Leading bank improves customer service with multichannel staff planning

Leveraging data from multiple systems, UK-based banking group uses strategic workforce blueprinting to forecast customer support needs across digital, telephone, and in-branch channels

A UK-based banking group with nearly 20 million customers supports customers through digital, telephone, and in-branch channels. Forecasting demand by channel and time proved difficult because data resided in multiple systems. By aggregating and analyzing data in Anaplan, the company improved its ability to forecast customer requirements and ensures that all channels are resourced properly. The result: improved Net Promoter Score (NPS) and a more engaged customer service workforce.

Our overall forecast accuracy using Anaplan has improved from over 12% deviation to 5% and below, which is industry standard and best practice.
Customer Experience Lead


deviation in overall forecast accuracy, down from over 12%, enables confident forecasting of customer need


of intervals are forecast within target deviation of 5%, resulting in greater forecast accuracy


NPS attributed to better customer service

If you want to understand how retail banking is changing, look no further than the phone in your pocket or the computer on your desk. At one cutting-edge bank based in the UK, 87% of customers’ needs are met digitally, and 60% of its nearly 20 million customers bank entirely digitally, according to the bank’s Customer Experience Lead. Even with these large numbers, the bank’s call centers field 250,000 calls per month.

While multichannel customer service is great for customers, the ever-shifting mix creates a complex puzzle for bankers to solve. “The key challenge for banks today is ensuring that we can meet customers’ expectations through their channel of choice,” the Customer Experience Lead says. “That channel could be digital, it could be over the phone, or it could be in our branch network.”

Understanding supply, forecasting demand

The Customer Experience Lead’s primary task is to ensure that the bank has the right number of people in the right place at the right time to serve customers through any channel. In his mind, the issue is more akin to a supply chain challenge than a workforce planning one. “We needed to understand our supply and demand much better than we did,” he explains. That understanding would enable the bank’s planners to make strategic personnel decisions and ultimately forecast how that demand is changing over time. 

Determining the ideal balance of people, channel, and time was difficult because the data needed to understand customer behavior resided in multiple, disparate systems, including digital telephony solutions, contact center applications, and workforce management software. With its open data integration capabilities and multidimensional modeling, Anaplan was the right platform for the job.

“We chose Anaplan because it gave us the ability to aggregate data in a way that we weren’t able to do previously,” the Customer Experience Lead says. Working with Anaplan experts, he and his team leveraged open APIs to bring operational activity data from the various systems into an Anaplan Data Hub for analysis and forecasting.

Greater accuracy supports improved customer service

The analysts on the Customer Experience team dove into the aggregated data and created new and improved forecasts of customer demand by channel. The results so far have been “fantastic,” the Customer Experience Lead says. “We’ve seen our interval forecasting improve from 60% to 90% of intervals within our target deviation of 5%,” he says. “Our overall forecast accuracy using Anaplan has improved from over 12% deviation to 5% and below, which is industry standard and best practice.”

Those statistical improvements are more than numbers on a screen; they deliver substantial business benefit. The team is making resource deployment decisions with greater accuracy, and that has helped the bank deliver improved service levels across all channels. The bank has also seen a corresponding improvement in its Net Promoter Score (NPS), and the bank’s front-line customer service personnel can feel the difference. “Because Anaplan is helping us put resources in the right place at the right time to help our customers, our employees are now more engaged, as they can really see the value that they are adding,” the Customer Experience Lead says.

More improvements are on the horizon. Tracking and forecasting customer shifts from one channel to another is still in its infancy, the Customer Experience Lead says, but he has high hopes for success and sees the Anaplan platform enabling continuous refinement in resource planning at the bank. “Anaplan enables our analysts to work with more data and deliver far more robust outputs than before,” he says. “This is driving even greater improvements.”

Major Retail Bank Customer Story illustrative image 1
Major Retail Bank Customer Story illustrative image 2