‘Customer-obsessed’—How NatWest implemented its enterprise messaging strategy with Twilio | Twilio

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NatWest Group is the leading business and commercial financial institution in the United Kingdom, with the NatWest branch serving 19 million customers across the U.K. offering a full banking service. NatWest sought to be the top UK bank for customer service by placing the customer at the heart of everything, delivering new offerings at pace, while managing costs effectively and meeting regulatory requirements.

Taking its commitment to customers to the next level, NatWest partnered with Twilio to make hyper-personalized and streamlined communications a core part of its digital banking platform.

Historically, banks relied primarily on one-way communications, such as mailed letters or no-reply email updates. But given NatWest’s reputation for being at the forefront of banking innovation, the company wanted to redefine the way consumers interact with their bank. To accomplish this, NatWest looked to transform how it delivers messages against its complex structure to prevent the customer from being exposed to their internal ways of working.

In today’s digitally-savvy world, consumers expect immediate connection, visibility, and adaptability. For NatWest, it was crucial to have an industry-tested technology partner to build security and stability into its platform for communications at scale. Twilio’s Programmable Messaging API provided the high deliverability rates, scalability, and personalization capabilities NatWest was looking for.

A new perspective

Although NatWest had long established itself as a future-focused organization, the onset of COVID-19 brought new urgency to the need for better, faster, and more reliable customer communications. During the pandemic, nearly every industry was pushed to accelerate its digital transformation—and the financial services sector was no exception.

NatWest wanted to implement solutions that fully support remote customer interactions, in-person customer interactions, and everything in between. They knew it was crucial to infuse robust and adaptable customer communications throughout the business in order to keep up with the ongoing advancements in digital technology.

How Twilio powers banking interactions

NatWest needed a way to contact clients whenever, wherever they are. Customers today define how they leverage services or interact with them. With Twilio Messaging, NatWest is able to use SMS to connect with customers 24/7/365, globally. Twilio’s ability to support 24/7 messaging ensures NatWest can communicate with customers regardless of where they are in the world.

Finding the balance between innovative technology and a user-friendly customer experience was another critical aspect of NatWest’s customer communication strategy. NatWest found that Twilio’s easy-to-use developer tools were as powerful as the backend technology. Twilio’s Programmable Messaging API was easy for NatWest to work with and implement, yet robust enough to support the scale of messaging at an enterprise level.

Strategic partnership

Not only has NatWest found the digital solutions they need with Twilio, they’ve found a partner to support their overall strategy as an organization. They aspire to continuously create customer experiences that are better, faster, and more cost effective. For NatWest, a better experience means tailored, personalized messaging that reaches a specific audience at the right time. But how can an organization gain the insights needed to make this vision a reality?

Matthew Harwood, the Head of Customer Messaging for NatWest Group, said improving customer experience is about asking, “How do we tailor the customer journey by using all of the assets that we have at our disposal?”

This is where Twilio is not only a vendor, but a strategic partner. Equipped with messaging data through Twilio, NatWest is able to focus on a segment of its audience, allowing the bank to target groups of customers at specific times and experiment with new messaging strategies. The results of these experiments help NatWest identify what types of messages are successful and where to prioritize improvements.

In addition, NatWest is able to launch campaigns at a fraction of the cost by using a single platform to both send messages and collect messaging data. With these Twilio-powered insights, NatWest is refining the way it communicates with customers to be more personalized, convenient, and effective.

Results and a glimpse of the future

Since implementing Twilio, NatWest has seen a 2% increase in message deliverability, meaning they can now reach more of their customers. The bank has also reported no outages and no customer complaints, in addition to enhanced international deliverability—setting NatWest apart from its competitors. Another benefit to choosing Twilio has been speed of deployment; NatWest was able to close a deal with Twilio and implement the technology within the same month.

In the future, NatWest is planning to expand its success with Twilio and add WhatsApp messaging to their suite of customer communications. NatWest has tested the use of WhatsApp in the past and with Twilio’s support, NatWest sees it as a worthwhile channel to continue exploring.

“Historically, we’ve been competing for the customer’s attention internally” Harwood explained. “We need to step away from that mentality and get into a position where everyone is collectively building that great customer experience.”

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