By Matt Brown
To retain its position as a leader in terms of hard customer numbers and profit, Metro needs to revisit its challenger values. It needs to refresh them for a new decade, aligning them with customer needs today, rather from 10 years ago when it first launched and redefine how customer data can inform and drive the business forward.
What is the definition of a challenger today? Not in the Rocky Balboa sense, although of course there’s a metaphor there if you’re willing to look for one. Even in business, it seems to personify the plucky outlier, shaking up convention, bringing novelty and, hopefully, changing things for the better.
This is certainly what seemed to happen when the first of the challenger banks, Metro, emerged to put a rocket under the decades – sometimes centuries – old UK retail banks. Like the branchless, mobile-only banks that came after, Metro seemed to offer customer-friendly banking. No delayed transactions pushing the unwitting into unarranged, expensive overdraft, and none of the whiff of scandal that has tainted most of the incumbent banks at one stage or another over the years.
That was until Metro started looking suspiciously like the establishment and suffered its own financial crisis with a £900 million accounting error and criticism of its leadership.
But despite this, Metro remains a strong leader in disrupting the financial services sector, and it has the potential to create positive opportunities for growth and transforming its connection with customers. For a start, it continues to top the customer satisfaction league tables. It ranks top for overall service, just beating First Direct, the only bank belonging to the traditional cohort and even then, only just as it is also a new bank in relative terms and itself online only. However, it’s worth noting that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that ran the poll does not count the app-only challengers such as Monzo or Starling who have shaken the market up further still and who continue to gain users hand over fist.
To retain its position as a leader in terms of hard customer numbers and profit, rather than just sentiment (although also an important metric, just not enough on its own) Metro needs to revisit its challenger values. It needs to refresh them for a new decade, aligning them with customer needs today, rather from 10 years ago when it first launched and redefine how customer data can inform and drive the business forward, putting clear water between in and old-style banking that still fails to satisfy.
Matt Brown have 18 years’ digital marketing experience. He oversees delivery and execution at SYZYGY to help clients drive measurable impact from their investment.