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Placing the client at the center of Business decisions is a priority for Banco Santander. This was the bank’s objective when driving its Customer Center, a qualitative research lab to gain better knowledge of clients’ present and future needs. The bank has changed how it works by involving clients in the design of products, services and processes, through face-to-face meetings–clients are invited to a dedicated space in Santander Spain’s HQ with the necessary means to share their thoughts–and online, where client insights can be captured rapidly and on a large scale, covering the different products and services offered by the bank.

Ignacio Martín, Director of Client Experience and Quality, and Isabel Gómez, in charge of the Customer Center, spoke to us about a powerful omnichannel project that combines listening to clients and gathering their qualitative impressions.

You can see a summary of the interview in the following video:

Innovators (I): What is Banco Santander’s Customer Center?

Ignacio Martín (IM): We have designed an ecosystem with physical and digital channels to create greater interaction with clients. We have a physical space in our Headquarters that we call “The Factory”, where we invite clients and listen to them, obtaining their insights on any possible launch. At the same time, we have introduced a digital ecosystem that uses an online focus groupto research and identify the needs of tomorrow’s clients. In any case, we seek to find out what they consider relevant, and what they demand of a bank’s products or services.

I: What effect does the project have on the bank’s culture and day-to-day activity?

IM: The Customer Center represents a new way of working for Banco Santander, based on placing the client at the center of everything we do. Especially in everything related to products and processes before, during and after their launch. The client’s experience is part of one of Grupo Santander’s strategic objectives in all its regions, and there is even a client satisfaction ratio.

Isabel Gómez (IG): It is truly helping us to adapt all those launches and processes we are developing.

I: What role do new channels and the digital environment play in reaching the client more easily?

IM: It is no longer just about improving client satisfaction and experience, now we are looking for alternative channels where we can always do things better, at any time. That is where the concept of digitization comes in. The digital Customer Center allows us to identify those key insights that allow us to meet the latent needs of tomorrow’s clients, and of the bank.

I: Committing to client proximity has even meant the bank invites clients personally to its HQ. How does that work?

IM: We have a physical space we know as “The Factory”, where we also invite all the members of the Management Board, as well as the people responsible for developing our various products. We use a series of meetings with clients to listen to them, understand and identify their demands.

IG: We sit down with them and they validate processes, products; we want them to evaluate if they are easy to use. This allows them to communicate their needs in a way that is natural and spontaneous.

IM: Everything we do is client-oriented, with the goal of improving their experience. If we wish to place the client at the center, we must do so realistically.

A channel that unifies client listening.

The digital version of Banco Santander’s Customer Center, for which  ideas4all Innovation is the technology provider, allows the bank to centralize and give access to all its various actions to co-create with clients. Clients can therefore express their preferences and needs, becoming the center around which the different actions and strategies revolve. But also, this online channel enables the swift collection of large volumes of client insights, in real time and on an ongoing basis; and increases contact points and interaction with the bank throughout the customer journey.

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