Exploring the customer experience transformation of Saga UK

Saga is a brand that knows how to speak to its customers, climbing 181 places in the UK CEE rankings since 2013. To achieve this, customer experience transformation has played a key role. At the heart of this transformation is an aptitude for identifying with its customers in a deeply personal manner.

This begins with a detailed understanding of their preferences and lifestyles. Although classified as a Travel brand, Saga is a company that specialises in a number of different areas, including financial services, insurance and healthcare, providing services to customers who are aged 50 or over. This is arguably a more specific audience than, for example, Ryanair passengers, or guests at a Marriott hotel, and it enables Saga to fine-tune it customer experience to an infinitesimal degree.

Undoubtedly, this has been one of the significant drivers in Saga’s customer experience transformation. It is clear from the way the brand presents itself on social media channels that it is not interested in merely promoting its products and services to a captive digital audience. It posts information that is more lifestyle-oriented, and conversational. For instance, a post on 11th November saw Saga asking its followers to tell them what their favourite Beatles song was, whilst an earlier post featured an image of a Croatian sunset, along with the question: “Who’d love to be here right now?”

Putting the well-being of their customers first

This ethos extends into the brand’s website. “Good health is a treasure beyond price,” says Saga in its online magazine. “Let us help you to safeguard yours for a better, brighter future.” A quick scroll down the page then reveals links to a number of lifestyle-based, self-help articles, with such titles as ‘Seven steps to get you through winter,’ ‘Eight ways to reduce stomach fat,’ and ‘Stay healthy after the menopause.’

And despite this more laidback approach to customer engagement, Saga is not complacent when it comes to the design of its products and services. Again, the brand assesses the lifestyles of its individuals, and endeavours to provide them with something suitable for their needs. This was exemplified on 7th November this year, when Saga announced its entrance into the investment world with a new service to help the over-50s manage their pensions. Titled Saga Investment Services, the initiative affords customers with access to bespoke financial advice, with an online service that enables the more confident customers to manage their investments independently. This encompasses a personal money dashboard, which provides the customer with all the necessary details about their finances, and special portfolios for those who are already investing.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, managing director of the new Saga division, says: “Many people in their 50s have no idea who to turn to for financial advice. The big banks have withdrawn from giving advice through their branches because of regulatory issues. While independent financial advice is available, only one in ten over-50s use an adviser. Many are worried about fees they might end up paying and so back off and do nothing.”

This ability to ‘get inside the head of the customer’ and tailor the experience has certainly paid off in The Six PillarsTM, with Saga achieving one of its strongest pillar scores in that of Personalisation. It currently stands at a very respectable 7.64.

Indeed, Saga’s overall performance in the UK Customer Experience Excellence rankings is extremely healthy. As such, the brand has seen a customer experience transformation in all areas of its business – particularly in the pillars of Time and Effort and Integrity – but its detailed knowledge of its customers and overall concern for their wellbeing is perhaps the most significant factor in its journey up the rankings. It may not be long before Saga is competing with such CX giants as Lush and first direct in the UK top ten.

For more customer experience insight visit the KPMG Nunwood CEM blog.