The Business Of Thinking
Industry: Financial Services
Project: Improving customer service and sales effectiveness and building a culture that promotes diversity
Contributed by: Matthew Galik, Director of Sales and Marketing, Herrmann International Asia; and Andrew Stagg, Manager, Learning & Development, Bendigo Bank About Bendigo Bank
Bendigo Bank is a regional Australian bank, operating primarily in Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales. With over 200 bank branches and approximately 2,200 employees, Bendigo Bank has differentiated itself in Australia's financial services marketplace as an innovative service provider both at the customer/bank branch level, and organisationally through its Community Bank program which has provided local banking to remote Australian communities not serviced by Australia's Big Four' banks. A truly values-driven organisation, Bendigo Bank's motto is: Successful communities and successful customers create a
successful bank'. The bank's focus on communities and
exceptional customer service has made it one of Australia's most respected (and, though perhaps strange for a bank, well-loved) organisations.
The esteem in which Bendigo Bank is held has also translated into high customer satisfaction ratings and organic growth in deposits and accounts (two immediate measures that are impacted by
customer service) that far surpass industry standards.
♦ To build competitive advantage through a strong focus on customers and customer service.
♦ To reinforce a long-standing company culture that supports communities and creates a fulfilling workplace for employees through understanding and supporting diversity. Desired business outcomes
To drive organic growth in the bank (customer numbers, deposits, and ultimately profitability and EPS) by differentiating the bank from others in the industry on the basis of a uniquely satisfying customer service experience.
Key customer contact(s)
Andrew Stagg, Manager - Learning and Development
The Business Of Thinking
To date: Five years.
Program continues to be rolled out to all employees (as of March, 2004) and is expected to continue indefinitely.
Bendigo Bank began as a permanent building society in Bendigo a centre of early and significant gold discovery during Australia's gold rush' era (circa 1850).
The rapid influx of thousands of people, from all over Australia and around the world, created a community in and around Bendigo that, largely, lived in tents and makeshift shanties. Before long, however, the town leaders of Bendigo saw a need to help people move into more permanent accommodation. It was this need that spawned the Bendigo Permanent Land and Building Society. The concept was simple. The building society would collect contributions from everyone in the community. Once enough money was collected to erect a building, a drawing would be held, and whoever's name was drawn would receive the money to erect a permanent building. Everyone continued to contribute, even those who already had a building, and this continued until everybody in the community had been moved into some sort of permanent building. Some of those buildings are still standing in the town of Bendigo today. The building society always had the philosophy that it wasn't just about making money, but about helping communities. That's why all the society's members continued to contribute, even after everyone in the community was living in a permanent building. All the left over money was invested in the community and soon, the building society also became a profitable supplier to its members.
Throughout the 1900s, the company remained a permanent building society, expanding from one or two small branches in Bendigo to additional locations in surrounding townships. It eventually became the largest permanent building society in Victoria. Faced with mounting government regulations governing...