SEB’s Success Strategy: “Rewarding Relationships”
European bank SEB uses customer insight to inform its strategic business decisions, and has improved loyalty and profitability as a result.
SEB aims to become the relationship bank in Northern Europe and in the many other countries in which it operates, from London to New York to Shanghai. Today, more than 17,000 employees serve more than 5 million private individuals, more than 1,800 large corporations, and 400,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), with the goal of building and growing long-term customer relationships.
Reaching that status—in SEB's parlance: delivering rewarding relationships—requires customer excellence, an outcome that its mission statement explains is "achieved by ensuring that the customer's perspective is taken into account in everything SEB does, by empowering employees to make the right decisions for the customer and for SEB, and by adhering to the fundamental tenet that customer loyalty leads to long-term profitability."
Delivering customer excellence—in other words, meeting customers' expectations in all situations to provide a high-quality experience—is "number one on our list of priorities," says Sören Lundgren, head of customer experience and service management at SEB. "It is a guiding principle of our bank, because we know that creating good customer experiences and having good revenue streams go hand-in-hand."