Halifax General Insurance – Customer Journey driving conversion and retention

Halifax General Insurance commissioned a major Customer Journey Mapping project. The project identified, designed, validated and built business cases for specific changes to increase conversion and retention, delivering 15% incremental income.

The customer journey mapping was led by Martin Wright, founder of Customer Journey Consultancy.  The maps allowed the business, for the first time, to understand how customers were interacting with it across multiple channels. They identified where customers were dropping out, were made to work hardest, or had confusing and contradictory experiences. They also allowed a cross functional team within Halifax, supported by Martin, to develop and quantify improvements to each channel and major touch-points.

And finally the project allowed the business to prioritise the multiple demands on restricted resource so that it could ensure it got the best return on investment from its development programme.

Typical customer journey map for Halifax General Insurance
Customer journey maps helped Halifax identify, and quantify the greatest opportunities for improvement across the entire customer lifecycle.


We meet a great many companies that are struggling with three core issues:

  1. Greater competition and customer choice eroding conversion and retention rates
  2. More complex, multi-channel customer interactions making it difficult to see what is working well and what is not and to understand the customer experience it creates
  3. Increasingly restricted resource making it more important that companies identify the key changes that will give them the very best return for their effort

Customer Journey is a customer centric approach that combines tried and tested techniques to tackle each of these problems. Halifax General Insurance is a typical example of how Customer Journey, and specifically customer journey mapping, can help.

They were not in a position to increase marketing acquisition or retention budgets and so, led by their Innovation Director looked for new ways to grow profitability. They agreed to a major customer journey mapping project designed to increase enquiry conversion and retention rates, they wanted to focus particularly (but not exclusively) on quick-wins, the low hanging fruit that would create returns most quickly and easily.

How we mapped the multi-channel customer journey

Organisations like Halifax have vast amounts of existing reports and data as well as insight that team members have built up over many years. The problem is that this insight is rarely bought together into a coherent whole.

Before commissioning fresh analysis we first turned to this existing body of data and knowledge.

Working with small teams of functional specialists we were able, in two to three hour workshops, to draw what they thought the customer journey was through their channel, how that integrated with other channels and to identify the key moments of truth. They then helped us access the reports and analysis that put detailed numbers behind these interactions.

Reports included historic qualitative analysis, call centre analytics, web analytics, branch visitor numbers and sales figures. Response reports, media plans and detailed analysis of the claims workflow.

Shadowing, mystery shopping and qualitative research was then used to refine the internal view and to understand what customers wanted, expected and felt about their experiences.


By piecing together these insights and this data we were able to create detailed customer journey maps showing how, during these key life-stages, customers moved between all of the available channels toward their goal. We were able to show the numbers of people interacting at every touch-point in their customer journey in a typical month. Most importantly we were able to quantify the biggest drop out points and areas of highest customer effort.

The qualitative research helped us bring customer experiences to life.

Insights included the identification of very significant wasted opportunities. Instances where no attempt was made to follow up in-market prospects nor to leverage other brands within the Halifax stable offering very different levels of cover and price.

We also identified significant disconnects between the brand promise crafted by the Marketing Department and the experience delivered by staff on the front line. Halifax is by no means unique in this. We often see call centres for example, who do not know what the brand positioning is and if they do have no idea how they could deliver it in their daily interactions with customers.

Prioritising and galvanising change

Once issues had been identified and quantified through mapping, and confirmed by staff and through qualitative customer research the team could begin to develop potential solutions.

With Halifax the design stage was followed by a process of evaluation where ideas were review to ensure they were feasible, sustainable and viable. A key step in this process was the development of a business cases for each idea. Proposal could then be ranked by ease of implementation and size of impact.

For the Innovation Director a very value result of this process was that scare resource could be prioritised against those projects with the best chance of generating significant change. The other was already different functions had a hand in agreeing the development plan helping overcome resistance to change and ‘not invented here’.


In total 38 quick wins and 15 longer term opportunities were developed. 11 critical changes providing 15% revenue uplift were approved. These included changes to:

  • Contact strategy (contact frequency, following-ups etc) 40%
  • Cross functional thinking (better brand portfolio use, brand consistency) 36%
  • Better use of technology (fixing broken web functionality, making online underwriting more flexible, greater use of email/SMS) 24%