Olive: Reinforcing Olive as the experts in brilliant CX solutions for the banking and finance sector

The Campaign

A campaign that uncovered poor online customer service and support during CovidAt a time when digital access to banking services was critical, Olive revealed widespread frustration among UK banking customers. With Cheltenham based PR company, HeadOn PRbringing the research to national and industry attention, the need for banks to bolster their online customer service provision was clearly highlighted. 

Our Client

Olive Communications is one of the UK’s fastest-growing and most progressive Managed Cloud Communications Providers, delivering business-critical solutions for transformational growth. Aiming to bridge cloud, data and mobility services seamlessly, it focuses on supporting businesses in providing exceptional customer experience with ease. 

At a time when the technology landscape is changing rapidly, Olive partners with market-leading brands, including Vodafone, Mitel, Google Cloud and Microsoft, implementing its solutions to drive profitability and operational efficiency. 

Reinforcing Olive’s leadership position 

Collaborating with Olive to raise its brand awareness, the HeadOn PR team were challenged with reaching Olive’s key industry sectors of finance, technology and customer service provisionIt was also essential to gain national-level attention to generate awareness from their sector-diverse target market. 

An innovator in their sector, Olive was keen to reinforce its brand position as industry experts on  the cutting-edge of market requirements, with forward-thinking solutions that help banks to overcome the challenges identified by the research.  

The Study Findings

In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, as everyone across the UK was asked to remain at home, allowing customers to havefficient online access to core services became critical. Banking was one of those services. However, widespread reports revealed banks were struggling and leaving customers unable to log onto vital services. 

In May 2020, we commissioned an independent study on behalf of Olive on 2,000 UK bank customers from 18+ years, and 500 UK Heads of Call Centres, Heads of Customer Service and Customer Service Directors at UK banks. The study, entitled ‘The Future of Online Banking’, was designed to get an insight into customer satisfaction with their banking services, and to identify where the challenges lay. 

During a time of immense and rapid change, when technology is equally advancing to keep up with demand, a quick turnaround to appeal to the target market’s need was needed. Therefore, in just over a month, the analysis of the research was complete, and our PR was ready to release. 

Already aware of the dissatisfaction, the results still surprised, with over half of UK customers complaining of poor online banking services and support since the Covid-19 lockdown. 

58% of banking customers were unable to access the help or online banking facilities they needed from home at a time they needed them the most. Customers’ frustrations with their bank’s digital services were heightened further by fragmented online banking services and support channels, and a quarter complained of customer service channels not being joined up.  

We also carried out polls both before and during the pandemic, discovering that 60% of banks admitted their online customer service was not up to scratch with plans to make improvements. Despite one in three investing between £500,000 and £2 million on their digital and online customer services, our customer research revealed that not much progress was made. 

In our PR coverage, Martin Flick, CEO at Olive, highlighted what a missed opportunity this was for banks. “Lockdown has been a real opportunity for banks to aid and support their customers through testing times, by providing the best in collaborative, online customer service; enabling customers to stay safe and observe social distancing rules by being able to bank online, whenever and however.” 

And how they had not been able to deliver, “Despite banks investing significant sums in enhancing their digital banking systems since Covid-19, our report shows that consumers are still feeling immensely frustrated by the lack of choice, accessibility and at times, quality of online services.” 

The Results

By the end of June, it was declared that the UK economy was in a technical recession; with the number of workers on company payrolls falling by 649,000 between March and June. However, with the restrictions easing in July, companies were keen to reopen and maximise output under the new guidelines. At a time when both businesses and individuals needed efficient access to online banking services, Olive’s findings were extremely relevant. 

Over the first couple of days, 22 pieces of coverage were obtained, with a headline article in the City & Business pages of the Daily Express (read by 298K existing and potential customers). 

National coverage also included Yahoo (Finance and UK & Ireland pages), AOL (9.73m readers) and the Daily Mail (365K).  

Raising industry awareness was a key objective, and this was achieved with releases in Engage Customer (1.27K reach) and Customer Experience Magazine (4.29K reach), both targeting leaders in customer and employee engagementSector-relevant attention was also gained from technology brands, TechRadar and Engineering & Technology and Financial Director and Fintech Finance in the financial sector. 

Local coverage was widespread; from press releases in local Scottish publications (The Evening Telegraph and The Courier.co.uk) to the Shropshire Star in the west of the UK and across to The Irish News and Belfast Telegraph. 

The extensive interest in the news story reached a huge 28.5 million existing and potential customers online, with the story shared and engaged on social at least 793 times with numerous links back to Olive’s website to support high levels of traffic 

With research so clearly illustrating that the banking sector needs to make significant improvements to achieve customer satisfaction with its online service, banks and financial services will be looking to Olive as the innovators and experts on the issues that matter to them the most.  

Key media highlights 


  • Headlined in the City & Business pages of the Daily Express, YahooAOL and the Daily Mail 
  • Features in industry magazines likeEngage CustomerCustomer Experience Magazine and TechRadar, Financial Director and Fintech Finance.  
  • Local media interest included The Evening Telegraph, The Courier.co.uk, the Shropshire StarThe Irish News and Belfast Telegraph. 
  • Reached a huge 28.5 million existing and potential customers online 
  • The story shared and engaged on social at least 793 
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