Halifax Community Bank recognises that improving on their existing reputation for customer service is critical to their on-going success. With this in mind, Halifax developed a long-term customer orientation initiative with the aim of becoming 'Britain's most recommended bank'.
Senior management at Halifax decided that handing custodianship for the initiative to branch and regional managers was the most effective way of ensuring rapid and universal implementation. For this to be successful, Halifax knew they would have to ensure their branch managers had the appropriate skills and confidence to implement the initiative.
Middlesex University, a market leader in the accreditation and development of work-based training programmes, was identified as the perfect academic partner, and a Skills Development Partnership was entered into. The University's initial role was to accredit Halifax's existing in-house training programme, Journey in Practice. Middlesex then developed two advance follow-on programmes aligned to the customer orientation initiative.
The work-based learning follow-on programmes – a level 6 advanced diploma and a level 7 postgraduate certificate – were designed to develop the analytical, reflective learning, and management skills of participants.
Participating branch and regional managers are now more confident in their ability to implement the customer orientation initiative, as well as meeting a whole range of other management challenges.
According to Northampton Branch Manager Adrian Massingham, "Halifax customers will be confident that the advice being offered in our branches is from qualified professionals".
Customer experience feedback has demonstrated that the programmes have been a huge success. Halifax is continuing to use the Middlesex programmes as a major tool in their drive to become 'Britain's most recommended bank'.