Virtual Design and Collaboration in Lockdown Enhances the Customer Experience

Yorkshire Building Society employees wearing new uniforms designed by jSD

Yorkshire Building Society has a new look uniform designed to enhance
the customer experience.

It was a challenge faced by most of us over the last two years – how to conduct business as usual when things were far from usual. Technology became a vital tool in helping us all to communicate.  London-based Jermyn Street Design (jSD) was faced with a particular challenge – how to engage a client in the design process for a new uniform, when no-one could meet, no-one could see the designs or even touch the fabric and samples.

Yorkshire Building Society tasked jSD with helping them move away from a uniform comprised of standard stock items into a custom uniform designed specifically to their brief.  It was therefore a leap of faith to put complete trust in the jSD design team to come up with a range of clothing that worked across the entire Yorkshire Building Society team, without ever meeting a single employee.

jSD Designer Nihal Selimi says communication was key:  “When we couldn’t have face to face meetings we had to rely on other means of communication.  We held regular online meetings to discuss the brief and then presented our designs using avatars.  This enabled everyone to really study the clothing items, examine the fit, fabric, colours and trims and make instant changes to see what worked.  It was a dynamic process that really engaged the whole team.”

Initially, four designs were developed and a series of focus groups met online to examine and discuss each item in a virtual environment.  Forty network colleagues ‘met’ across four Microsoft Teams meetings and decided upon a final choice of items to make up the uniform range.

Liz Booth, Business Support Adviser for Yorkshire Building Society, says staff were very excited to be getting a new uniform.  “We had never had a uniform designed specifically for us before, so there was a real buzz around seeing the designs for the first time.  Because we couldn’t all meet in person we had to rely on viewing the designs virtually.  But we really trusted jSD and they kept us informed of progress throughout, really listened to us and delivered a fabulous look that is incredibly comfortable to work in.”

The range includes a dress, blouse, skirt, trousers, cardigan, jacket, shirt, tie and jumper.  While there are the traditional ‘male’ and ‘female’ items, everyone can mix and match items to suit their own body shape and identity.  Liz explains:  “Everyone has an allowance and they can choose how to use it.  They can select a more casual look, or mix with more formal items.  Everything works together and there really is something to suit everyone.”

The uniform has been really well received.  “We have had so many emails from across the region saying how much they love the uniform” says Liz, “people have even been sending in photos of them wearing their uniforms with such pride!”

jSD has also developed a bespoke website for staff to order their items.  The website manages and logs everyone’s uniform allocation and controls the budget for each branch.  Liz comments:  “It’s very easy to order through the website, and deliveries have a very quick turnaround.”

Liz concludes:  “jSD have been just wonderful to work with.  They are a lovely, friendly team and make everything so easy.  We have an excellent working relationship.  It’s almost like we work for the same company.”

About jSD

Susanne Malim founded Jermyn Street Design in June 1981. The multi award-winning company is an industry leader and remains independent and privately-owned.

jSD offers a full range of services enabling the entire life-cycle of clothes at work, from design and manufacture to project management, logistics and responsible disposal.

jSD clients include Eurostar, Nuffield Health, Ocado, Jet2, Holiday Inn, World Duty Free, Liverpool FC, Givenchy, Ascot Racecourse, World Duty Free, Lancôme International, Dyson & David Lloyd Leisure. Its designs are worn by over 200,000 employees across 85 countries. For more information visit www.jsd.co.uk.

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