Gary Hamel (author and innovation architect at the MIX) talks with Greg Sutherland, the executive general manager of strategy and innovation at National Australia Bank, about really becoming customer-focused, working from their needs, backwards -- challenging a lot of the traditional beliefs in banking. Gary starts the conversation regarding an ad campaign the bank did as a letter in the newspapers; a kind of a "Dear John" letter that said, "I'm sorry, it's over."
The banking industry does not rate high in reputation indexes for being customer-focused, addressing their needs, and really serving the customer, says Sutherland. “Although people trust them, at one level, in terms of the safety and stability.” But banks hold the power in the customer’s eyes.
As the team members around the innovation agenda at National Australia Bank began their work, they realized they had all the insight they needed because customers were screaming at them and it's something they had been staring at for five years. Much like other large companies, they too had been staring at the same customer research for years, and sort of not acting on what's actually obvious.
The number one complaint was about the bank's fees, and 80 percent of those complaints were about the overdraft fee. Customers never thought they bought that service, so the fee was an unwelcome surprise. So National Australia Bank decided to drop that overdraft fee. It was like a lightning rod for the whole organization. It said, All the stuff we've been looking at, that we've justified as an industry... if the customer doesn't like it, then we've got to change it.
Thank you Linda for bring up one of my favorite topics - Banking. No I really mean it, over the last few years nothing has awaken my curiosity more than this industry. It is really nice to see at least one bank listening to their customers even though it took them 5-10 yrs to react to the obvious. Imagine how the banking industry could regain some lost trust if they would only listen to their customers ? The issues are pretty simple so it shouldn't take long to take action(s).
I notice this is only happens in reality in Australia, where I must give credit - they are trying to do some very innovative things that banks here in the U.S.cannot - due to their reputation. Anytime I hear of innovative thinking from within the Banking Industry it comes from the Land Down Under.
And this is where I want to thank Sara for her link, absolutely fantastic ! Underscores exactly the situation we face here in the U.S. Goldman Sacks !
Yesterday, an executive director at Goldman Sachs quit his job and wrote a scathing review of Goldman Sachs' culture and priorities in an op-ed in the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/business/a-public-exit-from-goldman-sachs-hits-a-wounded-wall-street.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hp According to him Goldman Sachs doesn't even give the slightest thought to customer satisfaction. In fact they call the customers "muppets." It's nice to see that some financial services organization -Australia National Bank-- is acting upon customer needs and requests.
This is enlightening and oh-so-true. I can't imagine the banks over this part of the world (I'm based in Asia, btw) to change their policies just because some customers are complaining about it. Good for National Australia Bank's clients, though!
So the data has been sitting around for years but it took 5 years for the Australian bank to drop the overdraft fees that their customers didn't know they ordered. Sweet. At least if the banks are going to serve up bad beer how about throwing in some salty snacks.
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