Christian Nelissen RBS header

SAS helps Royal Bank of Scotland to become the number one bank for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020.

Christian Nelissen
The Data Guy, Royal Bank of Scotland

Data driven decisions help Royal Bank of Scotland transform its organisational processes, improve employee engagement and deliver excellent customer service.

Here at the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS), we serve approximately 24 million customers in the UK and internationally. But nowadays, simply being one of the biggest names in UK banking no longer guarantees substantial market share.

As new government regulations make it easier than ever for people to switch banks, we need to work harder than ever to provide outstanding service and boost customer satisfaction. With this in mind, we set out to become the number one in UK banking for customer service, trust and advocacy.

"We chose SAS because we wanted a single organisation to deliver our advanced analytics across the whole of the bank's data estate. They stand out as being industry leaders. Data is enabling us to drive transformational change across the RBS Group that allows us to achieve our ambition of earning customers' trust by serving their needs better than any other bank."

Christian Nelissen, The Data Guy, Royal Bank of Scotland.

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Royal Bank of Scotland
"The SAS analytics solutions are making our webchat agents more capable and more driven. In turn, they are delivering a better service to our customers."

Mark Calderhead, Data and Analytics Services, Royal Bank of Scotland

Web chat

As part of our drive to provide excellent service, we have launched an online portal through which customers can communicate with agents – known as web chats.

SAS helps Royal Bank of Scotland unlock the 'Voice of the Customer' hidden in 250,000 web chat conversations per month.

As web chats grow in popularity, we wanted to ensure that the channel was providing customers with top-notch service. In particular, we noticed that web chats containing positive language about the excellence of the service were not always matched by positive satisfaction scores.

Although we captured and stored the web chat text, we could only review 200 of the 250,000 monthly web chat conversations; sheer volume made manual analysis of all chats impossible.

How could we harness the masses of conversation data to identify which topics agents were handling well, and where they could improve?

Continue reading the web chat story

Mining for insight.

For us, the answer lay in cutting-edge analytics capabilities provided by SAS® Enterprise Miner, SAS Text Miner, SAS Visual Analytics and SAS Contextual Analytics . To prepare the data for analysis, we implemented the sophisticated Hadoop platform, which offers immense processing power and supports the HTML data we were using.

Using these solutions, we explored 500,000 previously impenetrable web chats to discover key insights. SAS Enterprise Miner automatically determined the topic of each conversation, while SAS Text Miner delivered sentiment values for each web chat, providing insight into the customer’s experience even if they chose not to complete the post-chat survey. SAS Visual Analytics presented the results in intuitive dashboards, highlighting key metrics, with immediate drill-down to the underlying source.

Together, the SAS solutions delivered a comprehensive picture of why customers start web chats, and which queries agents struggle to handle. What’s more, they enabled web chat team leaders to see the performance of each individual agent and assess their strengths and weaknesses – so training efforts can be targeted to deliver the greatest impact. As a result, agent performance is at an all-time high and we’re delivering a superior service, which is reflected in higher customer satisfaction survey scores.

What’s more, as we sharpen our ability to resolve customer problems through web chats, we expect to ease the burden of incoming calls in our call centres.

Unravelling the inconsistencies.

The solution is also helping us understand discrepancies between the tone of web chats and the satisfaction survey results.

In some cases, the dialogue in a conversation had been ranked as positive by SAS Text Miner, but the customer had given a poor score on the satisfaction survey. Cases like this were disheartening for agents, but now we can see that the cause is frequently beyond the agent’s control.

For example, if a customer wants to cancel a direct debit immediately, the agent can update the system straightaway but the change still takes a day to process, leaving the customer annoyed. Now, with the SAS analytics solutions in place, we understand what’s happening and can adapt our ways of working accordingly, boosting customer satisfaction.

An enlightened future.

Building on the tremendous success of the proof of concept, which analysed 500,000 chats in one go, we plan to use the SAS solution to scrutinize all 250,000 monthly web chats that take place each month. As a result, we will be able to unearth up-to-date insight into activities on the web-chat platform and drive continuous improvement.

Overall, the SAS analytics solutions are making our web chat agents more capable and more driven. In turn, they are delivering a better service to our customers, increasing satisfaction and loyalty. As the UK banking market becomes increasingly competitive, capabilities like these make a real difference to our ability to attract and retain customers – taking us one step closer to meeting our goal of becoming number one in UK banking for customer service, trust and advocacy.

Man at Lecturn Talking to Audience

Are Your Wheels Rounder Than Mine? - Paul Hollands
SAS Forum UK 2016 Keynote Presentation

Paul Hollands

Learn how Royal Bank of Scotland has approached the challenge of driving the business by using and leveraging data and data analytics tools. Focusing in particular on Commercial and Private Banking, which until recently, relied upon more traditional approaches to run their business.
Paul Hollands, Head of Data and Analytics, Commercial and Private Banking at Royal Bank of Scotland.

Watch Paul's presentation from SAS Forum UK 2016

SAS Enterprise miner - time seires screen

Despite investing heavily in customer service, RBS identified room for improvement for its online web chat sessions. How could the bank increase trust, advocacy and satisfaction?

SAS Enterprise Miner provides a descriptive and predictive modeling to provide insights that drive better decision making. Streamlining the data mining process to develop models quickly. Understand key relationships. And find the patterns that matter most. This software enables RBS to:

  • Solve customer requests more effectively, boosting satisfaction
  • Analyse 250,000 web chats monthly, up from 200, delivering insight to improve customer experience
  • Enhance web chat operator performance through personalized training

More information

SAS Text Miner lets you easily analyse text data from the web, comment fields, books and other text sources. So, why limit yourself to analysing legacy data? Deepen your understanding by discovering new information, topics and term relationships. And add what you learn to your models to improve lift and performance. This software enables RBS to:

  • Solve customer requests more effectively, boosting satisfaction
  • Analyse 250,000 web chats monthly, up from 200, delivering insight to improve customer experience
  • Enhance web chat operator performance through personalized training

More information

SAS Visual Analytics enables you to explore relevant data quickly and easily. You can look at more options, uncover hidden opportunities, identify key relationships and make more precise decisions faster than ever before. Self-service, ad hoc visual data discovery and exploration put lightning-fast insights within everyone's reach. This software enables RBS to:

  • Solve customer requests more effectively, boosting satisfaction
  • Analyse 250,000 web chats monthly, up from 200, delivering insight to improve customer experience
  • Enhance web chat operator performance through personalized training

More information

SAS Contextual Analysis transforms unstructured data into organized information to give you a competitive edge. You can identify emerging issues. Spot trends. And better understand your business and customers. This software enables RBS to:

  • Solve customer requests more effectively, boosting satisfaction
  • Analyse 250,000 web chats monthly, up from 200, delivering insight to improve customer experience
  • Enhance web chat operator performance through personalized training

More information

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The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.

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