There are numerous ways members of our customer panel can help the West Brom develop its products and services.
Sometimes we’ll ask about your experiences when visiting a branch or interacting with us over the telephone and online; on other occasions, we welcome your opinions on broader topics which affect people’s personal finances and their plans for the future.
There are also times when we invite panel members to check over important documentation before it gets released to our full membership – a process known as comprehension testing.
It’s a great way of ensuring such material is clearly written without any confusing jargon, easy to follow and gives precise instructions when there are actions that customers need to take.
Identifying with us
Carrying out identification checks when customers open a new savings account isn’t just the West Brom being cautious or fussy. We are required by law to confirm people’s identity to comply with money laundering regulations and to protect against fraud.
Often we can do this electronically, but there will be occasions when proof of identification for both the person and their address is needed.
We have a detailed information leaflet explaining the different items we can accept as ID, but given its importance – and the various options available – we felt it would be worthwhile getting feedback from the customer panel before publishing the latest version.
Overall, there was almost complete agreement among those taking part in the test (94%) that the leaflet used straightforward language, was easy to understand and clearly laid out.
Most people felt confident they understood what forms of identification would need to be produced in order to open a West Brom account from the two lists printed on the leaflet.
However, we noticed that some users didn’t realise it was not possible to use the same form of identification to verify both an individual and their address, for example a driving licence. In light of this, we revisited the leaflet design and made this information more prominent.
The test went on to look briefly at scenarios for opening a savings account on behalf of a child and opening one under a Power of Attorney. Again the majority of respondents (78% and 74% respectively) found the information presented easy to understand, although there were suggestions put forward such as cutting down the number of words and using less formal language.
Finally – and we hold our hands up to this one – some eagle-eyed panel members did spot a small spelling error. No doubt our team would have picked this up when proof reading the leaflet before it got printed, but even so we’re grateful to those who pointed it out. Mistakes occasionally happen, even to the best of us!
How this helps us
We work hard to ensure the information we offer our customers, be it in print or online, is well presented and not confusing, but it in some instances it’s best to get a second opinion.
This is where the customer panel proves invaluable. Those who participate are members of the West Brom and regularly use our services. With their input, we can make the overall experience that little bit better.
While in this instance the identification leaflet may not have required many alterations, the small changes we did make based on the panel’s feedback have helped to create a final document which is fit for purpose and user friendly.