptions by really delivering at the point of need.

Our new proposition-led campaign is intended to demonstrate that Direct Line will take the hassle out of making a claim and getting customers back on their feet when they need it most, whilst continuing to offer great prices and delivering standout customer experience. In doing so, customers are reassured and credibility is given to the new brand offering. Without this, repositioning is futile and will fail to bring about any meaningful growth for an organisation. Deliberately, Direct Line’s new proposition plays across all of its customer touch points including social, digital and contact centres, helping to breathe life into the brand promise and ensure it goes deeper than just a clever creative campaign.

When bringing a brand promise to life, it is important to recognise that whilst there is no avoiding the ever-accelerating digital revolution, it is a channel and not an idea in its own right; a critical touch point enabling companies to communicate directly with customers. This must be managed well, as it is increasingly inherent in the brand experience, which needs to be humanised as much as possible. To ensure the success of Direct Line’s new proposition, significant investment was made across our customer cycle. Social media channel management was boosted, allowing customers to interact with teams via their preferred platform (Twitter, Facebook, web chat) and delivering an end-to-end solution for customers meaning their query could be resolved through their channel of choice. We have also simplified the claim process for theft and accidental loss, which means a visit by Direct Line is not always required. The claim can now be assessed using photos and videos of proof sent by the customer, which results in a great customer experience. The most important benefits this integrated approach across customer touch points brings are reassurance and credibility to the brand offering.

Placing a renewed emphasis on how we communicate, our brand promise reassures our customers, but we have also made key operational changes that mean the entire business is in line with our core thinking. This is crucial, as unless the whole organisation lives and breathes the underlying proposition it will ultimately fail to stand out from the crowd. Contemporary consumers are intelligent, and social media makes them particularly savvy. No business can bring in a new brand promise and expect to remain credible unless this is distilled throughout the entire business and all aspects are bought in line with it. The common denominator between all successful businesses is that they have an un-quenching thirst for fresh, deep insight which they use to drive brand development, building relationships with their customers and creating a holistic strategy that is embraced by every aspect of their organisation.

Hear more from Mark Evans - he will be speaking on relaunching Direct Line as a customer-driven insure at our upcoming 20:20 Customer Experience: Financial Services event