Archive for the 'Customer Satisfaction' Category

Targets and understaffing cause angst at National Bank call centre

Reg and LizNational Bank call centre delegates, Reg and Liz, kindly took time out from the Finsec education course they were attending this week to talk to the Gossip about what they see as some of the biggest issues in their workplace. Unsurprisingly they are the same issues that workers across ANZ National are identifying in the lead up to negotiations next month:

For Liz one of the key issues is the pressure from targets:MP3 Audio file

“They’re getting larger, they’re getting more demanding, and they’re getting more pay focused rather than rewards focused.”

Another big issue is staffing:MP3 Audio file

Liz – “Yeah, we have a monitor that shows how many calls are waiting and how long the longest call has been waiting, and sometimes it’s up to, what? 50 calls? Call waiting times of 15-20 minutes…”

Reg – “…You see some people just look up at the board and go, ‘ohhh’. They just get depressed…”

Liz – “Customers are unhappy when they have to wait 20 minutes, no one’s happy. You know I had a customer last night – she’d been waiting 15 minutes and it was 8:05pm. She couldn’t get a bill payment through; well she wasn’t happy… no one likes to be in an environment like that. So, yes, staffing is a huge, huge issue.”


ANZ National should invest record profit in NZ customers

 Campbell Island Daisy ANZ National’s record half yearly profit of $398 million gives the bank the resources it needs to follow its parent company’s lead and invest heavily in customer service.Finsec Campaigns Director, Andrew Campbell says;

“In Australia ANZ is currently opening more branches and employing more front line staff. It is aiming to live up to customers’ expectations of high service by employing more staff and rewarding its staff for skills, quality and experience. Now ANZ National Bank can follow this path in New Zealand too.

Customer service and quality cost money. But it is also a sensible, long term investment to put this record profit back into the New Zealand economy rather than send it offshore, especially for a bank that is heavily exposed to the New Zealand economy.

ANZ National has the money to spend. We call on ANZ National to invest in economic growth in New Zealand by opening more branches, hiring more front line staff and providing more reward to staff.”

(thanks to SqueakyMarmot for the photo)

BNZ staff face up to bosses (2)

 Palmerston North and Broadway workers at BNZLast week we reported on BNZ staff in Palmerston North who were protesting against the bank’s removal of three branch credit support positions from their town. As a result of their campaign to reinstate the three positions 16 members at the Broadway and Palmerston North branches got to meet with a raft of BNZ managers on Monday to discuss their concerns.

Their concerns were simple ones; that removing these positions would lower the quality of customer service they would be able to give, and that less people doing the job would mean more workload.

The bank however was adamant at the meeting that it was not going to reinstate the positions.

So what everyone agreed is that they will meet again on 18 April as a working group that will discuss all the issues further and come up with solutions. Contrary to the impression they give in the photo, members were not happy with that outcome, but are prepared to see what comes from it. They are going to approach other branches in their broader area to find out how they have dealt with similar reductions on branch credit support roles. They are also going to involve the LSC and CAS operations teams who will be picking up some of the work that the branch credit support previously did, to find out how their workload has been affected.

‘BNZ staff face up to bosses’

Palmerston NorthBNZ staff in Palmerston North are in an uproar over plans to get rid of three jobs in bank branches around he city. Yesterday’s Manawatu Standard has the full story but here’s a few quotes from journalist, Evan Harding:

Palmerston North’s unionised Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) staff have taken a stand against head office and are refusing to accept the disestablishment of three jobs in the city’s branches.

The staff believe terminating the lending support positions will increase the pressure on other workers in the sector and affect the quality of service BNZ customers will receive, said Finsec union spokesman Andrew Campbell.

About 10 Palmerston North BNZ employees had joined the finance sector (Finsec) union as a direct result of the disestablishment of the lending support jobs, Mr Campbell said.

“What we have is a group of workers in this city who are defending what they believe is in the best interests of their customers and I think it’s an incredibly honourable thing for them to do.

