When you’ve built your entire reputation on selling one product, diversifying into new areas can be daunting.

But Admiral has done exactly that by branching out from insurance to enter the competitive world of loans.

As a company, how do you prepare for such a leap? How do you know you’re offering something people actually want? And who do you turn to for advice?

We spoke to Imogen Stringer from the Admiral Loans Product Team about how Reevoo helped the company navigate the change.

Moving into loans

Moving into loans from insurance is quite a big step. What were you worried about when taking this into consideration?

We wanted to offer customers another product and something other than insurance. We explored different sectors and saw a synergy with our existing customers and the lending market. The team was recruited mainly internally with some recruitment of external expertise from the financial services sector. The product was designed from scratch and there were a number of test phases and iterations.

What feedback did you get on the initial loan offering?

We gained a lot of feedback from customers by surveys conducted via Reevoo. Initially, our manual processes meant we had to speak to every customer at every step of their loan application. Customers also needed to sign documents which we sent them in the post. This meant that it could take a customer over a week to sign and receive their funds. One of the key things we found was that ‘instant decisioning’ was important to customers.

At what point did you decide that it needed to be changed or was it an iterative process that developed gradually?

We had been beta testing with existing customers since August 2015 before we took the product on to the open market in early 2016 to continue testing. We quickly identified areas for improvement and started planning for our full strategic launch in June 2017. The product was developed gradually through three phases of testing: competitor research, focus groups and customer feedback.

Working with Reevoo

What was the driver that prompted you to collect Reevoo reviews for Admiral loans. Did your experience with Reevoo for insurance help that decision?

We saw the benefit that the Reevoo score gives to the insurance side of the business. Feedback from customers helps us to develop products in accordance with their needs. Being new to the lending market, what better peace of mind can we give than real reviews from real customers who are happy with our product and service?

What was this round of feedback like after the process had been brought online – how did it differ to your initial feedback?

Since launching our new system, which gives customers an instant decision, we found customers were more satisfied with the speed it took for them to get a decision on their loan application and the fact the customer can sign their documents online. This means that accepted customers get their funds after application more quickly than previously. We’ve seen our Reevoo score improve from 9.2 on the old system to 9.5 on our new system. Customers love the speed and ease, as well as simplicity of the product and application process.

'Feedback from customers helps us to develop products in accordance with their needs.' Imogen Stringer, Admiral Loans Product Team

What are you planning to do with the feedback you are collecting?

The Reevoo customer feedback that we get from customers is incredibly valuable to both product development and team morale. We use the feedback to:

  1. Provide customers with assurance, we promote our score and product to customers on our Admiral Loans website — we will soon be displaying customer comments as well to give customers transparency of our product.
  2. Use as part of advertising campaigns
  3. Use for product development
  4. Motivate the team – the team is incredibly motivated by the score. If it drops, we all want to know why and everyone works towards improving it by using the customer feedback. If any comments suggest improvements to our call centre, we take this on board and run training sessions to improve on this. Similarly, when reviews come through commending our call centre staff, we communicate this out to our staff and give individuals recognition.
  5. Use as a team objective.
  6. Continuously improve what we offer and how we offer it.

Using the feedback

Has the positive feedback you’re collecting from customers changed the internal culture at Admiral?

At Admiral the customer is at the heart of everything we do, and the whole department is aware of our Reevoo score from front line to senior management. The team are proud of the positive score and are motivated to keep increasing our score. It is great for morale as Reevoo scores are recognised with congratulations from our Head of Loans when the score increases or customers leave great comments.

Admiral are known for insurance; did you have to be careful about the way you went to market with a loan as it’s not a product that you’re traditionally associated with?

We have a strong and trusted brand from car insurance which we wanted to protect. We did extensive research first to ensure that customers were comfortable with the concept of a loans product. We also recruited lending experts to help run the business.

See Admiral’s loans page (with Reevoo scores) here.

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How Admiral sailed from insurance to loans