Principality Building Society

The Need

First Impression Training were recommended to Principality Building Society (PBS) as a result of our considerable experience within the financial services environment, where organisations have had to respond to FSA demands or regulatory changes within a tight timeframe &/or to budget – projects the FIT team are very familiar with and one we embraced with PBS, despite the rather challenging brief we’d been given!

The Customer complaint process needed to be re-engineered and frontline staff required the knowledge, skills and behaviours to more effectively recognise and manage these potentially difficult situations to ensure a win-win.

So the FIT Healthcheck & DNA began in earnest across Wales, getting up close and personal with frontline staff, both on the ‘phones and out in the field, in order to build a programme that would meet the specific needs of its varied workforce and fulfil project aims and objectives.

The Solution

A programme needed to be designed and delivered to over 500 PBS frontline staff within both their branches across Wales and their telephony teams based at HQ in Cardiff. The training needed to complement existing internal training courses and the differing cultures between HQ and branch staff and hearts and minds needed to be won over quickly – especially given the tight timeframe everyone had to work within.

Tasked with changing mindsets and equipping frontline staff with the skills and behaviours to more effectively recognise, manage and resolve customer complaints, the FIT Team began a rollout programme, having piloted it to SMT and key stakeholders, delivering a customer service training programme to meet the specific needs of the business, both on time and to budget within just 6 weeks!

The Results

Throughout the project, and specifically during roll out of the training programme, the FIT team worked hand in hand with the internal training community to transfer ownership of the learning upon completion, so that the programme could be integrated into the PBS induction process and continue to be embedded into business as usual long after the FIT Team had moved on.

Feedback has been exceptional, given the ‘quick fix’ solution we’d been tasked to design and deliver, with a combined ‘Excellent / Very Good’ rating of 97.7% and countless verbatims from both senior staff and experienced frontliners (all of which are available to view if required)

When asked to sum up the success of this project, our key stakeholder at PBS quoted the fact that we (the FIT Team) “don’t waste time delivering strategy papers, but adopt a pragmatic sleeves-rolled up approach that delivers high impact solutions using techniques that are contextualised to meet the specific needs of the teams they work with” as the sole reason for the success of the project.


“Exception management improved due to the teams’ ability to better manage the conversation with a complaining or disgruntled customer. It was the first time ever that the entire network was trained to identify a formal complaint and how to handle the ‘soft-side’ of the conversation to build rapport and encourage the win-win. The fact the entire network was trained in a matter of weeks, not months, is really impressive!

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) referral rates have decreased due to our staff’s ability to better manage the customer making the complaint. FOS referrals are £500 pounds per referral – the training has equipped frontliners to deal with the complaint process so much more effectively, to the point where this will save the organisation tens of thousands of pounds this year”.

Emyr Griffiths, Project Lead, Continuous Improvement

“Really enjoyable…I’ve been on many courses like this in the past but this one exceeded my expectations. Really worthwhile day – feel I’ve learned a lot in a short space of time”.

“…very useful and helpful as a new starter to the company. Lots of help on how best to approach customers – very interactive and appealed to my learning style”.

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