“The issue of bank understaffing is right across the industry. Hopefully, what these people are doing is a bit of a model on how to address these issues and have them fixed.”

(thanks to rhubarbfool for the photo)

Are banks a ‘necessary evil’?

DraculaInteresting that, at the same time Finsec’s Better Banks campaign has identified that banking must have an element of community good, research in Britain shows three quarters of Britons would consider borrowing or lending through an online “social lending” community, rather than use their local bank. More than 60% said the main aim of their bank was “to make money for themselves,” while only 15% thought its main aim was to provide a good financial service to customers.

The study found that social lending was growing quickly in popularity, partly because of the increased transparency and “social connectedness” it offers. It is important to note that the study was commissioned by an online financial “exchange” company, Zopa, which competes directly with banks. However, if banks want to remain the preferred lending choice ahead of online social lending companies, like Zopa, they will ensure that customers feel welcomed and valued rather than fleeced.

According to the Guardian, Professor Michael Hulme, who carried out the study, said traditional banking emerged from the study as almost a “necessary evil“. He said: “For most people, banking does not provide any form of rewarding or valued experience, it is simply a necessity. In contrast, the community sites we looked at appeared to offer a much deeper appreciation of the individual far beyond the actual transaction.

Finsec believes that banks can turn around this perception that customers have of them by adopting a business model that favours investment over divestment. You can drive strong customer service and thus customer satisfaction by retaining and training experienced staff, reducing pressure to sell and reducing workloads on staff.

(thanks to the googly for the photo)

Satisfaction survey shows customers want ‘community’ banks

Keith RichardsThe Roy Morgan survey of bank customer satisfaction has just been released and shows that a connection to the local community as well as competitive products and good service is the key to growth in customer numbers.“The survey shows that banks need to perform across a range areas to grow customer numbers. Significantly the results indicate that mortgage pricing, and improvements in customer satisfaction need to be teamed with a commitment to local communities to achieve the best result for the banks,” said Andrew Campbell, Finsec Campaigns Director.

“There is a growing groundswell of public consciousness that banks have an important role to play in their local communities. Those banks that customers perceive to be active and responsible participants in their local communities are receiving higher customer service rankings.”

“Kiwibank and TSB, with their perceived strong local ethos and commitment to small communities, are consistently outperforming banks that are seen as large corporates interested mostly in sending profits offshore.”

“Banks need to be more involved in New Zealand’s small local communities if they want to improve their customer service ratings. Customers value banks that they perceive as supporting their local communities, not just sponsoring large events and stadiums.”

Of course, the positive perception that people have about Kiwibank and TSB may not be entirely earned. TSB for instance continues to pay some of the lowest wages in the banking sector. To maintain their goodwill within their communities TSB and Kiwibank, like all banks, will need to support their marketing with a serious commitment to improved customer service through strong retail networks, more time and less pressure to sell.

(thanks to zombie_eater for the photo)

Consumer Survey shows bank profit at expense of quality

The BankThe Consumers’ Institute survey of bank customer satisfaction again shows that New Zealand’s four big Australian owned banks are trailing locally owned banks when it comes to customer satisfaction. If big banks want to improve the respect and faith of their customers then they need to stop putting constant sales, technology advances and profit ahead of long term customer relationships.

“The banks that have done the best in this survey are those that have focused on their communities and invested in their retail networks,” said Finsec General Secretary, Andrew Casidy.

“PSIS for instance does not have all the flash technological facilities of some of the big banks but is does invest in its people. It respects its customers and staff rather than viewing them as cash cows.”

“BNZ, Westpac and ANZ all have a long history in New Zealand and they should have the respect of their customers and communities. The fact that customers are rating other banks above these stalwarts says that the big banks are taking their eye off the ball. Long-term sustainability comes from high quality customer service, improved staff levels with low staff turnover and reinvestment of profits back into local branches and communities.”

(thanks to semarr for the photo)

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