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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Tesco Personal Finance to create 800 jobs at new Glasgow call centre

UK supermarket giant Tesco is set to create more than 800 jobs at its fast-growing personal finance unit by opening a customer service centre in Glasgow.


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New bank entrants upping the stakes in customer service

The past year has seen a surge of non-banking players entering the retail banking space to capitalise on growing consumer suspicion of conventional high street banks. Tesco in particular has seen a doubling of retail deposits in recent months, and a short time ago announced the opening of a customer service centre to support its personal finance operation, alongside existing plans to open 30 banks branches in its stores by the end of the year. Andrew Higginson, chief executive of Tesco Retailing Services has stated “Offering first class customer service is central to our Tesco values and the new centre will most certainly help us put the Tesco into Tesco Personal Finance.”

 

Tesco is a prime example of how new financial market players are using their existing brand power and pushing customer-centricity as a strong selling proposition for attracting customers. In turn, it seems that disillusioned customers are ready to place their financial trust in these non-banking institutions as they feel they have a more personal relationship with these brands. 

 

It is clear that consumer needs are changing dramatically as expectations of service levels rise and more players enter the market. Traditionally, the quality and relevance of a good conversation with a customer is underestimated in this market which has typically been more product-centric rather than customer-centric.

 

Providing an experience that exceeds a customer’s expectations can only be achieved by really knowing and understanding that customer. This not only requires the right level of customer insight on an ongoing basis but also the ability to take into account a customer’s input and mood during a real-time conversation and to act accordingly.

 

Many of the non-banking players entering the market, such as Tesco, are already heavily customer focused and have an unrivalled level of consumer insight through an abundance of customer data that they can leverage to optimise customer experiences. With this in mind Tesco is set to give banks a run for their money.

 

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