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Complaints are a gift, they help you do better in business

24 June 2014

Westpac Inspire Change IWD 2014 

Revolutionising finance through respect

I don’t like to skite and I don’t do it often, but as a bank we’re having a great run lately. I know, as business people, women entrepreneurs enjoy feeling secure in who they are working with, that their needs and wants are being met, and they are respected. So I thought I’d pass on this recent news and hazard a guess at what I think might be driving our success.

In the small business segment Westpac is on top for satisfaction in May, according to DBM Consultants’ business financial services monitor (BFSM) and reported in The Australian newspaper on June 23.

DBM Consultants is a ‘full service’ independently owned market research consultancy which late last year also announced that usage of mobile banking applications by business has jumped by more than 50 percent in the past 12 months - from 20 percent to 32 percent.

However, that’s not happening, as DBM goes on to point out, at the expense of other channels such as branches or call centres.

What we’re finding is that digital banking is becoming the norm for lots of everyday banking needs - and mobile is growing much faster than online - but having the option to talk face to face is still very important.

Responding to the way our customers are changing and what they really want to do in the face to face environment, as well as online and outside normal banking hours, is very important and I am sure our actions are helping us win friends and influence people.

How can I be sure, well, according to our statistics customer complaints are going down. In fact, overall complaints are down 15 percent over the past 12 months.

Customer feedback is a gift and by focussing on solving complaints you can create services and products that suit your clients and customers while reducing complaints. That’s a clever thing to do whatever your business and it’s one of the best tips, I know, for entrepreneurial success.

Another way of gauging success is via survey. They are one of the important measures Julie Rynski, Westpac’s general manager of small business, watches for “proof” of how the business is travelling.

“I still think,” she says in relation to DBM's announcement, “we have a long way to go, and all the banks do, but it’s nice to prove some of the things we are doing is working, which is great.” 

Whether you are Small Medium Enterprise, a big corporate or anything in between, having mutually respectful relationships - where each party works to get the best out of each other and for each other - is the name of the game. 

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